The rise of the female gamer

I’m 34 this year, and still love gaming. Back in the late 80’s, I was introduced to Atari. I spent hours playing Pac-Man with my siblings! The Atari was closely followed by my first console – a NES. From there, I never looked back. I was always playing on something. Super Mario 3 was my all time favourite game as a child.

During my younger years, I owned a NES, SNES, Nintendo Gamecube, Wii, Gameboy DS, Playstation 1, 2, and an Xbox. That’s just the consoles!

Back then, I particularly enjoyed playing Mario and Zelda games – Alundra on the Playstation 1 was an amazing game too though – similar to Zelda but much harder puzzles to crack. When I was a little older, I was a Support Worker then and worked mainly evenings and weekends. This meant I was often bored during the day when my friends were at college or work. This lead to me spending many (many) hours playing games like Caesar 3, Rollercoaster Tycoon and The Sims on my PC. The ability to develop a character or environment and interact with people made gaming more immersive. One minute it would be 11am, the next it was 3am and I’d not eaten.

I was first introduced to online gaming by The Sims Online in my early 20’s, and I was quickly addicted! I loved developing my characters and chatting to other people who also loved the game. I loved watching the story and missions unfold and evolve as I played.

This type of game wasn’t really available on anything but PCs back then. Consoles didn’t offer online services.

Personally, I think the development of this type of game has encouraged more girls and women to enjoy gaming. Designing the environment and social interaction were and still are both key factors in my games of choice.

My preferred games are more about strategy and less about violence. Now though, most of my own gaming takes place on my smart phone. I don’t get much time to play on consoles now, but have been loving playing Mario Run and Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic.

I know quite a few teenage gamer girls now too. I wonder if in some instances their parent’s reluctance to let them out in the evenings has lead to their love of gaming? I don’t have any “proof” of this – it’s just a theory.

When it comes to online gambling, I think the increased understanding of betting odds and the ability to bet on things women are actually interested in has made more women have a flutter than before.

I have always enjoyed having a go on the lottery or playing bingo, so it was only natural I made the switch to playing online when it became available. The chat functions help keep me interested in games like this. Despite being able to see the odds, I am yet to win anything more than £500!

Do you have any theories on the rise of the “girl gamer”? Do you agree with my opinions or think there’s another reason for the increased love of gaming in females?

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