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Wednesday 1 September 2004, European Games Network, London/... Women are one of the keys to increasing the appeal of interactive software as mass market entertainment, according to a new White Paper announced today by ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association).

Examining the role of women, both as producer and consumer, in the dynamic computer and video games sector, Chicks and Joysticks: An Exploration of Women and Gaming highlights the opportunities and challenges facing the industry in appealing to the female gamer.

The ELSPA White Paper reminds us that women were at the forefront of the development of modern computer technology. The developer of the first computer program was a Victorian woman, Ada Lovelace (daughter of poet Lord Byron) who also predicted computer generated music.

The European female gamer still has some way to go before catching up with her overseas counterparts. In the US, Japan and Korea, women make up 39%, 36.8% and 65.9% respectively of gamers, as opposed to around 25% in Western Europe.

According to recent studies, the average age of the female gamer is older than the male at around 30-35 years of age. In addition, women have less time to play, however, the worldwide female audience has a potential €14billion of disposable income.

Roger Bennett, director general of ELSPA, said: "To say that computer and video games have been a totally male province would perhaps be somewhat disingenuous. However, it is clear that there is a huge untapped market out there and it is largely female. This White Paper brings together the most recent research and offers a clear perspective on the roles of women, both within the development process and as end-users."

Aleks Krotoski, author of the ELSPA White Paper, said: "There is an enormous potential audience out there. Women do play games but the majority approach them differently to men and the industry needs to recognise these differences when making and marketing their products. Diversity in gaming can only be positive, for everyone."

Chicks and Joysticks: An Exploration of Women and Gaming will be available free-of-charge from 9th September 2004.


About ELSPA -

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

ELSPA's activities include: Official Chart and Industry Reports, Anti-Piracy UK and EU, PR and Communication, Events. More information on all these activities can be found at

The UK Interactive Leisure Software Industry - Facts & Figures from ELSPA/Screen Digest/Chart-Track:

  • The UK is a world centre for games development.
  • In 2003, UK sales of video games, other leisure software products and games consoles topped £2 billion, for the second year running.
  • Over 20,000 people are employed in the UK leisure software sector.
  • The British games industry generated £494m of exports in 2003. 33% of all PS2 games bought in Europe originate in the UK (the same proportion as US originated products and ahead of Japan and any other country).

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:




Tel: 01462 456780

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