Video Games People Play


I was an 8 year-old boy when I became a Disney starlet. While growing up the youngest of four kids, I had two older brothers, but the first born was our sister who now has two kids of her own. Emily not just “brat sat” us three juveniles, and we were a handful, a pretty wild bunch back in the day. Among other things, she’s the one who taught us how to throw a football, score a soccer goal, helped get our homework and chores done, and even showed us how to cook some favorite dishes.

Also, she schooled us on video games. Actually she started us playing Disney’s hot girl games, trotting out its biggest female stars: Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine (“Aladdin”) and Ariel (“The Little Mermaid”). But the real “princesses” were we three rowdy boys, thanks to an easy-to-use character generator that lets anyone turn herself or in this case himself into Disney heroines.


While the conventional wisdom of the general public says that guys dominate playing vid games, my own personal experience with friends, family and industry people tells me differently. My thinking is backed by a study from the Internet Advertising Bureau, plus others. You might be surprised,  but in the studies, it’s revealed that females, girls and grownup women alike, comprise over 50% of the overall video gaming audience, and that includes mobile devices. Can you say Candy Crush and Angry Birds? Yes, you’ve read it right.  The majority of people video playing games are Girl Gamers!

In spite of this fact, actual numbers of females who work in the vid games industry is pretty darn low (see article). Meanwhile, I’d say that when it comes to video gaming, the female gender prefers to create good things while males specialize in destroying them (what else is new)? For instance, while girls can enjoy building a house, a castle, a whole city out of Lego or whatever, usually the kick for guys is demolishing it.

And because the majority of big-ticket video games are about action and destruction, despite any surveys that support the fact that at least as many women play games as men, some beliefs don’t change easily. The long held notion that games are mainly a pastime for adolescent boys is a continuing   one that is perpetuated, carried forward thanks to the aggressive marketing of big-time, big-name, big-budget games.

Nonetheless, Emily insists video games are for everyone. For herself, however, she’s always loved “The Sims” from Entertainment Arts. She creates her peaceful characters with nice homes, hobbies and lots of interesting friends. More than once, she would remind my brothers and me, “I’d rather have characters watering plants than mowing down others with a machine gun.”

1BVG IMAGE MONSTERAs a final thought, when I was younger I had to break off a relationship with an incredibly beautiful nice girl I truly cared for. The problem was her solitary interest in life was playing, she was a video games addict. Nothing else came remotely close to meaning anything at all to her, including me. She was only interested in winning, being the best and it affected her very badly, it even changed her entire personality to something monsterous.

Hey, I’ve always loved vid gaming, but I knew early on that it can’t be your sole interest. I tried to explain that to her, but couldn’t get through. When we did break up we both got hurt. I learned a lesson, and she finally learned hers, too. The last thing I told her was, ‘you can play every game and maybe be the best, but what good is it when you are only playing 1-dimension in real life?’

~Steve Roberts