Women Make Up Nearly Half of Video Game Players: Report

A new report from the Entertainment Software Association shows women now make up nearly half of all video game players, or "gamers."

Union City-resident Adrienne Lam and Kerry Aguinaldo of Hayward are part of the changing demographics in the gaming community. The ladies play League of Legends, an online role-playing game that places gamers on a team with a mission to destroy a rival team's base.

"It's not nerdy to play video games anymore, now it's cool," Lam said.

Lam and Aguinaldo sometimes play the game for hours a day.

Game developer Ubisoft has taken note of the new landscape for gamers.

"For us, this has been a great way for Ubisoft to grow its business," said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Ubisoft developed Assassin's Creed, a widely popular game. But the company also created Just Dance, a family-friendly hit.

"It's been the No.2 selling game at Christmas for the last three years in a row, and our research shows us that the user is primarily female."

Key also said more strong lead characters in games are now women.

"That type of thing is happening more and more in the industry now," he said. "And I think that's helping bring more women into the space."

Lam and Aguinaldo agree.

"Because there are a lot more indie games, you're not just a guy racing cars or killing," Lam said. "It's not just a first-person shooter anymore -- there are actual story lines."

The East Bay pair even stepped it up a notch by streaming the games they play online so others can watch their strategies. Followers can talk with them as they play and donate money for their time.

"Now that you can make money playing video games, your parents can't get on your back," Lam said laughing.

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