I woke up sick this morning after staying up late to finish off a magazine article. For the article, I had the opportunity to interview Sheri Graner Ray, who founded Women in Games International, and who has a lot of fascinating things to say about gender and video games. She's also written a book.
There was no room to include all of it in the article, so here's my favorite piece of left-out food-for-thought: When boys go into a video arcade, what do they do? When girls go into the same arcade, what do they do?
Most of the time, the boys will run up to the first machine they see and throw it quarters and lose quickly but then they'll start to pick it up.
Most girls will look at what games are there, perhaps watch someone playing for a minute, then after some considerate thought either approach one or patiently wait their turn so they can have a try.
Ray used this example to point out the differences in learning patterns between the two genders. Fascinating.