Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Women Remain the Ignored Audience In Gaming

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-there-are-lots-of-cooking-games dept.

Games 432

donniebaseball23 writes "Research firm Interpret has released its new report, 'Games and Girls: Video Gaming's Ignored Audience,' which finds that while the female audience in gaming has grown, games tailored to their needs and preferences continue to go missing. Women represent 50% of the market and their usage of HD consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3 is rising. 'It remains to be seen whether developers and marketers will effectively invest in understanding and exploiting the undertapped female gaming market,' said Courtney Johnson, analyst for Interpret."

cancel ×

432 comments

The Sims (0, Troll)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525736)

The Sims was a great game. Not only for women but for both audiences. Now some hardcore girl gamer probably comes in saying it isn't so (don't mind it, there are guys who like to play those cooking games too), but FPS and heavy strategy games rarely interests girls. On the other hand the Flash click-click-click cooking games are quite stupid too, as well as something where you just have to dress the character. But The Sims made it a whole game, with all the relationship, drama and housekeeping stuff. And it was still fun and interesting to play, even for both genders (at least when The Sims 1 came out, I never really played Sims 2.. But Sims 3 seems to have lots of things to do again). You can't make the game too dumb, but you also can't just make it a shooter with manly stuff. I've traveled the world enough to see that all women like that clothing, taking care of and relationship stuff. But in real life you can't just tell her to go to kitchen, or clean the house and so on.. You have to trick her into that, but that frankly isn't so hard. The point being, women are like 3 year kids. They don't like it when you tell them what to do and what not to do, so you use psychology to deliver your message subtly and non-directly. Just don't make it too obvious.

Re:The Sims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525794)

wow, troll much?

Re:The Sims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525838)

cgeys, you're an idiot.

Re:The Sims (2)

Smekarn (1623831) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525854)

Judging by your spelling/grammar and your views on gender related topics you should cool the fuck down when it comes to comparing people to three year olds.

"But I from itali/swedenn/bolgaria/american school system, i no know english!!1"

Well, as long as you treat women the way you appearently do based on your own retarded observations, I see no foul in treating you like an idiot based on what ever reason I feel like.

Re:The Sims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526076)

Butthurt

Re:The Sims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525900)

That misogynistic turn was brilliant. Otherwise not a bad post.

Re:The Sims (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526060)

Yes, impeccably delivered. Best troll I've seen in a while.

Re:The Sims (3, Informative)

idle_ether (878797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526154)

When the Sims 2 came out i remember all the boys i lived with being far more excited about it then the girls ^.~ but wow, seriously impressive argument mate, girls like clothes ALL girls like clothes and have the brains of 3 year olds.. thats like saying all men drink beer and play football. Dunno about you guys but I had more fun playing Postal 2 then The Sims 2, and while it is true that as a girl i do prefer games where there is a better story (Assasians Creed II) and clever game play (Portal 2) I just as much enjoy some good slow motion heads going splosh (Fallout 3). It's true whats stated about giving Women better choices with games, I'm sure guys feel a bit weird running around as a female character, so imagine how we feel! It does get boring playing the same old Mr Superman role all the time and have the female characters be nothing but good looking game fodder. That said it does have to be appropriate to the game, and it's certainly not a magic bullet to make a crappy game suddenly 'lady friendly' wtf that means.

Re:The Sims (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526274)

Ass-asians Creed II? I've not heard of that porno..

I don't feel weird running around as a female character, any more than I feel weird running around as a shotgun wielding cyborg, flying a spaceship or base jumping off the top of a skyscraper. Games are generally about playing a role which is very different to your own life.

I enjoyed Mirror's Edge and Heavenly Sword quite a lot. I always thought Tomb Raider was a bit shit, but that's nothing to do with the main character being female. Can't think of any other female protagonists right now, apart from in RPGs where you can choose your sex.

Re:The Sims (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526302)

I don't generally like to encourage trolls... but that was pretty funny.

And trolling aside, The Sims actually is a good example of the design by committee-esq games you get when you try to make something with broad appeal. Just enough to keep both gender steriotypes happy, but not really mind blowing for either.

If you really want to bring women into gaming at a mainstream level, you have to make games specifically tailored for women... and thanks to politically correct "gender neutral" types ready to jump on anyone who tries it, probably not going to happen any time soon. What we'll see is women gamers who enjoy steriotypical guy games, and casual women gamers...

Re:The Sims (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526330)

Wait...what?

Forget women. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525758)

I thought Slashdot users have all switched to macs and don't need to worry about women's issues.

Re:Forget women. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525866)

Wouldn't they have to worry about it even more?

sounds like their needs are addressed quite well (5, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525774)

Unless, of course, 50% of the gamers (the women) flock to a medium which they don't like.

Re:sounds like their needs are addressed quite wel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526024)

I find that 50% figure highly dubious, surely they meant to say 50% of the potential market (i.e. 50% of people). If it's true and 50% of the gamer market is women then clearly their needs are already being catered for (people don't tend to buy things consistently unless they meet their needs or wants) and to say we need a special category of games for women is just patronising on behalf of the author. Besides, how many times have we seen this same story over the years - at least a dozen since I started gaming in the 80's. Either women don't want different games to men, or they largely arent interested in games, or they just needed the right medium (men tend to be better at focusing on one task for a long time, traditional games suit them, women tend to prefer multitasking, games that you can drop in and out of easily al la farmville, tend to suit this play style).

Re:sounds like their needs are addressed quite wel (5, Insightful)

beefmusta (1616667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526098)

Unless, of course, 50% of the gamers (the women) flock to a medium which they don't like.

Exactly. From TFA:

"Market representation for women has grown to 50 percent overall, with console use rising significantly in the past two years"

Apparently, we're supposed to think that somehow this demonstrates that female gamers are being ignored and not getting what they want.
Next they'll tell us that women are being forced to play games against their will.

Re:sounds like their needs are addressed quite wel (1)

CWSmith1701 (2003480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526268)

Next they'll tell us that women are being forced to play games against their will.

If this was China...

Re:sounds like their needs are addressed quite wel (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526466)

The report was published by a company which provides "research and consulting services" to game publishers.

They''re not going to publish a report saying "actually our services are not needed and we're a waste of money".

Pretty much my feeling (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526116)

Games are for fun, so that women are playing them says they are having fun with them.

To me it just sounds like whining. If there are specific things that need to be done differently to attract women to gaming, let's hear them. However just saying "Oh they aren't good for women," sounds like bitching without evidence to me.

The only thing they list in the article "For instance, they are much more likely to prefer to play solo than men, and play games for less competitive and more narrative- and character-driven reasons." is stupid. Why? Because we HAVE plenty of games like that, and there is no reason that ALL games should be like that.

To me what that says is "Women tend to like single player RPGs more than multi-player FPSes." Ok, wonderful. Turns out there are plenty of those. The market is being enough for both kinds of games, and in fact for more than that.

I also question that one since story driven, single player games have been around for much longer. While competitive multi-player games are popular, they are new. For many a year single player was the big thing (because we lacked the Internet), yet fewer women were in to gaming.

I personally think any lack of women in gaming (which I've not observed, lots of women play games in my experience) is more cultural/mindset than anything else. Women feel like gaming is not something they should do, so they don't. That isn't the sort of thing different kinds of games really can fix.

So if things really need to be done different, well let's hear it then. However all I see here is bitching that amounts to "Girls don't like online FPSes." To that I say:

1) So what? There are plenty of other kinds of games. We can have games for all kinds of people, not every game need to be targeted to every person (as such a thing would fail).

2) Says who? Though far less common then men, there are women who enjoy shooties plenty well.

Re:Pretty much my feeling (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526262)

I don't think it's just whether there is a storyline or not, or how focal it is, but also the contents of said story.

There are lots of exceptions, but in general there is a fairly clear list of "things women prefer" and "things men prefer" in their storylines and characters. We see this not just in games but in other media (books, movies, tv shows). The problem is that trying to make the gaming equivalent of a "chick flick" would be a PC nightmare.

Re:Pretty much my feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526422)

It's called "The Sims".

Re:Pretty much my feeling (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526418)

The Sims is one of the most popular games of all time with women. It is co-operative, non-violent, and social. These are things that are not at all common in games. Even aside from FPS and fighting games most sports games only have competitive multi-player modes, most strategy games are about conquering rather than building a pleasant society. Music based games are popular with girls, but not many of them have co-op modes.

Farmville is popular because it appeals as much to women as to men. You get to build and maintain something, and do it socially because it is tied to Facebook. There is no real competition, not even any winning or losing... I'm kinda surprised that there is no Wii version.

It isn't rocket surgery, just a lack of imagination on game developers part IMHO.

Re:Pretty much my feeling (1)

NRISecretAgent (982853) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526448)

Yeah, I get the impression that whoever did this article is just pissed that they don't have a female Master Chief model for the main game. Note: You can play as a female character model in the multiplayer. There are plenty of games that are catering to women (uhhh Gears of all games is putting in female playable characters into the story). Just because women aren't in EVERY game doesn't mean they're being ignored. ESPECIALLY since I'm not sure people want to see women getting shot at, maimed, killed, and whatever else. I'll be honest, it was a very unnerving sensation at first to chainsaw through Anya in Gears 3 and it's something I've done to locust and gears alike many times.

Haven't gamed in a while, but,,, (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525810)

I don't understand why a game developer would want to tailor games to a single sex, male of female. The broader the appeal the larger the audience. Why target only half your potential audience? Games are an art form, and every artist wants as many people as possible to enjoy their works.

I seem to remember a decade or so ago someone attempted to target girls with some game or another, and it was denounced by women as sexist.

Now, kid's games I can see targeting one sex or another. My daughters had a Barbie game on the PC and they loved it. No boy would want to play it, however.

Re:Haven't gamed in a while, but,,, (3, Insightful)

kinnell (607819) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526002)

Just an educated guess, but I expect the vasty majority of game designers are men and it's not so much that they're trying to aim their games at men as that they're designing games that they would like to play.

Re:Haven't gamed in a while, but,,, (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526032)

Targeting the whole audience isn't really effective, you'll just make something for the least common denominator and nobody will really like it.

WoW makes a killing ignoring the huge casual audience. Wii sells tons ignoring the hardcore gamers looking for hyper realistic graphics. Even games like Civ succeed because they focus on a very small but extremely loyal number of gamers. And as you said, many games are either targeted at adults or children - GTA wouldn't have been such a success if it was rated E.

By the same token, there are huge female audiences that are attracted to specific gameplays.

Re:Haven't gamed in a while, but,,, (2)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526124)

I don't understand why a game developer would want to tailor games to a single sex, male of female. The broader the appeal the larger the audience. Why target only half your potential audience? Games are an art form, and every artist wants as many people as possible to enjoy their works.

Well, one reason is that games which are designed to target everyone tend to be watered down, "design by committee" type mindless pap. Look at the vast majority of party games for consoles. They're designed for all ages and both sexes and they tend to be incredibly formulaic and dull, play once or twice then forget affairs. By turning your focus on one particular part of the market (and in the case of games, males have traditionally always been the biggest spenders) you can deliver a much more satisfying experience much more reliably and you'll sell a lot more product.

The number of games that successfully target any audience are pretty tiny, it either requires massive upfront investment to get them right or else you have to be incredibly lucky (not a good business model), the Nintendos of the world can pull this off most of the time, but most of the other stuff ends up in the bargain bin at the local store within a couple of weeks of release. That being the case, it makes sense as a developer to focus on your traditional market and see a much better or more guaranteed return on investment. It's the same reason Ferrari don't make regular road going cars - sure the potential market is huge, but the risk is similarly huge (massive competition, brand devaluation, etc) and they already have a guaranteed market doing what they've always done, so there's little reason to change.

I suspect if we ever do see a rise in games specifically for women, it will be driven by indie developers who have far less to lose - and systems like XBL and the various mobile app stores have made it much simpler to deliver content to a large audience for minimal cost. The difficulty, based on what I've seen in the past, is delivering an experience that is not patronising to women - they don't spend all day dreaming about horse riding or playing dress up, but looking at "games for girls" in the past you'd be forgiven for thinking that was the case.

Re:Haven't gamed in a while, but,,, (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526174)

I don't understand why a game developer would want to tailor games to a single sex, male of female.

Despite what certain groups have tried to say during the years, there are key differences in the genders. While there are always exceptions, there is a fairly obvious list of "things that guys like" and "things that girls like". I won't bother to list these as it's not the point. If you try to make a game which appeals to both, you will get the design by committee effect, and generate a game which sorta appeals to both, but not as much as a game tailor made to the specific group.

Someone trolled about this earlier, but The Sims was a really good example of this. Just enough to keep both gender stereotypes happy, but wasn't "mind blowing" for most.

Now the real problem (and I promise I'm not trolling here!) is that if you actually made a game that targets women, the PC "gender neutral" types would be all over your ass in a heart beat. Even if the game really was something women would enjoy (nurturing, drama, etc) the backlash would make it not worth it... especially as society has no problem making a "kill everything with a big gun" game for the guys.

So they are ignored... (1)

Llian (615902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525816)

But the gaming population consists of 50% of them. Obviously there is something they like in these 'boy' games. Or does the group who commissioned/produced the report want gaming to be 75% girls and 25% boys, screaming feminine slogans like those who believe sexism is the reason why women don't get as many top jobs and not their lifestyle choices?

Studies like this piss me the fuck off. morons.

Re:So they are ignored... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525896)

I think they mean POTENTIAL market. Also, I despise the sexism going on in videogames, I get sick everytime I see a crypto-fascist ball of muscle/almost not naked whore in a game. But as there are very few games produced that aren't like that, I STILL BUY THEM in lack of options. This doesn't mean that me or girls "like the boy games". It means it's the only fucking thing out there.

Re:So they are ignored... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526228)

all this talk of *potential* market. Really? The weatherman said there's a *potential* for rain today, he doesn't really know he's just guessing. AND SO ARE THE MARKETING RESEARCH PEOPLE. If they don't create controversy, then no one will pay them to run studies.

And besides, are we really living in the dark ages (say the 1970's) where women are unable to have jobs? Where they are total outsiders in the Big Bad World of employment? If there is such a crying need to engage the demographic, then it sounds like a great opportunity for female-based game companies / authors / what-have-you to step up and fill the void. Show the men how it's done!

The fact that that's apparently not generally happening does (imo) NOT point to the fact that women are unwilling or incapable of creating such things, but rather points to the fact that maybe the study is an overblown pile of crap.

Every women in my family is hooked on casual games (1)

wilh (2177248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525826)

Try pulling any woman in my family away from Bejewelled Blitz!

"Casual" Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525852)

Who do you think plays all those retarded Facebook games, anyway?

Their needs are addressed just fine, thanks for the concern.

yea... (1)

just some moron (2115048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525856)

50% my ass

Re:yea... (1)

L-four (2071120) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525898)

Yup farmville doesnt count.

Re:yea... (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526332)

If you count farmville you can't say that women are ignored.

I hope they don't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525858)

More than consolites, it's because of catering to women's need that games can now be completed half asleep by pressing the "i win button".

Women don't play games... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525862)

...they don't have time for it. They're too busy making me a sammich!

Don't look at me that way. Someone was going to say it, might as well be me!

Besides, is it surprising that women don't like games men make? Men like to fix things (and break things), so they made cars, so they could break and fix them. No one said women can't fix cars, they just don't like it. Do we make polls and research that says "Girls don't like to fix cars!" No, why? Because that would be silly.

Do we make polls that say "Men like to hunt more than women!" No, because that would be silly too. No one said they can't go play Modern Warfare. They just don't like those types of games.

Men made computers so they could break and fix them. It's no coincidence that men program computers more than women either, is it? So should we make some "research" that says "Women don't like to program!" No, because that would be silly too. (Which of course we see on /. all the time!)

How about one that says "Women like to take care of kids more than men!"

Men like things men make for men. Big shocker.

Now mod me down and call me sexist for stating the obvious.

Re:Women don't play games... (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526258)

People made computers. Women AND men.

tackle the root of the problem, not the symptom! (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525868)

It pisses me off that some brain comes up with the theory that women are not catered to in computer games, while that same brain can't fathom the fact that there simply are'nt enough female game-programmers out there to actually 'know' what a woman wants and then, to ensure that such games are released. It's not like women are shunned from the gaming industry. Sure it's male dominated, but only because males in general, love the industry more than women seem to.

Re:tackle the root of the problem, not the symptom (2)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526114)

It's also not generally accepted for women to play games. I know my sister gets serieus omgwtfbbq reactions when she mentions she's off to a lan party with some friends to play (among other things) Unreal Tournament. While a lot of guys are (once they've recovered from the shock) like "MARRY ME!" usually girls respond like "You stay where you are while I walk backwards to the door. Slowly. Don't make any sudden moves." Seems to me like it's a bit like coming out of the closet, everybody knows it exists, but you'll get shunned over it anyway.

Now I'm willing to accept that she's an exception (and/or I live in a pathetically retarded country in this respect) for playing shooters but if the forums about RPGs/Action adventures are any indication there's quite a few women playing those and there's not usually complaints about the game being "designed for men" (there is, sometimes about lack of romance options for women, but this is something that's improving itself, if there's an audience then there will be (changes to the) product.

Re:tackle the root of the problem, not the symptom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526278)

I do not get the barbeque reference...

Men vs. Women (5, Insightful)

grodzix (1235802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525874)

In other news, it is discovered that male population is ignored in fashion industry. There is great inequallity if we look at fashion where vast majority of products is aimed at female population. You just have to look around your nearest shopping center to see that most shops are centered around fashion and most of this shops target women. No shit, really? Women aren't being targete by game developers? Guess what, maybe it's because most women don't give a flying fuck about games? Just like clothes shops don't target men cause most men don't give a flying fuck about fashion.

Re:Men vs. Women (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525944)

In other news, it is discovered that male population is ignored in fashion industry.

They [giorgioarmani.com] are [hugoboss.com] ?

Re:Men vs. Women (1)

jjo (62046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526128)

By comparison to women, yes, men do ignore the fashion industry. There are real gender-based differences in behavior, and these are reflected in buying preferences. I doubt that we will ever see gender equality in the market for haute couture, or for videogames.

Re:Men vs. Women (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526204)

"Gender equality" is a lie that was formed by the feminist crowd to help perpetuate and propagate their delusions. Come and tell me there's "equality" there and that "it's just a role" when males can have babies...

Quit propagating the insanity, even if it's just in jest. We've given them voice for entirely too long.

Re:Men vs. Women (3, Funny)

L-four (2071120) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525998)

But they should because Men account for 50% of people who ware clothes and probably 80% of the people who don't.

Re:Men vs. Women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526318)

And men don't care too much for make-up, knitting, horse riding, pedicures, manicures, barbie/cindy dolls, my little pwnie, glitter spray, tampons, hair curlers, etc, etc, etc...

Re:Men vs. Women (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526462)

You haven't visited 4chan lately have you?

AMAZING news /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525876)

An "analyst" suggests her particular speciality is an amazing, untapped marketplace just waiting to be exploited with her unique insight. Amazing, where can I send her money now?

So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (2)

pommaq (527441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525878)

I really don't think adding a playable female lead character to everything is the answer. I'm a man and I have very little in common with the usual muscle-bound he-man videogame protagonists. You can play as a female in plenty of games (WoW and Mass Effect, for instance) but the overwhelming majority of players are still men. So I want to know what the article thinks those mythical "needs and preferences" are for female gamers. From the available data I'd say they're actually pretty well catered for - only we call them "casual gamers". Browser games, smartphone puzzle games, word games, etc - they're all at 50% or more female gamers.

This discussion seems to crop up every now and then and the question needs to be rephrased - why don't females play "hardcore" games? What is it about them that makes them inherently male? Me, I don't think it's about what your avatar looks like or how story-driven the game is. I think it's all down to culture. Same culture that tells us videogames are for 13 year old boys. All we need is for games to be great, immersive, well done, and for the shift to happen. It's gonna be slow, though.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525982)

What bollox. There are lots of female lead characters. Lara Crotch ;-) Faith in Mirror's Edge. Chell from Portal 1 and 2. Just off the top of my head.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526304)

You named three.

How many male lead characters can I name. Duke Nukem, Doom Marine, Quake Marine, Master Chief, Frank West, Serious Sam, in the entire call of duty series there is one women who even effects the plot at all. Kratos,Gordon Freeman, the last four GTA games, Crysis. Dead Space

With a few exceptions, women remain in games as supporting characters, sex appeal, gun fodder, and damsels to be rescued. There is nothing approaching parity on this subject, and to suggest there is parity is bollox.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

deepershade (994429) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526426)

Call of duty is majoritively about World War 2. List how many women fought on the lines in that war please.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526326)

Did you even read GP's post? He said there are plenty of games that let you play as a female already. Even by your standards this is a pretty lame troll.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526052)

I was under the impression that most games do have playable female leads, atleast that's true for the games I tend to play, indeed there's some of them that have *only* playable female leads. (Beyond Good and Evil, for example) (and some have no characters at all: what sex is the lead in minesweeper?)

Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Dungeon Siege, Civ, They've all got female leads, indeed there's a balanced selection, and there's been put thought into romantic options for the female leads, hell some of these even have lesbian, bisexual or gay options for romance.

Furthermore: what's cause and what's effect ? If it's some sort of big conspiracy and an example of discrimination that games cather mostly to male buyers, is it then ALSO an example of discrimination and evidence of a big conspiracy that all my local shopping-centers have 75%+ of the clothes-shopping-area dedicated to selling female clothing ?

Women are *not* 50% of the market for non-casual games. The day they are, the games will adapt to this reality. Just like Men are *not* 50% of the market for clothing (and a long list of other products)

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526250)

Nowadays that reality doesn't evolve completely on its own, a big part of it is modeled by marketing.

Your example, the market of clothing for men, is good because a big part of the metrosexual movement was forged by marketing, especially in the way celebrities were presented, and it was the main reason why appearance products for men are booming.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526104)

I believe there's a relatively high percent of women that could enjoy sex- and violence-driven storylines were it not for the huge social stigmas associated with that. I mean, if I give you a line from dialogue such as "I just played {random FPS} for 10 hours straight," you immediately associate the speaker to be male and his audience to also be male, because the converse is so ridiculous-sounding in our current society. One way such games can be popular is if one appears without the social branding of sex, violence, and all that is traditionally male while still having such "hard-core" elements as long play sessions or even similar violence and sex. A female lead and non-discriminatory ad camp would help in this goal. Another way is the gradual social acceptance of such by newer female generations (potentially 20+ years away).

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

idle_ether (878797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526178)

Define ... 'hardcore' games? If you mean games with violence, gore, heavy subject matter, hard hitting plot, fantasy, and lead male characters then please explain why Assassins Creed has fangirls?

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (3, Interesting)

Yaroslavna (633407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526180)

I am a woman and I play Diablo II, Mass Effect, Oblivion, etc. I can tell you that eventually I got tired of seeing the dead women spreadeagled on tables in the Harem level of Diablo II and was alienated by being able to kill female prostitutes in GTA. (Just two examples.) Also, I get tired of no eye candy for me, the eye candy always *is* me. I think you're right; the "needs and preferences of women" thing is a bit disingenuous. My "needs and wants" are fewer rape jokes and less T&A in the games already produced. If you're going to have soft porn in your game (no problem with that), at least balance the gender a bit. Would you play completely through a game that had half naked men and only men that were half naked in it?

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526244)

The harem level in diablo 2 was also full of dead guards.

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526356)

Yes, I would. I have no problem killing of male prostitutes. I would maybe even enjoy it (sic)... The bigger the dicks the better...

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526478)

The eye candy thing is a legitimate beef with many games. While the characters all tend to be good looking, the men tend to have more clothes on. That is something game designers should consider (you should e-mail the publishers who's games you like and let them know). If they can have women in tight tanktops, they can have men in muscle shirts.

I have to question the GTA thing though. Why would that bother you so much? I mean you can kill male (and female) civilians, gangsters, police, and so on. The game is just very violent and bloody. If that's not your thing I 100% understand but I have trouble understanding why the rest of it would be ok but the completely optional part of killing a female prostitute would put you off the game.

The reason I ask is more one of "Examine your own feelings," because it seems to me to be a very strange complaint. In a game where you can be violent towards anyone, of any gender, at any time for no reason at all, why would that singular case bother you enough to alienate you from the game?

Re:So... what ARE those needs and preferences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526314)

I think it's all down to culture. Same culture that tells us videogames are for 13 year old boys.

More like stereotypes. The average gamer is now 37 years old, a fair bit over 13.

My wife used to play DOOM, but stopped playing FPS after Quake was released because she couldn't use the mouse AND keyboard at the same time - she couldn't master the hand-eye coordination and it put her off playing.

She now plays Facebook games like Cafeworld because they don't require other people, a time of day you must play, or any deep thought to engage with. Between work, children and TV, she slots in a few minutes or an hour of gaming when she can. Frontierville, Cityville and Cafeworld meet the need and Call of Duty doesn't.

Putting female soldiers, or selectable outfits, or other stereotype "girly" stuff into an FPS wouldn't change that.

GW and WoW (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525910)

Both are popular with women, relatively speaking. Been in guilds in both where women were significant in number and some of them influential. Couple of female Guild Masters, did wonderful job. (yes, we used Ventrilo; not fakes) No need to make games designed to attract females. Games are games are games. Only need to avoid elements in games that are offensive to most women. Much harder task is to remove online offensive language and adolescent crudity from players.

Re:GW and WoW (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525992)

Both are popular with women, relatively speaking. Been in guilds in both where women were significant in number and some of them influential. Couple of female Guild Masters, did wonderful job. (yes, we used Ventrilo; not fakes) No need to make games designed to attract females. Games are games are games. Only need to avoid elements in games that are offensive to most women. Much harder task is to remove online offensive language and adolescent crudity from players.

Fuck off! Now show us yer tits love, and yer map o' Tassie!

Why do I care? (4, Interesting)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525932)

Ok, I'm sure this is going to get modded to oblivion, but here goes.

Why the hell do I care?

When I dress up as a boy and go to work and have to deal with women who get bamboozled by basic Word features like tab stops, why do I care? If these women don't care about games or any other tech, why, as a guy, do I care?

When I dress up as a girl when I get home and fire up Monster Hunter or BlazBlue or whatever I feel like playing, why the hell do I care what some other woman wants out of games? If other women don't want to play video games, why do I care?

If women want to be "represented" in video games, they can get out GCC, SDL, and whatever else and make their own games. But they don't.

Besides, the girls at work who do play video games are perfectly happy with Smash Bros from what I understand anyway. I don't like Smash Bros. Does that make me underrepresented in Smash Bros? Why should anyone else care that I don't play Smash Bros?

Why do we all have to bend over backwards to try to get people who have no interest in our hobbies to be interested in our hobbies? They're just not interested, so why the hell should I care?

Re:Why do I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526042)

Wait, are you transgender, or... I am confused.

Re:Why do I care? (1)

iRommel (1684036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526186)

yeh that post screamed cross-dresser..

Re:Why do I care? (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526096)

Unless you work in the games industry, there's no reason why you should care. However, the question that the games industry (or some parts of it perhaps) needs to ask is, "are we leaving money on the table?". If there is some part of the market that is not being addressed, there may be an opportunity for some developers.

Why do we all have to bend over backwards to try to get people who have no interest in our hobbies to be interested in our hobbies? They're just not interested, so why the hell should I care?

There's a big assumption in what you wrote but that does not matter if you're not working in the industry.

Re:Why do I care? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526146)

Maybe many women do want to play games, just not the existing types?

I mean, let's suppose the game genres that interest you don't exist, only others. Wouldn't you be uninterested in games too?

If women want to be "represented" in video games, they can get out GCC, SDL, and whatever else and make their own games. But they don't.

Neither them, nor 99.99% of the male population.

Why do we all have to bend over backwards to try to get people who have no interest in our hobbies to be interested in our hobbies?

Who the hell asked you to? Jeez, why are these stories always viewed as attacks? Nobody said you should do anything.

They're just not interested, so why the hell should I care?

Are you a professional games developer? Then if the article is right, there's money to be made.

If you're not, you don't have to care. Why the hell did you even open the submission?

Never Pleased (5, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525940)

Duke Nukem Forever was all about women. What more do they want??

Re:Never Pleased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526276)

This was really funny +1

I'm commenting and I think I like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525960)

So it isn't that they aren't making games that appeal to these market but more that they are ignoring female gamers views when it comes to game design as the core market is male.

This article mostly showed me I want to play the same games as women :P

Maybe they should do more analysis on men as I imagine many men like single player, story/character driven games.

Or maybe it is just me :(

ignorants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525966)

Maybe if you ignore them, they will go away?

Games are fine, change society (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525988)

And what are "girl games"? Oh yeah, let's go after the stereotype and make games based on relationships/drama/romance or whatever.
I know many girls who play video games, and their favorite games are usually the ones that are "marketed for men". They also like the sims and whatever but when I ask what is their favorite games we get the same answers that guys do, CoD, portal and the like.
Also there aren't that many male oriented mainstream games, girls enjoy playing halo as much as any guy, blowing shit up is fun for everybody
The only problem I see with girls gaming is social. One girl that I know has to play videogames when her boyfriend is not around because he wants her to be "feminine". What the fuck? I guess society expects gamers to be guys and girls do house stuff or gossip with other girls or some other shit like that.

In medieval times most societies based on religion believed that women could not have orgasm and could/should not enjoy sex. Most women at the time kept their thoughts to themselves and since men knew no better they just thought that orgasm were a male privilege or whatever. The same thing kind of happens right now, men just assume that girls don't like the same thing that man do, but while some don't most don't even get to experience video games because society doesn't lead them to go play them.

Men aren't catered for either (1)

Warwick Allison (209388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526022)

What hope is there for studios understanding women when their understanding of men is that all we need is ever bigger guns and gore? I'm so sick of seeing the current unending stream of military games. Yawn!

So attempts to "target" women as an audience will be just as woefully patronising and base. Maybe a pregnancy game, eh? That's what all the girls want while all the boys want to go kill people.

So explain Nintendo? (2)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526040)

I see plenty of TV adverts for games that are very clearly aimed at women - Nintendo in particular has made a big push in this direction (and families, and older people of both sexes). I'm not qualified to say whether these really meet the needs of women, but its clear that the manufacturers think they do.

Presumably TFA has some narrow definition of gaming that excludes casual games, Sims-a-like, pet simulators, fitness trainers, online bingo etc. That just leaves one of this year's biggest game releases (Portal 2) which featured a female protagonist, and a female (ish) big bad making bitchy comments about our hero's weight.

Now, if it turns out that women are rejecting this pink fluffy stereotypical family-friendly stuff, and want more subtle changes to game design, that's a different story.

Perhaps Duke Nukem would have got a better critical reception if they'd taken a tip from the "Smack my Bitch Up" video and, right at the end, panned the camera round to reveal that Duke was actually a woman...?

hi (-1, Troll)

sweetjessicauk (2295460) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526050)

I like this post http://tinyurl.com/4yn3fuq [tinyurl.com]

Re:hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526086)

Looks like the Goatse guy got a new job.

Men Remain the Ignored Audience In Female Fashion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526054)

like seriously... i am 6 feet and 7.6 inches and my feet wont fit in those pretty shoes...

Same for movies, tv shows, books, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526066)

Nobody is going to make AAA games for women. Why not? Ask the movie studios why there aren't any movies for women with budget of $150 million. Same goes for tv shows that cost more than $2 million per episode and so on.

My theory is that unlike men, it is so difficult to nail down what they like. Just look at how much clothes change for women over the years compared to men.

Move along, nothing to see here. (2)

Ross R. Smith (2225686) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526074)

Without being sexist, there are definitely games out there that are more suited to either males or females, but they don't outright say it on the box. From my experience, more males seem to have embraced playing games such as Football(soccer) games, FPS games and heavy RTS and other strategy games, females are definitely more prevalent on other types of games such as MMORPGs (In a decent sized guild, a large section of the playerbase are normally women), Simulators such as The Sims and Farmville and adventure type games.

It's the content of the games that is the problem. The majority of women are not interested in guns and tanks and explosions such as the large majority of men really wouldn't care to design and build a farm. I definitely don't think that any man or woman wouldn't play a game purely because it wasn't designed specifically for them, that's just silly.

There are games where women, by design, aren't featured in games (Such as WW2 and other war games where women in the army were either non-existent or low in numbers). I don't think because of this women would just stop playing it, it doesn't work like that, I've talked to quite a few females while playing RTS games, that's just what type of games they like.

There are many games with a female hero/antagonist but going further than that to specifically tailoring it to women would alienate a large portion of the fanbase. I am aware that it notes female gamers as being 50% of all gamers but I personally don't see playing the occasional browser-based flash game as 'gaming' and a 50:50 share is definitely not prevalent in the majority of games online.

Misleading (1)

Lysander7 (2085382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526102)

What this article doesn't address is what comprises a "gamer". Someone that has an Angry Birds app or plays Farmville for a certain amount of time, by the standards of most studies, is a "gamer". If you were to eliminate those and focus only on those that either play their consoles regularly, or "actual" computer games, you'll find the female to male ratio will drop drastically, thus explaining why they're the underrepresented demographic in video games.

Re:Misleading? Try reading! (1)

idle_ether (878797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526224)

if you read the story, rather then just the slashdot mention you'd have seen that they did break it down into console use and casual vs non-casual gamers where the rate was still 40% non-casual gamers.

What about the Mighty Market? (1)

Dr.Syshalt (702491) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526106)

If there is a demand for some kind of games - there will be an offer. In a short time - especially considering the current game market saturation. If there are no games of some particular kind - that means that the demand is way too low to be on the radar of publishers, or even independent studios.

Killing pixels... (2)

Giovanny (2273376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526138)

My wife has a Wii and a couple of games on my PS3. She says she's a gamer but I haven't seen her touch a controller in nearly a year with the exception of when we play Rock Band together. I would absolutely LOVE it if she was into COD or some-such. We would so be killing pixels together... But I doubt that would ever happen because men and women, despite exceptions to every rule and so on, are fundamentally different. Men = hunters. Women = gatherers. Although I think things are (very, very, very) slowly shifting, we have evolution to thank for the lack of females who are hard-core gamers as most hard-core games are tasty-violent with a freakin' laserbeam.

I know (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526156)

They need to take their games and add a virtual clothes rack and clothing store, where you can buy boots and other little items for your avatars. That way an additional challenge is presented: "Hmmm, should I spend this billion ISK on a Carrier class starship, or should I spend it on a silly looking monacle for my avatar?". The women, of course, will choose the clothing. And the men will choose the big pew pew ships. And so the game will be much less frustrating for women because they will still get pwned, but at least they will die stylishly.

/incarna rant

PS: All the women I know prefer big guns over pretty boots any day.

Re:I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526348)

Depends on the size of teh boots.

Re:I know (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526432)

My Soon-to-be-wife will only play one computer game with me, Borderlands. The reason being, she can shoot and play around with me, but it things get out of control (swamped by bandits) she knows she can just cover her eyes and panic until I've killed them all. If you ask her what her favourite part of the game is, she'll tell you:
"Opening the boxes and finding items"

She's not mentally deficient in any way (I think) it's a simple case that she finds it more enjoyable to run about with me looking for the powerups while I worry about where she should put talents, what quest we're on and where the boss's weakpoints are.

Funny thing is, though, when we were nearing the end of the first playthrough, she was surprisingly good at the game, often thinning out a field of baddies with a sniper rifle before I could close the distance for shotgun use.

They definitely get different forms of enjoyment out of games that we do. The kind of game that will appeal to both genders is one that offers a reward that both genders values. Which is why Farmville/The Sims or such games are so popular to both, you can tailor the rewards to your own liking.

Someone explain to me... (1)

Terranex (1500465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526158)

What special 'needs' do women have in gaming? Most of the women I know love playing Halo, GTA, TF2, L4D, Mortal Kombat, all the games I love to play myself. As far as I'm concerned those are games made for men and women, what do women need that they don't provide?

Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526206)

This story exists only to be provocative and get viewers.

In other news:

Men ignored by makeup market.
More moob compatible bras required to fill growing need.
Men petitioning for the allowance of one day a month to be total a-holes and get away with it.

The community (3, Insightful)

feidaykin (158035) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526248)

I think the biggest barrier for entry for women gamers isn't the games themselves, but the gaming community. We all know of The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory [penny-arcade.com] , but women get presented an even uglier side of online gaming. This site has some good examples: http://fatuglyorslutty.com/ [fatuglyorslutty.com]

It seems the moment a female gamer reveals her gender she's automatically the target of the most vile and despicable comments the online community has to offer. Granted, most gamers are thick skinned and can brush this stuff off. But it makes me wonder how many women have tried playing a game, had an experience similar to the ones at the site above, and gave up entirely. It would be nice if the online community were a little friendlier. We would all have more fun that way, regardless of gender.

Don't whine, fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526252)

If women are so unhappy with games not catering to their needs (whatever those are), why aren't there any women getting into game-making and making those games that they're missing?

No, really. It sounds like there's a huge opportunity here - a huge untapped market. Why isn't anyone going for it? And if the men aren't doing it because they're so unfair and sexist and don't just understand what women need (sob), why aren't those women doing it themselves?

I seriously don't understand.

It's simple economics (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526300)

To create a blockbuster game that appeals directly to women is a massively risky investment. Games like Gears of War and Halo take tens of millions, if not over $100M, to produce. No publisher in their right mind is going to spend that on trying to win female gamers since most female gamers are "casual gamers" who haven't shown a predilection for "hardcore games" of any type. It would be a career or even company-ending move if it didn't go well.

oh man (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526384)

Now if we could only ignore them at home as well...

um... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526414)

Women don't buy ridiculous gadgets like Xboxes and such... so why would those systems make games for them? That doesn't mean women are being ignored. Facebook games anyone? Bejeweled? I'd argue that if you just counted the number of games out there, there's actually MORE tailored to women than to men. The only difference being, Men are willing to pay a lot more for their entertainment and entertainment companies are happily willing to take their money.

50% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526438)

If they represent 50% of the consumers, then the market doesn't seem to be that bad at catering to them...

Personal Anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526452)

My wife bought a Wii just so she could play Micheal Jackson: The Experience. All of her friends at work had been raving about it. I think games like that are a good example of where money could be made.

The offer is targeted to wherever the demand is (1)

Smigh (1634175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526472)

The kinds of games that are made are the kind that get sold. If games are targeted at men it's because they're the ones that want to buy them. I believe that there are games targeted at women (or at least not targeted at men specifically) already so I don't see the problem there. Maybe advances in technology or shifts in the gaming interfaces will make the medium more attractive to women in the future. Games, like any other product, will always be targeted to wherever the demand is.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...