Study: Women Social ‘Gamers’ on the Rise

The increasing number of women who play games on social networks do so with a regularity normally associated with hardcore gaming. But according to a recent study conducted by the lead generation firm Q Interactive, most women don’t associate themselves with a gaming lifestyle like the PlayStation and Xbox lovers do—and don’t care for the label “gamer.”

According to executives at Q Interactive (which owns, the study was conducted in January among 770 women who were likely to be familiar with online gaming and virtual worlds. It found that while 36 percent of respondents said that they play games on sites like Facebook and MySpace, 54 percent of those who do so admit to playing social games every day. Not surprising to any Facebook user: The most popular social games were identified as Mafia Wars and Farmville.

Just 42 percent of women surveyed said that they considered themselves to be a “gamer”; yet a healthy majority of respondents (67 percent) said they consider playing online games for one to five hours a week to be socially acceptable.

What is not acceptable, in these women’s minds, is paying for social games. According to Q’s report, 77 percent of respondents would give up playing these games if they were forced to pay. Ninety-seven percent of respondents said they would prefer to earn some sort of virtual currency rather than paying to play games.