Games Actually, various

Certainly not the strongest talk of the day, with weak moderation meaning that little of worth was said. Some interesting market research was shown though, and in summary:

19% of females game, and make up 41% of all gamers in Europe. Similarly in the UK, 24% of females game, making up 43% of gamers. In the 6-15 age range, more than 79% of people play games regularly, dropping to 50% in the 15-19 age range. Beyond that, it tapers off to below 30% and diminishes roughly proportionally to age.

More interestingly, in the last 3 years, although boys still play for longer and spend more on games, girls are catching up somewhat. So although there is still an issue, perhaps we’re addressing it. Certainly Nintendo’s work is reaching more female gamers than I would have expected, and there is a realisation in the industry in general that non-traditional games more popular with women are not only possible but profitable.

Key points from Pauline Jacquey (Ubisoft producer, heading up their accessible games drive) about improving accessibility in games:

  • Shorten gaming sessions (10min)
  • Invest heavily in UI development and polish
  • Allow players to track their progress

In addition, although it’s easier to create ‘shrink and pink’ versions of games, in reality those types of games are rarely big hits, and in the long term it is better to create products with real value (such as The Sims, Brain Training, or Nintendogz).

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