A new survey by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has shown that women now make up 40 per cent of computer gamers.
Gaming has traditionally been seen as the preserve of young males, but the study of 1,200 American households found that the number of female players is growing fast and that the average age of computer gamers is 35.
"This new data underscores the fundamental principle that computer and video games are a mainstream entertainment form which captures the imagination of every segment of our society," said Michael D. Gallagher, chief executive of the ESA.
"No longer is there a stereotypical gamer. With deeper market penetration and the broadening of our audience base, video games have incorporated themselves into America's cultural and social fabric."
Overall, nearly double the number of women aged 18 or older played computer games (33 per cent) than boys aged 17 or younger (18 per cent).
The research found that 65 per cent of households contained computer gamers and nearly one in four had some kind of games console. Over 40 per cent of households expected to purchase one or more games this year.
Parents are also taking a more active role in monitoring their children's gaming patterns.
Overall, 98 per cent of parents said they were present when games were purchased and 88 per cent monitored their children at some point while they were playing.
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