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Games on the Horizon

What female gamers and developers already know is that pink packaging and shopping games aren't cutting it with female players. Women, perhaps more than girls, want to play the same games boys do.

But most games continue to be created for and by male developers. Clearly the real niche market is the hardcore boy players, a statistically small group.

The issue is not that hardcore female gamers don't exist, but that they are not participating fully and are thus less visible. Additionally, casual female gamers may desire more participation, but have no where to go.

As gaming becomes more main-stream, explains J.C. Smith, Manager of Corporate Communications at Nintendo, "the barriers to female players drop, and "female gamers are happier."

Smith says Nintendo is targeting the casual gaming audience, the traditionally perceived female market, but expects a big win among American women with the summer release of Nintendogs, a Nintendo DS console game wherein players raise a virtual puppy. Nintendogs is all the rage with females in Japan, not surprising for a country where females outplay males on phone games.

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