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  • Avatar ImageKatie D, a level 7 monster with 11 posts — 1 year, 3 months ago:

    I was a little surprised that there wasn’t already a group here dealing with women (or girls, ladies, female, gender). Maybe that means it’s becoming less of an issue these days, and people are worrying about it less. But I think there are still inequalities, stereotypes, frustrations, and neuroses hanging around those of us who are female and have an interest in playing or making games, or who think of our male friends and family who experience or create games as they are these days.

    Last I was aware, women still…
    - Make up a smaller percentage of the game development industry
    - Are underrepresented in the cast of game characters in big titles
    - Appear with unrealistic body types as game characters
    - Tend to prefer different types of gameplay and social interaction than men

    So, if you got this far, please feel free to stick around and talk awhile about these kinds of topics.

  • Avatar ImageAmanda (a.k.a. Panda), a level 7 monster with 1 posts — 1 year, 3 months ago:

    I found a site that shows stats. It was done in ’09.

    I also found this about gamer girls it is interesting.

  • Avatar ImageKatie D, a level 7 monster with 11 posts — 1 year, 3 months ago:

    thanks for the links! I keep finding older, out-of-date articles and wild speculation when I go looking.

    Interesting on —
    Women play games online moreso than men. But women more often prefer to play by themselves.

    What does this mean? Perhaps women more often hunt for bargains, and/or play on the PC because it doesn’t require an investment ahead of time on a console and a pricey game? Or does it mean that women are more shy about their self-perceived skill levels in gaming, and don’t want to worry about whether they can compete or if they’ll drag down a team? Hmm.

  • Avatar ImageLorraine Hopping, a level 7 monster with 190 posts — 1 year, 3 months ago:

    There was an interesting session at this year’s Game Developer Conference (Chris Trottier, I think) on designing games for the “43-year-old woman.” I couldn’t attend (very unfortunately) but followed the pearls of wisdom on Twitter:
    1. Make finding/playing the game frictionless. No effort, no fuss.
    2. Hand-eye coordination, complex consoles: no—can’t feel like “Work” or create a skill barrier.
    3. Time to play isn’t predictable, can’t schedule it. They have “these things called children.” Pick up, put down, pick up again.
    4. Eliminate the “stuck” points in the game, which create friction, cause busy, hurried players to leave. FLOW
    5. MMOs—strangers and strange games are intimidating. How to break down barriers, slowly integrate newbies, make it safe?
    6. UI—not complicated, extra, detailed, or clumsy. Gadgets, buttons, etc. (Echoing #2)
    7. Trade in really big choices—overwhelming–for small choices. None of the choices should be fatal.
    8. Provide some real-world value, so there’s no guilt over wasting time. That value can be “relaxation” from a stressful day.
    9. Real-world fantasy. Don’t need elves and orcs. Use real-world friends as characters. They have built-in back story.
    10. Don’t just hand them everything. Make them wait, make them work, and then they’ll want it more.
    11. Relaxing game with low “needs” but many “wants” that can be fulfilled. (I’m not sure what this means. Anyone?)
    12. Make it creative. Player builds, evolves, get surprised. Allow players to customize a lot. Loyalty ensues.
    13. Make it clever, funny, stylish, beautiful, surprising. Charming. Like George Clooney.

    What do you all think? Was anyone fortunate enough to be there and can illuminate?

  • Avatar ImageLinda Eaves, a level 4 monster with 1 posts — 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi there. I’m glad to see this group here. I’m just starting to get involved with the girl gaming community in the Seattle area. Going to attend geek girl con in October 2011. And maybe this event in August too. <– picture about the free Women in The Video Gaming Industry Event. I've not considered myself a gamer but reading the book Game Frame has opened my eyes a bit. Thanks, Linda

  • Avatar ImageHillary Fotino, a level 7 monster with 26 posts — 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    I’m not going to lie, as a hardcore female gamer, the idea that female gamers are somehow different from male gamers bothers me on a deep level . I’m a 23 year old girl. My favorite games are Ocarina of Time and World of Warcraft. I play WoW with my dad, we’re in the same raiding guild. My mom also plays games though doesn’t like the time commitment of WoW. She prefers Wii Sports Resort and Mario Kart. My female friends and I have always hung out to play fantasy games or shooters. Lately, I’ve been playing Battlefield Vietnam a lot. I have never found myself wanting to play any of the so-called “girl games”. I played a few as an experiment and found myself bored out of my mind on a site that classified kissing games as action/adventure.

    I understand that games need to be different for someone who has children to care for, but why do we have to assume that just because someone is caring for children that they are female or that they don’t want the normal type of action/adventure/shooter type game with just the ability to save more often. Or why not make games that are more inclusive for the young children but still fun for the parents. I feel like there are a lot of better options out there than promoting the stereotypes about “girl gamers”.

    • Avatar Image
      Drew Crow · 10 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

      I totally get where you’re coming from with being bothered by stereotypes of ’gamers’. However, unfortunately it still remains the case that the overwhelming majority of games are developed to turn a profit, and when it comes to turning a profit, a tight demographic like ’43 year old women with children’ is manna from heaven. You can design a game, or 10 games, for that demographic and be sure that there are enough people out there to play it to make it profitable. But just because a game might have been designed with ’14 year old boys with brown hair and glasses’ in mind doesn’t mean that an ’18 year old girl with pink hair and multiple piercings’ can’t play it and enjoy it. It may well be true that females are underrepresented in the casts of games or that they are represented in unrealistically disproportionate ways (I think that’s kind of true of men as well though – does anyone have a jaw that wide?), and if that serves as an incentive for someone to increase the diversity of the gaming community, then so much the better!
      I totally agree with your suggestion to make games which are kid-inclusive, and I think the Wii was targeted very successfully at that demographic (’families with 2.5 children and living rooms larger than 3 meters square’ – or something along those lines ;) ). I love playing Wii with my kids (and our living room is less than 3 meters square!) and board games, and ’doctor’s surgery’, and ’jumpin’ in the work’ (don’t ask!) and other made up games.

    • Avatar Image
      Katie D · 10 months, 2 weeks ago· REPLY · Flag

      I don’t think it’s bad that there exist games targeted at girls, Sparkle Barbie Pony or whatever they make these days. (Aside from Barbie as a role model for young girls, but that’s another can of worms.) Or ”casual” web games assumed to appeal to a certain demographic of women. It doesn’t have to preclude games also being published for the benefit of ”people” instead of just women or men.

      Personally, as a gamer who likes more ”mainstream” or ”hardcore” games as well, I just want a little more attention paid to what different kinds of women/girls/persons would like to see in any game. I play Borderlands, for a shooter example, and I end up playing a male character on account of gameplay, even though in any game anywhere, when I have a choice, I’m 95% likely to choose a female character if I can. And I also get annoyed that the only option I have for a female character there is ”sexy”. That’s all there is to her look/personality, as far as I can tell. I don’t mind that she’s there, I just wish there were other choices for more interesting female characters as well.

      That’s my preference. I expect there are many women gamers who are happy enough playing male characters. I also know a lot of women honestly don’t enjoy FPS games (whether they’ve given them a fair try or not — and if not, how many avoid them because of male-oriented character design and marketing?)

      I think the best solution is to aim for games that cater to a wide variety of human beings, because not all women, and not all people, will have the same interests and preferences and needs. But there are some things that simply make the game more accessible to a wider audience, such as your idea about saving more often for parents. (I’ve thought about this before too in the context of MMOs and wrote up a blog post with some ideas in it – if interested.)

      Additionally, I know there are (or have been) a lot of women who simply don’t consider video games to be a woman-suitable activity. (Though some of those same women may play more casual games, especially these days.) It gets a little lonely being the odd person out in a gamer geek party full of men (not enough so I avoid it, just enough to spark daydreams). For selfish reasons, I’d like more in-between games that persuade more women to give them a chance, so I can someday play more complicated, in-depth games with more female gamer friends, more often.

  • Avatar ImageEdwige Lelièvre, a level 7 monster with 80 posts — 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    I also highly dislike very targeted games : Barbie, Horses, Farmville, etc just freaks me out, as well as pure military game as unreal, medal of honor etc. It is not that the gameplay cannot be enjoyed, but the way they are made, they just help people staying in their stereotypes. Stereotypes make me really angry ^^ (In both case, it looks like designers wants player to feel stupid :p )

    As Katie, I am also really annoyed seeing in male targeted game only super hot female characters (while male don’t really enter my definition of sexy, so I think that is unfair ;) )

    I consider myself as a pretty hardcore gamer even if I don’t play as much as I used to (PhD is killing me ahah). The games I play are most of the time not gender targeted at all : turn based or real time str, mmorpg, rpg, point and click. Maybe I follow some female stereotype myself (I am a female, so I am more social and enjoy multiplayer, I prefer game where speed is not the only quality required, I love great narratives, etc.) but these are mine, force people to fit stereotypes is just wrong.

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