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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 5, 2012 at 3:40 PM

E3 pics and video: Games, girls and guns

LOS ANGELES — The video game industry has tried to shed its image as catering to teen boys in the rec room, speckled with Dorito crumbs.

Adult women now buy more games than teen boys, according to new research from the Entertainment Software Association, the industry group that hosts the E3 conference this week.

Its annual demographic report said women 18 and older are 30 percent of the game-playing population, more than the 18 percent market share held by boys 17 and younger.

Women of all ages are 47 percent of game players now, and 48 percent of the “most frequent game purchasers,” according to the ESA.

But you’d never guess that from the E3 show floor, where flashy cars, girls and guns are the most common booth adornments and gamers line up to get their pictures taken with the most outrageous displays.

Even politically correct Microsoft plays along. Here’s the booth for its upcoming “Forza Horizon” racing game:

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The outside “Forza Horizon” display offers rides in supercars:

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Here’s a Microsoft booth buddy (there’s a real person in there):

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Another, in Sega’s booth:

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Some people just want their picture taken with a monster:

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I wonder if this group sampling “Just Dance 4” for Nintendo’s Wii U represents the gender mix of console buyers. The “Just Dance” franchise was the second best-selling game last year, behind “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” according to the ESA.

(On the Wii U, the game is led by the person using the Wii U controller, in this case the guy in the black shirt at right.)

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I’m not sure what this — in the “Tekken” booth — says about the industry’s gender issues:

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