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Online games for women: What’s new, what’s popular

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Women gamers

Teenage boys thirsting for action aren't the only ones playing video games these days. In fact, women and girls make up nearly 40% of the gamer population according to the Entertainment Software Association - the video game industry's trade group. And according to a 2007 Nielsen Entertainment survey, over 60% of online gamers are female.


The continuing growth among female online gamers has also been helped by partnerships between some women's content portals and game sites. For example, MyHollywood.com has incorporated Sudoku Makeup, Word Jumble and other online games geared toward women into their website on a special gaming section.

Sudoku

Though women can enjoy action games, simulation games and multi-player online games just like men, studies show that women are more apt to play cerebral games. One of the most popular online games among women is sudoku. This brainy numbers game is played alone. Free sudoku puzzles are readily available online. You can play the standard 9 x 9 game, a simpler 4 x 4 version or more complex larger versions. Sudoku isn't about math, but rather uses simple logic and deduction. Women often enjoy sudoku on their lunch break to help stimulate their brains and improve concentration.

Azada: Ancient Magic

One of the newest online games that is popular among women is Azada: Ancient Magic. This is the sequel game to the adventure/hidden object hybrid, Azada. In this game, you help many legendary characters from classic literature including King Arthur, Rapunzel and Dracula. It features many mind-bending puzzles and adventures that captivate your attention and problem solving instincts.

Cooking Dash

If you like time management games that are fast-paced, then Cooking Dash is a popular choice. The games is colorful and challenging, as you seat customers, take their orders, prepare the food and serve their meals. The challenge comes from burning food, angry customers and other mishaps. The goal is to serve the customers before they get impatient and leave. Through the levels, you can purchase upgrades for the restaurant including better appliances and machines.

World of Warcraft

The popular online multi-player game, World of Warcraft (WoW) is growing in popularity among women. According to a recent survey, nearly 20% of WoW players are female. Female players are significantly older than their male counterparts - 32 1/2 years old compared to 28. If you start playing WoW, it's easy to get hooked. On average, women players spend nearly 23 hours per week playing WoW.

Fashion Games

Young girls and teenagers are big fans of fashion and dress-up games such as Stardoll.com and I-Dressup.com. Grown ups enjoy these games from time to time as well. These games allow women to experiment with fashion and imitate their favorite celebrities.

Women, moreso than men, like quick games that they can play while talking on the phone or taking a short break at the office. For this reason, basic online games such as chess, solitaire, word puzzles and object hunting games continue to be extremely popular. Women can play these games while multi-tasking and they come to a quick resolve, unlike popular multi-player online games that can go on forever.

In total, there are approximately 42.9 million female online gamers, according to a recent study by comScore. That number represented a growth of nearly 10 million from the previous years. With more and more women finding their online gaming niche, we can expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

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