Men and women tend to be introduced to the game in very different ways. Men are more likely to have found the game by themselves or through a friend, whereas women are more likely to have found the game through their romantic partners or a family member.
The difference in being introduced by a romantic partner is quite striking (27% vs. 1%) and may in part explain why female gamers tend to be older than male gamers. Given that people with stable romantic partners tend to be older, the age difference may be driven by this difference in how men and women are introduced to the game. This also goes along with the finding that female gamers tend to play with a romantic partner.
Nick, where do you get that conclusion concerning women? If you look at your figure, it clearly shows that women find out about the game firstly by themselves, and then by their romantic partner - family members is a distant last.
Fascinating project, by the way.
Nick is not saying that those are the only or even primary ways that women find out about games, but that they're more likely to find out in those manners in comparison to men. I don't think we can ignore the stark contrast in percentage of men who find out about games from their romantic partner versus that of a female and her romantic partner.
Ah, well, if he had said it that way, it would have made more sense: more men than women find out about the game by themselves, and more women than men are introduced to the game by a significant partner. Stated that way, I agree. (oh, I made a mistake in my previous comment: first comes introduced by friend, not found by self).
However, apart from the huge difference with romantic partners, the overall pattern of results is very similar between men and women.
I agree that the result for romantic partners is very interesting and deserves looking into.
I am not sure how significant the romantic partner aspect might be overall, but that it rather reflects the ages males and females get into games (if you think of the overall ratio of men to women gamers, as well as ages of when men and women start playing). Since about half of men who get into games are under 22 and less likely to be married or in a serious relationship with a gamer woman (who make up a small % of gamers in that age group), these guys are more likely to get into games from friends or by themselves. And the bulk of women who start playing are over 23, thus they have greater chance to be introduced to games from a romantic partner, not just friends.
I believe that is a significant factor why that particular figure (Romantic Partner) has more disparity than the other choices. Just my two cents.
I, like many women, was introduced to WoW by my partner. I had never played any video games or rpgs before, and he assumed I wasn't interested. I used to watch over his shoulder a lot, and one day I noticed that a particular area had three different kinds of ferns, each with a distinct habitat (on tree limbs, on the ground in the shade, etc.). I was impressed, to say the least. One day while he was out I logged on to his account and made a character, and had to quit when I realized I didn't know how to move forward! I asked him about it later and he was greatly surprised. I learned to play with some help here and there, and now we both play on separate accounts. Miracles do happen.
It doesn't surprise me that far more women get into games via a romantic partner than men do. Age differences aside, it seems to me that in general, women are more likely to become good friends with some of their romantic partners friends and adopt at least some of their romantic partner's hobbies than vice versa. Why would it be any different with gaming?
Some women get into relationships hoping in part at least to use them as a springboard for meeting new people or learning new things.
Conversely, men in general often (subconsciously at least)regard anything that the women in their lives spend a lot of time on as "girl stuff" and therefore uninteresting or even possibly demeaning for them to engage in beause men still have more status and power. Think about how much more accepting, even admired "tom boys" and "daddy's girls" are than "sissies who play with dolls" or "mamma's boys" (parents are often proud of girls who do sports but worried about boys who like play at tea parties with their sisters and her dolls). And there is a nasty (the initials for it are P.W'd) term for a guy who spends too much time with his girlfriend and her friends instead of "his own buddies" or who allows his wife to determine his social agenda, and there is no female equivalent for that term really.
I can see how this would be true for a lot of women. However, for my boyfriend and I, it was actually the opposite! We'd played a few MMO's together before, but it was my idea to try out WoW (though he had been considering it too). Just so happens that he decided to follow me. We've been playing together ever since!
My fiance and I also had the opposite experience. Thanks to my brother-in-law I began playing WoW, and shortly became addicted. It took at least a full month before I managed to convince my fiance to play as well, in fact it was only after I bought him a copy of the game and a laptop that he started playing! We're both still playing 1.5 years later :)
My husband was introduced to the game by his brother. That was three years ago. He then introduced it to his best friend who then introduced it to his wife and they all three play together every chance they get. They use ventrilico so that they can talk to eachother. My husband and I have 5 young children and I dont get much help from him or any time with him. I dont like the game at all and I'd rather we had no internet or cable. I have become depressed and I'm struggling to stay a family, its bin hard and I feel alone.
I have honestly always struggled with this idea of women playing only to hang with their partners. I have played with those women, imo, they tend to be lesser players and don't care about the game mechanics as much. I have tried so hard to not be like that, but I was introduced to MMOs by a romantic partner. That being said, I had always been a gamer. I have played countless RTSs before, especially from Blizzard, so the transition into WoW was not surprising for me. So, while technically it was a romantic partner, I don't feel like it was him who got me into gaming. My gamer identity all started from my dad at an early age. I can remember playing Candyland and Argghh! on MS-DOS. However, it wasn't until I started playing that I really understood gamers and began to really associate myself with the gamer subculture. I wouldn't mind doing a study on the different types of women who play MMOs.
I like Emily was a gamer for a while. I used to play Zelda and Mario on Nintendo with my mom. I also got into the Warcraft and Diablo franchises with my little brother then Starcraft with a clan and all of that good stuff. But by college I was trying to get more in touch with my girly side so I quit playing computer games mostly. My now husband brought me in, having played EQ he later began playing WoW. It's funny if it weren't for my prior love of Blizzard I would have been able to avoid the habit. Most of our friends are also couples who play so it's a nice way to stay in touch. Of course now that the habit is back I keep him up to date on all kinds of new releases and industry info like tester positions and stuff. It helped rekindle my love for video games but I know I'm very lucky in that sense.
His sister however isn't a gamer at all and refuses to even learn about it which makes her feel left out when we play with her husband but that's her choice. WoW is a very simple, casual game and it's a shame that her hang ups are making her so unhappy.
I started on Everquest(1) much the same way as Ramona above. I created a character on my husbands account whom I had watched play the game and even got into some of the guild discussions and bantering.
He bought me my own game and account around Christmas. . .that was 11 years ago. I now play EverquestII and WoW. .but EQ is my first love. We also play along with our 11 year old daughter!
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