First up, we divided our 100 pieces of box-art into three groups: Male, Female and Mixed. The latter being box-art that features both male and female types of people. We were entirely not surprised to discover that the majority of box-art exclusively features men/boys.
Conclusion: Gamers are mostly men and men like games with men in them.
Sitting politely with legs-crossed at the other end of the gender spectrum are females. Compared to men/boys, women/girls barely get a sniff when it comes to occupying a cover image all to themselves. Only 10 of our 100 bits of box-art exclusively starred a female. That's 10%, which isn't a lot.
Conclusion: Most women are probably too busy buying shoes to care whether they're being represented equally in the world of games.
There was a strong showing in our 'mixed' category, that is box-art that used both male and female types of people.
Conclusion: The vulnerable femininity of a woman is more acceptable on box-art when it is offset by the dangerous masculinity of a man.
Having divided our original 100 box-arts into three groups we noticed other trends. In particular, if there's a man on the box, chances are he's holding a gun or some other weapon. Out of the 54 all-male box-arts, 27 of those men (that's 50%) were portrayed as being tooled up. The other half were predominately doing sporty things.
Conclusion: There are lots of games with men killing things.
The box-art ladies also had a preference for weapons. Out of the 10 all-female box-arts, 6 of those women (that's 60%) were shown holding a killing device. They just look a lot sexier doing it.
Conclusion: There are games with women killing things. But not as many as men killing things.
Another thing we spotted was that all the men looked moody and extremely serious-faced. In fact, of the 54 all-male box-arts, there was only one that showed the cover man with a smiling face. And that was for Anno: Create a New World, a Wii game that looks way too happy for its own good.
Conclusion: Men in games are serious.
In comparison, half of the women box-art cover stars wore a smile.
Conclusion: Women in games are fun.
One thing we were expecting to see plenty of was gratuitously exposed lady flesh. But not so. Only a measly 3 of our box-arts (that's 3%) featured what we would describe as nearly-naked women. That's a massive shift since the old days when big-breasted, barely-clothed barbarian women were considered obligatory box-art furniture.
Conclusion: Box-art needs more big-breasted, barely-clothed barbarian women.
The box-art revelations continue on the next page!