Nowadays, gaming has more and more become a mainstream activity enjoyed by women and men alike. Recent studies show that about half of the gamers today are women. But is this great opportunity to attract potential female customers met by the market as such, as well as by game developers? And do persistent clichés as to what the gender-specific gaming motivations are, in fact apply?
It is the aim of this thesis to research gender-specific differences between male and female gamers and to highlight different gaming motivations and the respective influence on the players’ choice of game.
With these differences highlighted and thoroughly explored, it should be possible to classify which genres rather attract male or female gamers respectively, and which are sought after by both. And why is it that certain genres are more fascinating to the respective gender? Does our upbringing influence our preferences? Can games have positive learning effects, and help to teach technological skills in a playful way? Do men and women have different preferences when choosing a tool to overcome the puzzles set by the game? And is it important whether men or women have the choice to play a female protagonist?
Lastly, the question remains as to how much research conducted on gender-specific preferences may influence the gaming industry as a whole. Could new game mechanics emerge or may it lead to whole new genre crossovers with the potential to revolutionize the gaming industry?