Four out of ten gamers are women, half of all parents play video games with their children

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The Independent Tech

Women made up 40 percent of North American video gamers in 2009, according to a new survey by the Entertainment Software Association, and half of all parents play video games with their children at least once a week.

Women over the age of 18 also represented a third of the total games-playing population, compared with boys 17 or under (20 percent). They also comprised 46 percent of the games-buying public, and 42 percent of those that play online.

"More and more women are going online. Everybody is playing games," said Jesse Schell of Carnegie Mellon University. "There are games now for pretty much every age, every demographic."

Parents with kids under 18 that played games on a games console or computer said that they were most likely to join in because it was fun, sociable, and their kids asked them to.

Seven of the top ten best-selling console titles in North America were given an all-age rating of 'E for Everyone' by the ESRB. Six of those seven were on the Nintendo Wii, the one remaining was for the Nintendo DS. No wonder, then, that the best-selling genres were sports (19.6 percent), action (19.5 percent), and family entertainment (15.3 percent).

While console games outsold computer games by nearly 20 to 1, PC gaming appears to be more wallet friendly: the average cost of a computer game was $23.50, while console games averaged $39.50.

The best-selling computer game of 2009 was The Sims, which is also the best-selling computer game of all time.