Gender and Computer Games: Exploring Females’ Dislikes



On average, girls and women are less involved with video games than are boys and men, and when they do play, they often prefer different games. This article reports two studies that investigated the dislikes of German females with regard to video games. Study 1 applied conjoint analysis to female respondents’ (N= 317) ratings of fictional video games and demonstrated that lack of meaningful social interaction, followed by violent content and sexual gender role stereotyping of game characters, were the most important reasons why females disliked the games. Study 2, an online survey (N= 795), revealed that female respondents were less attracted to competitive elements in video games, suggesting an explanation for gender-specific game preferences. These findings are discussed with respect to communication theory on interactive entertainment and their implications for applied video game design.