ESA Survey: Male/Female Gamer Ratio is 60/40; Average Age is 35

A new survey by Ipsos MediaCT for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) indicates 40% of gamers are female and the average age of gamers is 35. Other findings:

- 65% of US households play videogames

- 38% of US households own a console

- Women over 18 make up a larger percentage of gamers than boys under 17 (33% to 18%)

The new 2008 “Essential Facts” booklet by the ESA is available in PDF format here.

References:
Heflinger, M. (2008, July 17). Survey: Average U.S. gamer age is 35; 40% are women. [Online]. Available: http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2008/07/17/survey:-
average-u.s.-gamer-age-35%3B-40%25-are-women

Update:
Click here for info on new games designed for female players and how software companies are tackling this emerging market.


38 Comments

  • By James, September 27, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    Don’t you mean 40% of all gamers are “Supposedly” females?

  • By Really, August 13, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    Really? I don’t buy it.
    I play on Xbox LIVE every day, several hours a day, and from what I’ve seen, average gamer age is about 15.
    Male/female distribution is more like 90/10.

    The other thing… I didn’t get this survey, nor did anyone I know. I also posted this link in several gaming forums, where hundreds of people replied, no one ever filled out any gaming survey. So who was surveyed? Obviously not hardcore gamers. Did the surveyors go and sit at a mall and survey all the parents buying their kids games?

    I call utter BS on your numbers.

  • By John Rice, August 13, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    @Really: Ipsos MediaCT’s numbers, not mine. Representative sampling and statistical extrapolation probably accounts for why you and your friends were never surveyed.

    Your screed reminds me of the anecdote following a presidential election, when someone said, “I don’t know how he won. Nobody I know voted for him.”

  • By DK, August 31, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    @really Of course you’re seeing 90/10. Do you think in an environment where female players are virtually gang banged, sexually harassed, and bombarded with racist and homophobic slurs that they’d reveal themselves? I play Xbox Live every day too and you’d never recognize me as a 28 year old female because I will never let you know.

  • By Reality, September 28, 2009 @ 3:42 am

    come on people, taking this a little to far. No Questionire will be accurate as if you question 100 people, the chances of finding any gamers willing to want to do a questionaire will be dramaticlly low. so this website is wrong, also the boy “Really” is wrong and “DK” is very wrong. the fact that she has brought up the fact of race and gender into this conversation is lame.

    There is a higher propotion of male gamers. No debate
    In this case the facts are wrong.
    But dont whine about it.

    Its just gaming

    Reality

  • By John Rice, September 28, 2009 @ 7:06 am

    No one denies there are more male players. But 40% female seems a reasonable number, based on current research from respectable firms. This is across all game types, not just the “hardcore” latest titles.

  • By NC, September 30, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    @reality.
    “…“DK” is very wrong. the fact that she has brought up the fact of race and gender into this conversation is lame.”

    Wait, correct me if I’m wrong, but I clearly see gender being displayed in this survey’s heading so I don’t see anything deemable as “lame” in DK’s comment as far as mentioning gender goes. And she’s not wrong either. Just because you haven’t experienced harassment playing games online soley based on your gender doesn’t mean SHE hasn’t. Women DO have terrible online game-playing experiences because of those immature male gamers who end up trolling them and asking for sexual favors. It happens whether or not you notice or acknowledge it. DK’s not wrong at all. Majority of female gamers will never admit to being female gamers…it’s common knowledge.

  • By DK, October 1, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    It has everything to do with race and gender. Why wouldn’t I bring it up? Try turning your headset on and let me know what you hear.

  • By Concerned Gamer, December 3, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

    I completely agree with DK i am a male age 20 and my girlfriend used to play on my account so i decided to get her one. on my account she didnt hear any insults when she would have a good game, on her own account she is usually called a fat lesbian or some kind of variation. If you dont believe its true go out and spend the 10 bucks on a new xbl account or create a new PS3 account that is a girls name and just listen to what people say. As for 40% of women playing games, its feasible, just because men dont hear women play doesnt mean they arent playing. And as one male gamer speaking to all other male gamers, dont give a girl crap for playing a game. Swallow your pride when you lose and just say good game

  • By for real, December 9, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

    keep in mind this is educational video games not fun ones normal people play

  • By John Rice, December 12, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    LOL. No, this is all gamers. 60/40 is a reasonable estimate of female players. Yes, even for the fun games.

  • By chingy, January 23, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    It says 40% of gamers are females which is easy to say since in a survey like this you can say “I play tetris” and be considered a “gamer” To prove my point it also says 44% of online “gamers” are female and goes on to list that 47% of online gamers are puzzles/boardgame/etc 14% are games like bejwelled. Now i don’t know about you, but i don’t consider playing those games makes someone a “gamer”.

  • By George, January 23, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    ‘Really’, I play on XBox Live also, and what you’re saying is: “. . .from what I’ve seen, average gamer age is about 15.
    Male/female distribution is more like 90/10.”

    That is only relevant to what you have seen on Xbox Live, which is merely a wing in the vast library of gaming.

  • By Kostenlos Wahrsagen, February 22, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

    Seems like you are a real expert. Did ya study about the matter? haha..

  • By Halo Gamer, March 1, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

    I find these statistics very believable. Surveys are nameless, so, coworkers that before would never have admitted to gaming can do so safely within a survey. Thus, more women are shown, and older men admit to things. The reason people on Halo servers tend to believe more kids are online than 35+ adults is because the majority of kids use headsets because they feel “cooler.” Gender is also exploited. Being a woman, I tend not to play Halo by myself, I have a group of guy friends that go in with me and shout at any jerk that comes after my female status. Although, I have found that I am discriminated against more so before they find out I am a girl. This is a direct result of my high voice. I am assumed to be a hated fifteen yearold player, and cursed off the court till I end up screaming, “I’M A CHICK!” Then there’s an unavoidable, “Oooh, so that’s why you suck.” Hahah, forget feminists, I would rather be treated with respect then equality.

  • By Mr.Allen, November 5, 2010 @ 7:44 am

    Kostenlos Wahrsagen i am studying this at university and i can tell you these figures are accuarte. I was suprised to but after looking at other documents about his suject it seems the figure to be true. Also u do find that alot more girls play games for example out of a class of 20 people 6 are girls.

  • By GamerGuy, November 5, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    @James, what kinda of comment was that? Me being a guy, I find that offensive that you think all guys are girls when in fact the survey was done in real life. I hardly think guys would buy wigs to look like a girl. My guess is you’ve never been around females that play games. Do a survey yourself at your local college and you’d be surprised how many females play games.

    @by really, I’m 36 and I play Xbox Live on my free time, reason why you never hear us is because I’m sure the majority of don’t want hear all the garbage that spews out. You get sick of hearing the foul mouths and I don’t need to hear it from kids when I hear enough of it at work and the bar.

  • By casipher, November 14, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    Just because all you see on “xbox live” is 15 yo boys doesn’t mean that’s all there is. I play with a group of like minded women who love games, and can’t stand open xbox live crap.

    So, quit playing with losers, and don’t assume that the demographic is what you see online.

  • By Wow, December 20, 2010 @ 8:42 am

    The whole 90/10 thing was sexist in itself. What about other games that AREN’T on xBox Live? What about those MMORPGs, like Audition, where it’s a hassle trying to get a guy into the group?

    You need to get your head out of the sexist gutter ‘Really’

  • By Phil, February 28, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Im just saying this after reading it and flicming into your conversation that like play farmville on facebook does not count as “gaming” nor does playing pattacake with your kids =]

  • By GamerGirl, May 3, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    I’ve only been a gamer for about a year. I never really played video games until I moved. I’ll admit that in the case of some of the games that I play, there’s a much more skewed ratio of males to females. I play WoW and it still surprises me every time I hear a female voice on vent. It took weeks to convince my guildies that I was not a male playing a female toon. What people aren’t taking into account here are the number of females who play different types of video games, such as cityville, or farmville, or bejeweled. Yes, you’re still unlikely to find a female playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, or Halo: Reach, but we’re here and we’re gamers just like the rest of you. A few of us are the exceptions, but everyone can enjoy video games, male or female, young or old.

  • By Frostfang, October 2, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    You have to also realize that see app games and games on facebook do technically count as video games still. So that is something that is making some of these studies seem so farfetched.

  • By daljalik, April 9, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    male 19 and the way guys treats girls is general is crap u see a gamer from lets say 7 years ago the sexist crap wouldnt be happening but now days ‘hardcore’ gamers or what the recent gamers call them selves pretending to be badass cause no one see there little troll faces and give them a good smack lay of everyone keeps that punk shit to where u cant hide in your room

  • By Prozac, June 28, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    Yeah i don’t believe that there are 40% of girls gaming… I have literally for 3 girls on my friends list of almost a 50 I think 1 in 10 is about right.

  • By Ejax, February 17, 2014 @ 7:06 pm

    The real problem is kids playing games that are rated M. Stores started implementing it and now they buy online.

  • By Tim, February 19, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    The reason the percentage seem so off is because they are including Make over games, Fitness games, et cetera, instead of just real games.

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