Women Dominate Mobile Phone Gaming Market

Women like to play games on mobile phones more than men, according to an analyst firm that has studied the gender gaming habits.

Women like to play games on mobile phones more than men, according to an analyst firm that has studied the gender gaming habits.

Apparently, Women represent 59 percent of U.S. mobile gamers, says the study released by market research and consulting firm Parks Associates.

The report, "Electronic Gaming in the Digital Home," also reveals females comprise 61 percent of those who play mobile games between one and four hours monthly, and 58 percent of those who spend more than four hours per month playing games on a cellular phone.

"The results were mildly surprising," Parks Associates director of research John Barrett said Friday. "The balance is a little stronger for mobile gaming compared with online gaming, but I think that's because you don't have the presence of shoot-'em-up games typically played by males online."

The study surveyed 2,000 U.S. gamers with Internet access. The numbers are consistent with the demographics of Internet gamers, of which women are also the majority, according to Barrett.

Theorizing on why women, rather than men, might prefer mobile gaming, CosmicTap.com blogger Anthony Citrano said "Men think a little more compartmentalized about objects, whereas women are more likely to accept that a phone isn't just a talking device, but rather a music device, entertainment device, gaming device."

Men are more likely to say "my phone is my phone, I talk on it," said Citrano, who also co-founded the conference PopTech, now in its sixth year, attracts a mix of entrepreneurs and inventors in science and technology.

Evan Schwartz, co-founder of Thumplay Inc., an online retailer of mobile content like ringtones, games and wallpaper, agrees with the study's findings. "At Thumplay, we see more woman than men downloading games to their mobile phones," he said. "In the past month, our numbers show that about 58 percent women vs. 42 percent men have downloaded mobile games."

Schwartz said percentages have remained fairly consistent in recent months, especially among members who pay $9.99 per month. The fee appears directly on the customer's cellular phone bill from companies, such as Cingular Wireless.

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