With the proliferation of online games, understanding users' intention to play online games has become a new issue for academics and practitioners. Prior studies have investigated the factors affecting behavioural intention to play online games. However, little research has been conducted to investigate the gender differences in the acceptance of online games. Thus, this study is to investigate the effects of perceived playfulness and its potential antecedents (ie, computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety, challenge, speed and feedback) on the behavioural intention to play online games, and to examine the gender differences in the perception and acceptance of online games. Data collected from 281 respondents in Taiwan were tested against the research model using analysis of variance and structural equation modelling approaches. The theoretical and practical implications of the results were discussed.