The latest NPD Group report further confirms something most of you knew already: Girls actually like playing games, too!

It’s doesn’t take a vast leap of logic to come to the realization males are not alone in their love of electronic gaming pursuits. Since the dawn of games, women young and old have shared an interest in play. But it seems that interest among younger girls, particularly on the gaming front, continues to grow at a steady pace.

“Socialization is gearing up among the pre-teens, and the advent of interactive gaming really hits home with these girls who are looking for friends from the confines of their homes,” notes a NPD press release discussing the results of the group’s most recent study. “Young Teens (age 13 to 14) are also gamers, but many girls this age are also now listening to music on portable digital music players and talking/texting on their mobile phones.”

Over half of the 1,541 girls surveyed reported spending more time playing PC and videogames, according to a study, titled “Girl Power: Understanding This Important Consumer Segment,” released by the marketing research company this week. The report also indicates girls age 2 to 14 are spending more free time on entertainment-related activities this year than in 2007. While many girls in the age group continue to enjoy more traditional toys, those in the tween category (age 9 to 12) are turning to videogames for entertainment with greater frequency.

“Girls, in general, are famously social creatures,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “The growth in use of social networking and virtual world websites by girls is a natural extension of this core value which needs to be recognized by manufacturers who count girls as primary market for their goods and services.”

But what about girls who like to shoot stuff?

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