Video games have evolved in a number of ways since they first began gaining popularity in the 1970s. For starters, video game consoles have developed from the basic, single-function devices they used to be, into innovative tools featuring a number of capabilities – ranging from music to internet support. However, more than just the video games themselves have changed; their core consumer base and audience has evolved as well. When video games first became popular, they were largely adopted by boys. Today, video games are as much for girls as they are for boys. In fact, many video games today are designed specifically for girls, with women also playing a larger role in developing these games.
So, what are some of the most popular games for girls, and how to they compare to games most popular for boys? Girls – like boys – often follow video games based on their favourite movies and books. Thus, the difference in what games they choose is often based on the types of movies and books they like. For instance, the film High School Musical – featuring hearththrob Zac Efron – is a favourite film among young girls. It therefore makes sense that the game, High School Musical Makin’ The Cut – which allows players to become part of the show and write songs – is a big hit among pre-teens.
Older girls have picked up on Final Fantasy, a role-playing game that follows four characters on an epic adventure. While many games designed for boys incorporate violence, this particular game skips the blood and violence altogether, making it particularly popular with girls. Another game that follows in the same footsteps is Eragon, which is based on the popular book of the same name. This game is a happy medium between “squeaky clean” and downright violent games. It still features dragon-riding and battling of dark forces; but the violence isn’t overdone, making it popular with both sexes. Sims 2 and Tomb Raider: Legend have also proven to be popular among female consumers.
Many boys, on the other hand, will be boys – meaning much of the male video game consumer base still prefer more violent, adventure-based games. The Call of Duty series is a prime example. Rated high on the popularity chart for boys, this game features graphic warfare action. Boys are also more prone to choosing high speed auto racing games, such as those in the Grand Theft Auto and Forza Motorsport series – although other hobby-based games, such as Guitar Hero, Madden NFL and Pro Evolution Soccer are also popular among boys.
Ultimately, research has shown that when it comes to video games, many girls prefer non-violent games based on stories or puzzles, while boys tend to lean towards action and adventure games – even gory ones. However, when it comes to game consoles, a number of devices – such as the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles – are popular among both boys and girls.