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Advocates for increasing the number of female gamers stress the problems attending disenfranchisement of females from one of the fastest-growing cultural realms as well as the largely untapped nature of the female gamer market.
Efforts to include greater female participation in the medium have addressed the problems of gendered advertising, social stereotyping, and the lack of female video game creators (coders, developers, producers, etc.).
Parental influence has been theorized to perpetuate some of the stereotypes that female gamers face as boys are bought gifts like Xboxes while girls are bought girl-focused games like Barbie or educational games.
There are considerable differences between the video game genres preferred, on average, by women and men.
Compared to males, female MMORPG players tend to place more emphasis on socialization relative to achievement-oriented play.
This emphasis on socialization extends beyond just the game itself: In a study published in the Journal of Communication in 2009, researchers found that 61% of female MMORPG players played with a romantic partner, compared to 24% of men.
An aspect of game design that has been identified as negatively impacting female interest is the degree of expertise with gaming conventions and familiarity with game controls required to play the game.
Critic Ian Bogost opined, "We're looking at where there isn't diversity and we're saying those games are the most valid games." Industry studies on the lack of females in gaming have also suffered at times from biases of interpretation.
Kevin Kelly of Joystiq has suggested that a high degree of circular reasoning is evident when male developers use focus groups and research numbers to determine what kinds of games girls play.
The argument has also been advanced that emphasis on market research is often skewed by the participants in the study.
In studies on male gamers of the baby boomer generation, for example, players displayed a marked aversion to violence.