Thursday, April 19, 2012

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Minecraft for Girls: Google Says Game's Main Site Gets Far More Female Visitors Than Generally Assumed

Minecraft user stats US

According to Google Ad Planner, Minecraft.net, main site for the beloved, blocky, 3D sandbox survival game, gets about 7 million unique visitors a month -- no surprise there, with over 26M registered users and 5M paying customers so far. Here's the big surprise: When it comes to Minecraft.net's audience from the US, 58% of them are female. (Screencap above.) When you look at traffic to Minecraft's site from around the world, total female visitors are 43%, which is still a surprising level of relative gender parity for a game that's generally assumed to be overwhelmingly for boys and young men.

I checked these stats with Daniel Kaplan, business developer with Minecraft publisher Mojang -- did these make sense?

Females love Minecraft

Kaplan told me no, pointing to demographic stats for Minecraft's Facebook page, which show a majority of male fans. However, Facebook fan pages only register users who click "Like" on a page, which may skew the usage patterns. And while Alexa (which Daniel referred me to) shows a majority of male visitors, Quantcast shows slightly more female visitors to Minecraft. (And I tend to trust Google stats more than Alexa and Quantcast.)

"Maybe you guys have more female fans than you know?" I asked him.

Daniel answered he didn't know. "But my gut feeling says that it is more guys," He told me.

He's probably right, but at the very least, I think it's fair to say there does seem to be much more interest in Minecraft from girls and women than is generally assumed. Which is an important point to consider. Marketers have been stumbling in their attempts to make toys like LEGO more female-friendly. But if Minecraft, which has no pink ribbons or purple boxes or anything else that would stereotypically attract girls, but is steadfastly about exploring and building and surviving zombies, and can still somehow appeal to them, maybe we need to check our assumptions.

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Adeon Writer

I don't think there's anything about Minecraft that's inherently for males. It seemed pretty neutral to me. I don't know why they have higher ratio of female players; perhaps because other games are so driven to attract males that Minecraft stands out? Dunno.

Adeon Writer

To append, because I forgot to actually say my main point:
The majority of Minecraft players I have played with personally (not counting public servers) have been female. :) Darn, I thought was just a rockstar.

Desiderii

Um, obviously women are going to investigate. It's a fun game, and it's both creative and challenging. Notch made a good game and didn't screw it up with bad marketing that less attracts men than more drives away women. :)

Breyyne

IF you take note, the screenshot used is for just the US region. Reproducing the same search and selecting "All regions" from the drop down, you will see the Daniel's instinct is correct and it has a majority of male visitors. US stats may be skewed by parents keeping into a game that seems to have addicted their children.

hatgirlstargazer

I'm a woman who plays Minecraft. When I go looking for a game, I don't choose based on "girlishness". I'm an adult, making it pink isn't going to make it more appealing. I'm just looking for a game that's fun and doesn't actively drive me away with sexist imagery or culture. Minecraft does that. It's a great game with nothing in it that would actively drive away female players, it's not even excessively violent. Why wouldn't a girl want to play it just as much as a guy?

Vanadis Falconer

-Girls are human to! said the Yankee surprised.
If I compare with Second Life, I can see that a there are more female avatars than male.
And Second Life´s "getting married" marketing was a real flopp in Europe and Scandinavia.
And If you need technical help you get the best answers from woman.

Alexandra Rucker

Minecraft is gender neutral - you get out of the game what you put into it. Men and women are on equal footing in minecraft, it is not "skewed" to favor men's skills over women.

Jo yardley

I am a woman and I don't like minecraft, but that is because I am a very visual person who remembers the 1980s game look and is not attracted by seeing that again.
If minecraft had good realistic graphics, I'd probably enjoy it more.
As for gender specific games, I've always played games that appealed to me, many of them would not be classified as "girly games" except perhaps 'The Sims'.
For as long as I can remember i've enjoyed games that involved racing cars, shooting people, blowing up stuff.
Sorry to mess up statistics and preconceptions.

foneco zuzu

Same with Me, despite all creativity that minecraft can envolve, one that used spectrum 86 can only wonder how can still be users for fuggly games, when there are Sylkins and more amazing graphic games!
Perhaps cause there so many hooked on the small I phone screens?

Pussycat Catnap

Wait...

Womenz iz can to readz and use dah electrical-mah-jiggies nao?

This is 2012, why are folks still surprised that there are women-folk out there who are -NOT- barefoot, pregnant, stupid, and illiterate?

If this had been about tribal pygmy Africans living on the open plains - if 58% of Minecrafts users were such Pygmys... then yeah, that would be news.

But this is women, and most of us are not in Afghanistan... women are allowed to read. And they can use electricity...

And you know what... about 58% of people are women.

So the news here? Hello, its not 1812 anymore. Dah womens iz got edumacations nao.

They can click buttonz, on dah screenz, even.

Can we please move on from the stereotype that girls are stupid and illiterate? Its severely outdated... In the backwards west, women folk have been allowed to read for centuries.

Ryan

go on minecraft.net don't download the crap girl one

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