Three quick gamer links here, because I hope to get my groove back (though, as followers of my deadjournal may have noticed, I am slightly obsessed with a certain videogame right now, so who knows?):
a) From VorpalBunnyRanch, a great look at how the nature of violence in videogames is skewed by the protagonist's gender. In a brief follow-up it's noted how survival horror breaks the general rules regarding women and violence/action - this genre also stands out among films, something noted by Randall Monroe here in Two Female Leads.
Perhaps the more a story blurs the lines between violent heroes (or villains) and victims of violence, the more likely it is to have active female characters? I am, inevitably, thinking about how that works in Metal Gear, a game series in which women frequently commit acts of violence, but generally bloodlessly, or from a distance - with the exception of that one group of villain/victims/survival horror exhibits in MGS4. *le sigh*
b) From the Beeb, a survey of MMO players; 40% are female, they're more likely to put hardcore time into it than male gamers are, and - get this - female gamers are 5x more likely to be bisexual than the general population. (My guess: bisexuality is massively underreported in the 'general population', and if you did something as simple as matching gamers with non-gamers by age and perhaps social class, the difference would close significantly. Another possible explanation is that game design is inimical to straight female desires and makes straight women slightly less likely to play MMOs than gay women - gee, I wonder how that might have happened?)
[addendum:: see also some scepticism from Kotaku: "...these are the results of a voluntary study in which participants received a free in-game item for participating, so I can't really see how they can even begin to pretend that they tallied accurate results. If I was told to complete a study in order to receive a free in-game item, I'd complete that puppy so fast that I might have wound up one of those hardcore bisexual raider women. Think about that before you start fantasizing about that hot wood elf you saw running about Qeynos."]
c) Merry Christmas from VGCats!