For the majority of the time that computer and video gaming has existed, people have tended to regard it as a pastime that is mainly taken up by young men. This may have been a true depiction of the situation in previous years, but the rise of mobile phone technology – which has brought about a concomitant rise in games for mobile devices – has seen more women start playing games and mobile game developers starting to target them as a whole new demographic.
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There is no question that women represent an important audience to the makers of mobile games though, as they now represent to big a slice of the customer base to be ignored. There is considerable debate as to the extent to which the gaming industry is seeking to cater to female players – as popular puzzle games like Candy Crush are seen by many as being female-oriented, due to their social and collaborative aspects – but other observers view the industry as a whole as being slow to pick up on this and produce more games that combine gaming and interactive social elements. It can be a difficult quandary for the games industry as games that are seen as being traditionally male can also appeal to female players – and vice versa – indicating the dangers of stereotyping by gender. One industry that does seem to have been able to produce female-friendly games without falling into this trap is the casino one, as online bingo has capture a female audience with a combination of betting and chatrooms where friendships can be forged, while slots games such as The Fairest of Them All targeted at women have also proven to be immensely popular with this demographic. Thus it is possible that the industry as a whole can learn something from how casinos have reached women.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that more and more women are playing mobile games, and the industry as a whole is likely to be altered by this.