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More adult women gamers than teenage boy gamers: ESA research

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There may seem to be an endless stream of teenage boys ready to curse out anyone who makes even the slightest misstep in a Call of Duty game, but a new study says there are more adult females who play video games than males under the age of 18.

The Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) 2014 report on video game sales, usage and demographics places the amounts of U.S. female and males gamers remarkably close.

Of the United States' gaming population, which makes up around 59 percent of the country, females accounted for roughly 48 percent of individuals who actively engage in video games, according to the ESA's report (PDF). And when it comes to purchases of video games, males and females are at a 50/50 split.

Females 18 years of age or older accounted for around 36 percent of the country's gaming population, with males under 18 making up roughly 17 percent. There was a 32 percent rise in female gamers over the age of 50 between 2012 and 2013, a fact that may not surprise anyone who has returned a stray goat to their aunt's farm on FarmVille.

Gamers in general are often older than many stereotypes may paint them to be. The average age of U.S. gamers is 31 and the most common history of gaming goes back 14 years -- most grown male gamers have been gaming for 16 years and adult females for 13. In fact, the ESA found 48 percent of adults age 50 and older say they play video games.

"People of all ages play video games. There is no longer a 'stereotype game player,' but instead a game player could be your grandparent, your boss, or even your professor," Jason Allaire, associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, stated in one of ESA's reports.

Video games are drawing citizens of the U.S. away from TV programming, theaters and movie marathons at home as approximately 44 percent of gamers indicated that digital games simply brought them more value for their dollars. The ESA's report determined that nearly half of individuals who ramped up their gaming time in the past three years have taken those hours away from sessions of engaging in passive media.

Casual and social gaming have been major contributors in the continued rise of video gaming, with the genres accounting for 30 percent of the games played -- roughly 44 percent of gamers play video games on their smartphones. With the rise of high-speed Internet across the country, social gaming has become a large component of all gaming platforms and accounts for 62 percent of all video games played in the U.S. -- local co-op is accounted for in the previous figure.

As the video game industry continues its rapid growth and with women accounting for approximately half of the $21.53 billion the industry raked in, it could be time for the likes of Ubisoft to push its generally progressive attitude a bit further.

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