It’s a hot topic in the game industry these days: how to get more women to play computer games. While more are playing now than in the past, they are still a very small minority.

Of course, the majority of games are designed to appeal to a male audience, being mainly sports, shooters, strategy, and driving. Then again, most designers – 88% by one survey – are male.

On the other hand, a fair number of women participate in multi-player games. The big factor with MP games is socializing. Real people are in there with you. This is obviously important to many women gamers.

Consider that most stand-alone games are solo outings, though many these days have an MP option. It would seem from this that women don’t enjoy playing alone as much as men do.

Also, the focus of many products is highly aggressive in one way or another. They’re all about domination, whether it’s saving the world by blowing away Foozle, or conquering the world through war and diplomacy.

Adventure games, on the other hand, have more of a following. These tend to be less violent, have more story, and focus on intellectual achievement through solving puzzles.

With this in mind, it appears that generally, men like games which feature thought and action, while women prefer games featuring thinking and interaction.

Of course, there are exceptions to that generalization, but I think it holds true for the majority overall. It’s that majority the game industry wants to bring into the fold.

Can it be done? Should there be “games for women”? Would that be too much like segregation? Should current game types be designed with features that female players would find appealing? Or is the future of women in gaming the multi-player products? What do you think?miniscorp