Monday, October 29, 2007

Do Women or Men Play More Board Games?

I don't know of any statistics on the number of women playing board games.

Search Google and you'll find dozens of research articles on the prevalence of women video and computer game players and purchasers. Supposedly they make up more than half of all players and nearly three-quarters of all purchasers.

I would be thrilled to see similar research done on board and card game purchases.

Colloquial wisdom is that most board games - packaged toy store board games, that is - are bought my mothers, aunts, and grandmothers as gifts for their children, nephews and nieces, and grandchildren. I don't know if that would equally cover purchases of chess and go sets, playing cards and poker chips, and so on.

Girls and women appear to play as many or more board games than men, counting party games, girl's sleepover and party nights, and so on.

Board Game Geek has a forum section devoted to the female gamer geek, which strengthens the idea that they are in the minority. Some BGG women held a female-only game con once or twice. Women attend general game conferences in higher numbers than they did in the seventies when I was growing up. And I imagine that a board game conference such as BGG.con will record a higher percentage of female attendees than a CCG or RPG con, or even a video game con.

But the last paragraph is more about the game geek rather than the casual game player.

On the subject, here's an interesting study about whether boys or girls are more or less likely to play games created by other boys or girls.

Count Your Sheep obviously plays too many video games today.

I played two games of Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation with Saarya tonight as a goodbye. We switched sides, and white won both times. I won as white fairly easily. Saarya won by the skin of his teeth.

And now I'm going to bed, because tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 6:45 AM I'm getting driven to the airport to catch an 11:30 AM flight to Toronto. It's only a 45 minute drive to the airport. You may wonder why I'm being picked up so early. Don't ask such questions.

And so the next chapter in my travelogue starts early.

Good night,
Yehuda

2 comments:

Cory Dorrough said...

I'd say there are more males who play the geekier games like Catan, San Juan, Carcassone and the like, but Crainium has sold a lot of copies too, and I tend to find more women playing that one. I'm sure the stats can be found somewhere.

-Cory

Chris said...

I don't have the stats at hand, but as Cory speculated women statistically play different games to men. Just on the back of Scrabble and Boggle, I would bet there are *more* women who play games than men, but of course hobby games have carved out a mostly male niche for themselves.

Best wishes!