Skyrim's actually really popular with women. Partly because it's so fun to play
Fixed that for you.
Being "open-ended and exploratory" does not make it more enjoyable for women it makes it more enjoyable for anyone who enjoys open-ended or exploratory games.
Just as hardcore games are no more enjoyable for men than they are for women. Hell, my wife has ascended, how many guys do you know that have pulled that off?
Women are just as capable of being hardcore gamers as men are. Unfortunately the culture of hardcore gamers has largely shunned women trying to make it in the scene, so it's no big surprise that there are less women.
And while your post is a lot better than reading the rape and violence threats, you are still propagating some of the same old stereo types that were trying to break down.
Ascended. As in Nethack? If so, props to your wife, and to you for marrying someone so awesome.
Unfortunately the culture of hardcore gamers has largely shunned women trying to make it in the scene, so it's no big surprise that there are less women
However, I think you are missing something here. If you were talking CoD or DotA or EVE (less so EVE) you'd have a point about hardcore gamers shunning women. It seems they do. However with games like, nethack, Dark Souls, etc. (some people in DkS2 actually communicate and could be construed as being capable of shunning, not so much Dark Souls), since they are single player games I don't think you can possibly argue that the players of those games shun women. Couldn't it be that women tend not to like those games, say, for cultural reasons? Could it be, as another slashdotter suggested, it is a matter of women shunning other women who play such games?jj