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«Al Marshall and Jason Foran, Australian Catholic Univeristy Abstract In this research, the research problem addressed was “What video games appeal ...»

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Hypothesis 2 indicated that female gamers were least likely to prefer games that involved conflict, violence and destruction, and excessive competition. This hypothesis was proved to be accurate with all three aspects detailed in H2 found of least importance to female gamers. When the data was analyzed the ‘Action Games’ (both ‘Action Shooters’ and ‘Action Fighting’) were clearly found to be least preferred by female gamers. Both ‘Action Shooters’ and ‘Action Fighting’ are games that involve a high degree of conflict, violence and destruction. Therefore the fact that female gamers rated them as the least preferred type of video games indicated that these aspects were not wanted in their video games. Furthermore, ‘Military Simulators’ were rated as the lesser preferred type of video game which further indicates women’s dislike for games that involve conflict and excessive competition (the main characteristics of ‘Military Games’).

Furthermore, the data showed that ‘violence’ was considered to be of least importance aspect to female gamers. It was the aspect that was of least priority in the games that they found appealing.

Therefore, linking the findings from games preferred and aspects preferred indicates that H2 was found to be supported in all aspects. This suggests that female gamers do not prefer games that involve conflict, violence and destruction and excessive competitiveness. Thus in answering the research question, “What video games appeal the most to women?” the research found that the aspects that most appeal to female gamers are: Clear and well defined graphics, Creativity and Mental stimulation. It should be noted that female gamers did not appear to consider the following aspects of video games to be of importance to them, namely: Conflict, Violence and destruction, and Excessive competitiveness.

Marketing Implications & Limitations The answering of the research question enables various tentative conclusions to be drawn that have an impact on the type of games created for female gamers, and the manner in which these games are marketed to female gamers (including the marketing communications). Market leaders (and challengers) wanting to maintain (or grow) their share of the video gaming market would need to recognize and design products for the female market, bearing the findings in this research in mind. In an industry with a limited number of products developed for female video gamers, this research provides market research required for the development of future female oriented gaming products. There are also certain ancillary benefits in terms of developing educational software for children that can also be derived from an understanding of female gamer’s preferences (Dickey, 2006). The fact that female gamers found mental stimulation, creativity, an interesting story line and superior graphics to be of vital importance to a video game that they would find appealing also possibly suggests that other forms of leisure entertainment products aimed at a female audience should possibly include these elements in product design.

Although the research has broad industry and marketing implications, there are certain aspects that restrict its applicability. The limitations of this research range from having limited scope to not offering a comparison between male and female preferences in video games through to having a limited sample size. In terms of limited scope the sample was restricted to only one city, in Australia, it was restricted to 18-35 year olds, and it did not use fully random probability sampling. The literature reviewed for this research was in part built on industry data sources as there was a lack of extensive pre-existing academic literature on video gaming preferences and gender differences on which to consider the research problem and construct the two hypotheses.

There were also some limitations in the data analysis performed, with multivariate analysis not being utilized. These limitations offer opportunities for the research to be further expanded, to address some of the above issues. such as extending the research to other cities in Australia or administering the questionnaire to males in the same age range to see if there are any direct differences in preferences, or utilizing more sophisticated data analysis.

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