Do Males and Females Play the Same Types of Games?
AbstractThere are many different types, also called genres, of computer and video games, including racing, fighting, sports, adventure, and puzzle games. Do some genres of games appeal more to males and other genres more to females? Survey your classmates and find out in this science fair project!
Sandra Slutz, PhD, Science Buddies
Determine if males and females are equally likely to play video and computer games and if they play the same types of games.
What kinds of video games do you like to play? Adventure games where you control a character who has to save the world? Racing games where you drive fast cars? Or what about puzzle games, like Tetris, where your fingers fly over the controls as you try to beat the computer? There are many different genres (types) of video games. The table below lists some of the most common genres. Even if you are a big fan of video games, you probably don't like every genre! Which do you think are the most popular genres? Do you think there are some genres that males prefer and others that females prefer, or do males and females play the same types of video games?
|Video Game Genre||Examples of Games in the Genre|
|Shooting||Halo, Call of Duty|
|Fighting||Street Fighter, Soul Caliber|
|Racing||Mario Kart, Gran Tourismo|
|Platform||Super Mario, Jak and Daxter|
|Simulation||The Sims, Sim City|
|Role-Playing (RPG)||Pokemon, Final Fantasy|
|Strategy||Fire Emblem, Advanced Wars|
|Sports||Madden Football, FIFA Soccer|
|Music/Dance||Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero|
To discover the answers to these questions, you'll design a survey to give to your friends and classmates about if they play video or computer games and if so, what kinds of video and computer games they play. A survey is a way of gathering information about specific questions. In this science fair project, the questions you'll be answering are: "Are males and females equally likely to play video games?" and "Among kids who do play video games, are there gender (males versus female) differences in what genres of games they play?". These may seem like silly questions, but they're the kind of data that video game companies like to know in order to decide what kinds of games they are going to create and how many sales they could potentially make. So, pretend you are a video game marketing strategist and survey your potential buyers!
Terms and Concepts
- Structured questions (also called fixed-response questions)
- The table in the Introduction lists some of the most common video game genres. Can you make a bigger list? What kinds of games belong in each genre?
- What kinds of video game genres do you like to play?
- If you look back at lists of the best-selling video games from different months (available in some video game magazines, both in print and online), which genres sell the best?
This website will give you more information about the different types of video and computer games and how they can be placed in genres.
- Wikipedia Contributors. (2008, August 18). Video Game Genres. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
This site describes four steps for writing a good survey:
- Math is Fun Staff. (n.d.). How to Do a Survey. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
For help creating graphs, try this website:
- National Center for Education Statistics, (n.d.). Create a Graph. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
Materials and Equipment
- Volunteers (minimum of 15 males and 15 females, but more of each is better). Note: All volunteers should be within two years of age from one another and should not be selected based on whether or not you know they play video or computer games. Your classmates at school or teammates on a sports team may be good sources for volunteers.
- Survey (at least 30; as many copies as you have volunteers); see the Experimental Procedure for details on making the survey.
- Pencils (at least 30; as many as you have volunteers)
- Lab notebook
- Graph paper
In this science fair project, you will survey males and females of the same age about the genres of video games they play to see if there are differences in the types of games females and males enjoy.
Designing the Survey
To start this science fair project, you will need to design a survey. For an overview about how to design surveys, read the Designing a Survey help page.
- For this science fair project you'll have structured (also called fixed-response) questions. This means that your volunteers must choose from the answers available on the survey paper and can't add more information. This type of survey is easier to analyze.
There are several pieces of information you want to get from each volunteer. Design a question for each of these pieces of information. Here is the information you are trying to collect:
- Whether or not the volunteers play video games
- If they do play video games, what genres do they play
Below is an example of a survey:
Please write your age here ________________ Please answer each question by circling your answer. Are you a male or a female? Male Female Do you play video or computer games? Yes No If you do play video or computer games, please circle ALL the types of games you play, below: Shooting Fighting Racing Platform Adventure Simulation Role-Playing (RPG) Strategy Sports Puzzle Music/Dance Other
- You might want to add examples of each video game genre to your survey (like in the table in the Introduction) so the volunteers know what kinds of games are part of each genre.
- Once you've designed your survey, have an adult proofread it for you.
Make enough copies of your survey to give each volunteer one (at least 30 copies).
- You can either photocopy a handwritten survey or print multiple copies of a survey that you made on the computer.
Collecting and Analyzing the Data
- Give each volunteer a pencil and a survey. Have them fill out the survey and return it to you when they are done. Note: Remember to make sure all your volunteers are around the same age (no more than 2 years apart). This way you'll be testing only gender, and not other variables, like age.
- When you have all your surveys filled out (at least 30, but more is better), you are ready to start analyzing the responses.
Make a data table in your lab notebook to tabulate (count up) how many females and males gave each response. Below is an example of a data table:
Males Females Number of survey responses: Number of volunteers who play games: Number of volunteers who chose each of the following genres: Shooting Fighting Racing Platform Adventure Simulation Role-playing (RPG) Strategy Sports Puzzle Music/Dance
Calculate what percentage of the males and what percentage of the females you surveyed play video or computer games.
To get the percentage of males, divide the number of males who responded "yes" they play games by the total number of males surveyed and multiply the answer by 100 to make it a percentage. See Equation 1, below, for details.
% males who play video games = (# of males who play video games)
(total # of males surveyed)
- Do the same calculation for the females.
- Make a pie chart or bar graph showing your results. You can make the graph by hand or use a website like Create a Graph to make the graph on the computer and print it.
- Are males and females equally likely to play video games?
- To get the percentage of males, divide the number of males who responded "yes" they play games by the total number of males surveyed and multiply the answer by 100 to make it a percentage. See Equation 1, below, for details. Equation 1:
Calculate what percentage of male and female video game players play each genre.
- For this calculation, only use the volunteers who have responded that they do play video games.
For example, to get the percentage of females who play racing games, divide the total number of females who circled "Racing" as one of the genres they play, by the total number of females who said they play video games. Multiply the answer by 100 to make it a percentage. See Equation 2, below, for details.
% females who play racing games = (# of females who circled racing games)
(# of females who play video games)
- In the end you should have two percentages for each genre, one for males and one for females. Graph the percentages on a bar graph, with one color for males and another color for females.
- Are there some game genres that are mostly played by just females or just males? Which genres are played by both genders?
Ask an Expert
- Do people of the same gender (for example just females) but of different ages play the same genres of video games? Design a survey to find out. You'll want to make groups of ages; for example, females under the age of 12, females ages 13-18, females ages 19-25, and females age 26 and over.
- How does age affect the number of hours per week people spend playing video games? Design a survey to find out. Try analyzing your data as a whole, and as just females or just males.
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
- Science Fair Project Guide
- Other Ideas Like This
- Video & Computer Games Project Ideas
- My Favorites
- Designing a Survey