Game developers find it of paramount importance to understand how girls and boys select the genres they play in. The study of how girls and boys interact individually to the gaming universe is worth studying.
It is obvious that both the genders differ vastly in the choice of platforms and genres they choose. In the same context, there can be similarities traced in this field. The reason for this variation is the innate aptitude to gravitate towards a particular area. While the societal gender roles also play a crucial part in this variation.
As a game developer, it becomes important to know this, as that can help them in targeting and positioning the game they’re developing. Finding the apt market to be able to capture the market share is what makes this study relevant.
Battle of the Sexes: Game Genres
Coming to examine the variation in preferences we see a blend of similar as well as different gaming habits. Some genres that are universally preferred include strategy and simulation. Both girls and boys gravitate towards such games. While there are other revelations that we discuss further below:
How about a sports simulation game?
The genre of sports simulates real-life sports into a game form. Here the opponent may be a real person or a bot. Several games support multiplayer while others have opponents played by artificial intelligence. Sports games are all the rage amongst the boys and are heavily loved and celebrated here. Girls have a minimal to no interest in sports as a game genre. These games don’t necessarily require exact technical knowledge but do need some preconceived notions of these games.
Action games are the genre of games which require good hand-eye coordination and stellar motor skills. Actions are such a genre focuses on physical challenges. They usually involve a character who has controlled the action around him. The earliest games were categorized under “action”.
To this date, the action games are much loved and celebrated amongst the boys. It is one of the most searched for and played genres. Boys love action games and that’s what they reach for a lot of the times.
Adventure is the kind of genre which doesn’t follow a particular storyline or content. These games do not feature reflex actions. Rather they need the player to solve the given puzzle present in his environment. The player usually pulls this off by interacting with his environment and not in a confrontational manner.
Boys and girls both really enjoy playing adventure games. As this game does not necessarily define a set gender role. So adventure games are for girls and boys both.
4. Shooter Category
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The shooter category involves the player employing ranged weapons and shooting targets in order to participate. Shooter games are mostly categorized under violent games that involve lethal ammo and weaponry. However, there are several non-violent shooter games as well.
When it comes to girls and boys, boys definitely prefer shooter games. Girls are not that big into this category. It is more adrenaline pumping for boys and hence is preferred more. Check out our Facebook page for free PC sports games - best free to play online games
Puzzle games are one of the earliest genres to make its way in the gaming world. It requires a little brain-racking in order to play these games. Puzzle games are highly loved by the girls. Puzzle games can have a whole backstory to make the gameplay interesting. While some can even be without a background and the game itself can still be really glueing. Puzzle games have always been a famous genre and will hopefully continue to be so.
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Simulation as a genre is very diverse and takes up an array of categories. Simulation games imitate reality with the life-like story, situations, and characters. Simulation games are like make-believe games but in a virtual reality.
Simulation games are mostly preferred by girls. There is a small sect of boys who like simulation. But girls are definitely big fans of simulation games. Some simulation games can be a cooking game, babysitting games etc. which are loved by little girls.
7. Platform games:
Falling under the category of “action” games, platform games are played and loved by both the sexes. They are set in an environment where the players run across the platform, achieving his/her targets. While the player also dodges all the obstacles. One of the most popular platform games is Super Mario which was loved and celebrated by girls and boys alike.
These games typically involve a character who is to be navigated by the player. These games are known to generate thrill. So as discussed before, girls and boys both actively engage in platform games.
These games focus mainly on skilful planning and strategizing.
Strategy as a genre focuses mainly on skilful planning and strategizing, hence the name. The strategy can range anywhere from world domination to tactics employed by squads. Strategy games usually involve exciting and monumental back stories that can engulf you throughout the game.
This genre hands-down is the most played genre by both girls and boys. It can be easily qualified as a gender-neutral genre.
As in a study, this can be deduced that;
Girls: prefer simulation, puzzle, strategy and adventure games more, while;
Boys: prefer action, sports, and shooter categories more.
Some gender neutral games are platform games, strategy games, adventure games, and simulation games. These games are preferred equally by both genders.
There may be many stereotypes circling around the preferred genres by both the genders. However, today boys can easily be attracted by “girly genres” and vice-versa. So you can’t speak for everyone when you categorize these genres based on genders.