Games target women to increase market share.

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

A study by Dr. Nick Yee, an expert in self-representation and social interaction in virtual environments, showed that nearly 40% of men and 53% of women who play online games said their virtual friends were equal to or better than their real-life friends, according to a survey of 30,000 gamers.

More than a quarter of gamers said the emotional highlight of the past week occurred in a computer world, according to the survey, which was published in 2006 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press's journal Presence. [1]

Games have been mainly popular with males. Game companies are now targeting women and designing games for them. Like many Japanese young women, Takako Suzuki says the first thing she does most days is think about who her next boyfriend should be. She is able to pick from a cute millionaire, a butler or a samurai. Suzuki says she can't get enough of "otome" Japanese romance games geared toward women. Suzuki said, "When I wake up in the morning, I play these games for a while before I really get up," said Suzuki, 28, an office worker. "I need to play otome games because I'm so stressed out by my nagging boss at work."

[1] Alter, Alexandra. “Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?” The Wall Street Journal. August 10, 2007. Accessed August 27, 2011.

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