The average gamer is not an anti-social teenage boy holed-up in his bedroom, but an adult woman, according to a study.
Female gamers make up 48 per cent of the game-playing public, whereas teenage boys, often stereotyped as the biggest gamers, now make up just 17 per cent of the gaming demographic, according to a report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
The spike in the number female gamers is linked to the growing use of smartphones - women are more likely to play games on their mobile devices, according to a Nielsen study reported in the Wall Street Journal.
And they are just as likely as men to play on Apple’s iPhone and iPad platforms.
“Many women who previously only gamed with their families are now embracing gaming as an individual leisure activity as well,” said Nielsen analyst Nicole Pike.
Games developers are increasingly targeting this growing community of female gamers - "Candy Crush Saga" and "Hay Day" are popular with female gamers and Call of Duty, the biggest game franchise of the last few years, added female soldiers to its multiplayer gun battles for the first time in November.
The number of female gamers aged over 50 also increased by 32 per cent from 2012 to 2013, says ESA, a trade group focused on the US gaming industry.
Analysts said the trend seen in the US is one likely to be reflected in many countries, especially those where more women are using smartphones.
A study by the mobile advertising company Flurry Analytics last month also found that women players spent over 30 per cent more money on mobile games via in-app purchases than men.Reuse content