Study: Women love games but fear social stigmas

Q Interactive finds that women enjoy playing social games but mostly refuse to play them in the workplace and are concerned with stigmas related to gaming.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Long viewed as a male-dominated hobby, video games are increasingly attracting the interest of women--a trend that hasn't gone unnoticed by the video game industry.

In an attempt to learn more about how the growing number of social games resonate with women, Q Interactive and Engage Expo surveyed 700 women to see how they really feel.

The researchers found that about 54 percent of those surveyed play social games every day, but only 42 percent of respondents consider themselves "gamers." Just 7 percent of women say that they're "obsessed" with games.

Q Interactive also attempted to determine how much gaming women felt was socially acceptable. That report showed 67 percent of female respondents believe playing games between one hour and five hours per week is acceptable, while 26 percent contend that gaming more than six hours a week is just fine.

The researchers found that women still struggle with the social acceptance of gaming. Approximately 16 percent of respondents "hide or sometimes hide" their gaming habits. Over two-thirds of women said that there are stigmas attached to gaming, including the notion that games are addictive, make you neglectful of other areas of your life, and are a waste of time.

Out of all the women surveyed, just 7 percent say they play games at work. A whopping 93 percent say they play primarily at home.

The mom factor
Q Interactive also asked mothers to chime in on how they monitor their children's use of technology and the Web.

According to the company, 16 percent of mothers said their children under 18 years old currently have a smartphone. When it comes to gaming, 40 percent of kids are allowed to play each day, 37 percent can play each week, and just 10 percent of children are allowed to play monthly.