Do Women Just Want to Have Fun?

Videogames have typically been seen as a teenage-boy thing, but in fact the largest U.S. platform for gaming--the mobile phone--is owned by roughly 100 million women. And while many current titles for phones still revolve around football or blasting zombies, one company now sees this as an opportunity to develop wireless content focused on the women's market.

LimeLife, which was founded in 2004 by three women veterans of the technology industry, has forged deals with multiple wireless carriers, including Cingular, Sprint and Verizon. Its first two game titles, Word Heaven and Girls' Night Out Solitaire, were just released.

CEO Kristin McDonnell says she came to realize that while cell phones are often carried for up to 16 hours a day, few women bother to download anything more compelling than wallpaper or ringtones. She says LimeLife wants to fill the void, with products that include not only games, but lifestyle applications and other branded content. That will include information about entertainment, fitness, shopping, family and fashion.

Games, though, are central to the business plan. Some titles might even be developed for other platforms. Women are increasingly playing on-line games, but the challenge in bringing games to the den will be to convince women of the benefits of bigger screens and the ability to play with friends. Why should boys have all the fun?