Conventional wisdom holds that first-person shooters are a man’s hobby, but that’s not entirely true for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, especially on the PC. Nielsen Games, a market research group, found that in September, females accounted for 30 percent of all Modern Warfare players on the PC. Brad Raczka, a Nielsen spokesman, told me that those numbers were more or less consistent throughout the year. Traditionally, he said, PC gaming overall skews towards women, but that’s mainly because of casual games, not tales of war and bloodshed. You can see PC gaming’s strong female presence in The Sims 3′s play percentages for September, which were 65 percent female.
For comparison, Raczka gave me a few other breakdowns for September. Surprisingly, the gender gap in World of Warcraft is very slim in Nielsen homes, with 42 percent female players. Half-Life 2 was not as popular among the fairer sex, with females comprising 22 percent of players in September. Nielsen Games provides over 180,000 participating homes across the United States with a software meter that monitors which household member logs into a computer, and what software is used, so these are actual measurements, not a survey. So fellas, if you’re settling in for a long Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer session, curtail your lewd victory taunts, eh?