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Uneasy Relationship Between Gender and Gaming

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the yes-another-girls-and-gaming-article dept.

Games 65

1up.com has a well thought out look at the Uneasy Relationship between Gender and Gaming. No girl power, no PSP lickers. From the article: "Leisure and entertainment have evolved alongside humans. Even in more primitive times, life couldn't be all about clubbing saber-toothed tigers. And while men and women usually enjoy the same forms of entertainment, it doesn't mean they always enjoy the same kinds of entertainment."

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65 comments

Alienating 1/2 potential customers (2, Insightful)

danikar (896514) | about 9 years ago | (#12955059)

I don't think it will be too many more years before the game companies relize that about half the world is being alienated by there games and start making unisexual games.

I mean DOA beach Vollyball.... heh who was that made for I wonder.

Re:Alienating 1/2 potential customers (1)

Knetzar (698216) | about 9 years ago | (#12956006)

lesbians?

Re:Alienating 1/2 potential customers (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | about 9 years ago | (#12956515)

At first my wife look at DOA-XBV like it was a weird game, but after playing it she thought it was fun and a good game to play togher. and she is not a lez.

Re:Alienating 1/2 potential customers (1)

ringbarer (545020) | about 9 years ago | (#12958214)

Women in games are only good for one thing - frigging their diseased cunts off with a cyberdildo while playing Rez.

Come-on slashboteers - where's the link to the clit cancer slut?

Re:Alienating 1/2 potential customers (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 9 years ago | (#12959152)

Actually women seem to be far less offended by DOAXBV than men. GameGirlAdvance even said they don't mind hyper-sexualized female characters if they seem like actual characters, the DOA girls apparently have elaborate backstories and personalities, something most other big-tits-no-clothes game characters cannot claim.

Also, considering the length women go to to look more "appealing" (not necessarily just to appeal to the other gender, apparently it just makes them feel better about themselves), including various chemicals, unpractical clothing and even surgery it'd be hypocritical to say game characters (or movie actresses?) are supposed to look dumpy or something.

I mean, honestly, would you play a game where the male protagonist is some stupid redneck or socially inept pasty-white geek and you're supposed to identify with that guy?

Re:Alienating 1/2 potential customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12959719)

socially inept pasty-white geek and you're supposed to identify with that guy?

Why would that be a problem? I bet most people here have never "identified with" these ultra-jock characters they stick you with in a lot of games...but then, they're just an avatar, and have no reason to be especially deep. And any girls (or guys) expecting them to be are just being silly.

P.S.
Complain constantly about sexuality when you just wanted a story? Why am I not surprised...

Re:Alienating 1/2 potential customers (2, Informative)

cthulhubob (161144) | about 9 years ago | (#12962235)

I can tell you who I know that plays it.

Girls.

All of them.

My ex-girlfriends since it came out, and my current girlfriend. Also most of their friends like it. I think it's fun, but I wouldn't buy it, or play it by myself... maybe white 20-something males aren't actually the target audience.

What lickers? (4, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | about 9 years ago | (#12955101)

No girl power, no PSP lickers.

I googled for "girls lick PSP", but none of those links seem to be what you were referring to.

Re:What lickers? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12955268)

They're referring to this vacuous whore [redassedbaboon.com] who the dribbling idiots at IGN have just hired as a writer. It's got nothing to do with the fact that they're a bunch of losers and the only way they can get a girl to be near them is to pay them of course... And unless those inbred idiots at IGN are mis-shapen enough to look like PSPs they probably won't get licked by her anyway.

Re:What lickers? (2, Insightful)

blackicye (760472) | about 9 years ago | (#12956246)

From TFA: "Lets just get right to the point: I'm the chick who shamelessly licked her PSP. And you know something? I loved it, and I would do it again!

I love my PSP. It's slick, long, shiny and new and panders to my every whim. Besides the fact that it is just straight up kick ass! ( Who wouldn't want to put their mouth on that thing!?!)"


Vacuous whore is an understatement..I read that last line as who wouldn't want to stick it straight up their ass.

Re:What lickers? (1)

miruku (642921) | about 9 years ago | (#12955659)

Re:What lickers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12955683)

Well done, only 33 minutes after someone already posted the link...

Topless Volleyball (4, Funny)

mrighi (855168) | about 9 years ago | (#12955157)

I think that games should be catered equally to men and women. For example, Tecmo's "Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball" featured topless male players right out of the box! Why did it have to take a group of concerned volunteers to develop a patch that made the game fair? [wired.com]

Re:Topless Volleyball (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | about 9 years ago | (#12956538)

Only one guy in that game in he is only in a cut scene

Re:Topless Volleyball (1)

Gewis (717661) | about 9 years ago | (#12958671)

You just gave me a strange mental image of Jan Lee wearing a bikini top.

Vicious circle (2, Interesting)

PhotoBoy (684898) | about 9 years ago | (#12955158)

The games industry is trapped in a vicious circle, these days games cost a fortune to make and a single flop can wipe out a development company. So instead of experimenting and innovating with new ideas that could potentially flop developers/publishers stick to tried and tested franchises which means the female market goes completely untapped.

Nintendo seem to be having the most success at breaking away from this problem, particularly with games like Nintendogs which has apparently been a big hit with many female gamers in Japan.

Whatever... (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | about 9 years ago | (#12955219)

As with a lot of topics, it's unfortunate that all the people who know exactly how to sell games to females don't actually make games. They do, however, write condescending lectures as if they just thought of all this stuff themselves, while trashing on the Barbie developers, who _have_ sold games to females.

BTW, exactly when did male gamers stop being "awkward, snorting nerds"?

Players Versus Characters (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | about 9 years ago | (#12955301)

Interesting article, but it makes the same mistake every other "Do Girls Like Video Games? Should They?" article makes:

The lead character's gender has very little to do with the gender gap in gaming.

"Psychologists" have really latched onto the fact that, yes, games with female protaganists like Lara Croft tend to attract more female gamers than games featuring, say, Duke Nukem or Master Chief. The article spends almost two pages talking about female characters in games, which really misses the point.

What the article touches on briefly is that in Japan, girls are a little more likely to enjoy video games. There is a reason for this, and it has very little to do with the characters in the game.

It's about the gameplay!

Speaking generally often gets perceived as flamebait, but here goes: "chick flicks" are called "chick flicks" for a reason. It's not because the main characters are all female; it's because the movie is about relationships or family and it tends to tug at a person emotionally. On average, women enjoy this sort of thing more than men. Yes, it's probably cultural rather than biological. Yes, some men like chick flicks and some women hate them.

But in any industry, be it movies or video games or food services, you have a choice. Appeal to the stereotypical , or carve out a niche among the idiosyncratic.

In video games, both the stereotypical guy (sports and shooters) and the stereotypical geek (RPGs and platformers) are pretty well represented. But for all the "industry's" talk of trying to appeal to (more stereotypical) female gamers, when was the last time you played a non-RPG that portrayed romance, that centered around relationships, that placed cooperation above competition, and didn't marginalize women as sex-objects or helpless damsels in distress?

"The Sims" comes to mind. Funny, that seems to be the gold standard in "girl gaming" discussions. But all its clones (Playboy: The Mansion?) haven't done as well. Fancy that.

Okay, I've rambled long enough, but let's face it. This is just like the "are graphics important" debate. Yes, graphics are important and so is the protaganist's gender, but nowhere near as important as the way the game is played!

Max Payne 2 (1)

Toxygen (738180) | about 9 years ago | (#12955528)

I wouldn't call any of it romance, but Payne and Mona Sax had a relationship of sorts, they cooperate and rescue each other, she's anything but helpless and you never see one little hint of a jiggle or cleavage from a model that's very realistic (assuming a fit woman).

Oh, and every Metroid game ever made.

Did you even read Alaren's post? (2, Insightful)

Thedalek (473015) | about 9 years ago | (#12956000)

That would be you missing almost every point he just made.

The structure of Max Payne 2 doesn't center around relationships, and Metroid doesn't meet any of the qualifications other than the non-marginalized female lead. No romance, no emotional relationships, no cooperation.

Re:Did you even read Alaren's post? (0)

Toxygen (738180) | about 9 years ago | (#12956269)

when was the last time you played a non-RPG that portrayed romance, that centered around relationships, that placed cooperation above competition, and didn't marginalize women as sex-objects or helpless damsels in distress?

That would be Max Payne 2 hitting 3 of those 5 points, and touching on a 4th. Definitely worthy of mentioning, since he's basically asking us for a game that meets those qualifications. And just because the Metroid series doesn't include everything mentioned doesn't mean it's unworthy of attention.

So when was the last time I played a non-rpg with some of those qualities? Pretty damned recently.

Max Payne has a SHOWER SCENE (2, Insightful)

frikazoyd (845667) | about 9 years ago | (#12956275)

I mean really man, Mona's only wearing a towel at one point. That's pretty gratuitous. There's even a suggestive drawing of her in the shower. Mona's a guy gamer's fantasy of a girl if I ever saw one. Very comic-book like, not like she was in the first Max Payne.

If I may be more specific... (2, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | about 9 years ago | (#12956601)

Sorry, my post was already waxing a little long, but maybe I should be more specific.

There are games out there that appeal to girls and even to women. "The Sims," whatever your thoughts on that particular game or its audience, at least demonstrates the point. I have a sister-in-law (she's 26, married, has two kids) who plays RPGs. Nothing else--no shooters, no platformers, but she owns just about every RPG there is. She loves the stories.

My wife played through both FF:Crystal Chronicles and Tales of Symphonia with me from beginning to end. She enjoyed the games, but mostly because instead of fighting me (Smash Brothers) or racing me (Mario Kart) she and I worked together toward a goal.

My 12-year old sister is a regular "gamer girl." She loves platformers and RPGs and racing games. She's less fond of fighters and she doesn't play shooters, but her favorite game? The Sims.

My 9-year old sister pretty much plays Mario Kart and Neopets exclusively. Occasionally some Super Monkey Ball.

I share these anecdotes to illustrate the fact that you made a similar mistake as the article. The "relationship" in Max Payne is vestigal. It's not part of the game; it's part of the cutscenes. The game is a shooter.

Similarly, Prince of Persia depicts a strong female supporting character, but the "cooperation" here is not between people, it is between characters--it's not part of the gameplay. I'd say PoP is a good example of a game with many of the elements girls might like--the relationship, the puzzles, etc.--but even here, the female comes across as occasionally helpless and also scantily clad. Furthermore, the actual gameplay often resorts to nifty combat and twitch reflexes.

There is no romance in Metroid. There is no cooperation in Metroid. The game involves shooting aliens and exploring. The lead is non-marginalized, but that's exactly my point--having female protaganists is an incredibly small thing and makes very little difference in attracting female gamers.

The games that succeed, however marginally, with women gamers seem to have a few elements in common. Some, like my sister-in-law, slog through mechanics they don't enjoy (like power-leveling or stat management) because they really like the other aspects like romance and storytelling. Some, like my wife, play games almost exclusively as an activity to share with loved ones, meaning they will never purchase a single-player game for themselves and they will prefer cooperative gameplay over competitive.

Others, like my 12-year old sister, seem largely unaffected by the stereotypical views of feminine preference. This is a niche. This is where simply having a female protagonist might give an edge over other, similar games. But this is the minority.

You may notice in industry studies that young girls are almost as likely as young boys to play video games. But as the gamers get older, that changes. Now ask: what games are these kids playing? When I was very young, it was Carmen San Diego and Oregon Trail. My sisters enjoyed these as much as I did. As I got older, my games aged with me; first platformers, then RPGs and shooters and so on. But did my sisters get advanced dating sims? Cooperative exploration games? Travel sims?

Sure, some. A few. The landscape is not entirely barren. But as the article suggests, it's pretty close. Where you and the article fail is, you seem to think that a woman character and a nod to romance is all it takes to make a game "unisex." I'm saying if you want to make a game for women, you have to make the gameplay for women. Sometimes that will mean making a game men will also play (a la The Sims).

Often, it will mean quite the opposite.

Re:Players Versus Characters (1)

Khuffie (818093) | about 9 years ago | (#12956476)

Meh. Frankly I think the reason we have such a gender gap in gaming is because when games started out, they were seen as the domain of guys and geeks only. Most of the girls I know that don't play games don't not for the content in the games (after all, they watch the same action movies as the rest of us), but the mere concept of grabbing a conroller and playing a game is beyond them. It's not the content, it's society.

Re:Players Versus Characters (1)

aneroid (856995) | about 9 years ago | (#12960640)

when was the last time you played a non-RPG that portrayed romance, that centered around relationships, that placed cooperation above competition, and didn't marginalize women as sex-objects or helpless damsels in distress?
the longest journey

bit of romance (talk/implied). all of the others. it was an RPG though.
3.5 of 5?

how exactly would a non-RPG portray romance?

there was this game review i saw...it's an FPS about a couple's child who gets kidnapped/goes missing. the mother jumps on to the father's back and they go on a (murderous) rampage instead of leaving it to the authorities. it's supposed to be fun, not gory. (even had that move where the bad guys bounce in the air with consecutive shotgun shots). they weren't human btw. kinda wookie looking. and it wasn't initially for PCs.
so it's
"...a non-RPG (FPS) that portrayed romance (most likely), that centered around relationships (2 diff types: husband + wife and parent + child), that placed cooperation above competition (between husband and wife? :P), and didn't marginalize women as sex-objects or helpless damsels in distress (not at all, though i don't know the gender of the child/baby...definitlely not old enough to be a damsel and not a sex object to most ppl)."

Re:Players Versus Characters (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | about 9 years ago | (#12967859)

female gamers, when was the last time you played a non-RPG that portrayed romance, that centered around relationships, that placed cooperation above competition, and didn't marginalize women as sex-objects or helpless damsels in distress? do various non-H dating sims count?

Dumb statement (3, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | about 9 years ago | (#12955445)

And while men and women usually enjoy the same forms of entertainment

No they don't. Men and women on average enjoy different movies, different books, different music, and enjoy these things in different quantities. Men and women enjoy different physical activities and different hobbies. It's hard to think of forms of entertainment that don't differentiate by sex.

Most of the reason we see lots of stupid articles about "getting more girls into gaming" is that gamers don't have much experience with women and what they are like. So they listen to the most male-like of women, radical feminist lesbians, because that's the type of male-style thinking they can relate to. Hence the often fervent belief by nerds in absolute equality despite all reality to the contrary.

Re:Dumb statement (1)

Pluvius (734915) | about 9 years ago | (#12955774)

Men and women on average enjoy different movies, different books, different music, and enjoy these things in different quantities.

So you agree with him, then, that both men and women like (for instance) movies, but not necessarily the same kinds of movies.

You do know the difference between "forms" and "kinds," right?

Rob

Re:Dumb statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12956748)

You do know the difference between "forms" and "kinds," right?

No, Plato, why don't you tell us...

Re:Dumb statement (1)

ffub (322605) | about 9 years ago | (#12956245)

He said, "form." Men and women alike enjoy movies, books, music, and physical activities. However, as the poster seemed to be trying to point out, they like different kinds of movies, books, music and physical activities.

Your generalisations about gamers and casual grouping together of radical feminists and lesbians, however, is both insulting and dumb.

Re:Dumb statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12960450)

I congratulate you on your use of such an appropriate title.

Gamer Grrl (4, Interesting)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 9 years ago | (#12955708)

My personal hit list for what makes a game enjoyable:

Co-op mode - chances are, I won't get as much screen time to perfect my 12-step awesome combo moves, so playing competative just leads to me getting my ass kicked every time we play. That gets boring fast. Besides which, I'm probably in a relationship WITH you, and am playing the game to do something WITH you not AGAINST you.

Support for casual players - I have lots of responsibilities outside of a game, sometimes I need to drop everything at a moments notice. Making me work for an hour before I can find a save point means I will have to keep replaying bits I've already done because I didn't make it to the save point before having to stop last time. This gets boring pretty soon.

Alternate forms of advancement is good, e.g. crafting options. Sometimes I want to play a support class and be valued.

If I do decide the play a tank of somekind, how about an avatar that doesn't look like a covergirl from Dragon magazine from the middle of the chainmail bikini era. I may not know much about real combat, but even I know a thong isn't going to protect me - unless there is some kind of 'distract' bonus to dodge AC.

I like to see my character progress in some way that I perceive as meaningful. It probably doesn't mean a bigger gun. I liked the progresion in Civ II (size of territory, fitting out of the throne room), I like getting new skills in WoW or Diablo II. Not dying in Doom didn't really do it for me.

Let me play my own way. I like to explore worlds in WindWaker or WoW. I sneak around stealthed just to see what's around the next corner, I may not engage everything I see in combat. Give me alternate ways of resolving a situation which may not require slaying everything in my path. Have the game remember how I solved my problems and respond to that - the bad guy is still alive, he's dead and his allies hate me, whatever.

I'm rambling a bit now, but hopefully there are a few valid points there.

Re:Gamer Grrl? (1)

MoodyLoner (76734) | about 9 years ago | (#12955956)

How is this gender-specific?

Being a parent, I have little time to perfect combo moves or wander around levelling. Wanting to spend some time with my wife (and my daughter, when she starts gaming) means cooperative gaming and support classes.

When I put a female avatar on a character, and she looks like a chainmail-bikini centerfold, my wife gives me funny looks. My four-year-old daughter just laughs and spends twenty minutes yelling, "Look, she forgot her PANTS! She has no PANTS! She's in her PANTIES!"

Not that I don't like chasing baddies around with a chainsaw in Doom, but as I get older, the games I buy need to reflect my changing circumstances. We're not all 14-year olds living with our parents, you know.

Re:Gamer Grrl? (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 9 years ago | (#12955986)

It may not be gender specific to females, but they are the prime issues I experience as a female gamer detract from my ability to play a game to it's fullest extent that my husband doesn't experience in the same way.

Re:Gamer Grrl? (1)

MoodyLoner (76734) | about 9 years ago | (#12956075)

And I'm merely suggesting that it may be less that you're a gamer grrl and more that you have a life. Or, at the very least, that there are gamer guys that are interested in the same things you are in a game, although for different reasons.

But, not particularly wanting to get into gaming issues with you and your husband, I'll drop it now.

Re:Gamer Grrl? (0, Troll)

JavaLord (680960) | about 9 years ago | (#12960514)

You don't get it, your issues have nothing to do with you being female. They are more about your relationship with your husband. He gets in more playing time than you do, there are plenty of relationships where this works in reverse, (ie talk to some married women in WoW, I've run into a few that play more than their hubbies).

Most of the things you've stated are mentioned by males as well, who are more into the social aspect of mmo's and gaming.

Re:Gamer Grrl? (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 9 years ago | (#12975249)

Possibly what you state is true, but certainly there have been plenty of studies that confirm that even in a relationship where the woman works full time and the man doesn't, the woman in the relationship (in Australia at least) does the majority of the 'unpaid' work around the house - add children and the disparity increases.

Your assumption about married women presumably applies to stay-at-home-moms, I make this assumption because I personally know no women who get more time to play around than their partners in any other circumstance.

What you 'don't get' is that regardless of whether your designing for women or 'mature men with responsibilities', these are things which impact on their abilties to play games - but which is statistically (in Australia anyways) a bigger impact on women - a market they say they have difficulty understanding.

If you say that men experience the same problems with the games, then addressing these issue would potentially increase their marketshare/space beyond getting a few more girl gamers and get some more of the casual gaemrs who don't want to spend that kind of money.

Re:Gamer Grrl (1)

KrisW (613034) | about 9 years ago | (#12956215)

Co-op mode - chances are, I won't get as much screen time to perfect my 12-step awesome combo moves, so playing competative just leads to me getting my ass kicked every time we play. That gets boring fast. Besides which, I'm probably in a relationship WITH you, and am playing the game to do something WITH you not AGAINST you.

Excellent point. Even though we could own each other at out respective games (myself with FPS type games, she with fighting games) the most fun my ex-girlfriend and I had playing games was in co-op games like the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series.

Re:Gamer Grrl (1)

KrisW (613034) | about 9 years ago | (#12956277)

Sorry, make that "our respective games" instead of "out respective games". I even used preview...

Re:Gamer Grrl (1)

dr00g911 (531736) | about 9 years ago | (#12960810)

My wife started playing DAoC with me a few years ago and she enjoyed the exploration and questing aspects, but didn't care for the PvP portion of it (which was my biggest draw).

These days, she's a monkey on crack for WoW. Avatars can be scantily clad if you go for that, but generally they're not. She spends half of her time playing as a big fat bear collecting herbs for alchemy and making money, or stealthing around exploring without any character advancement at all.

At first, I thought the battlegrounds in WoW were going to be very similar to DAoC -- but my wife begs to differ. She's become one of the best flag carriers on our primary server (Shadow Moon/Alliance). The difference is that there are very specific roles (including non-combat) that need to be filled in Warsong and Alterac, and she's all over it. Strategy and cooperation are absolutely required, with an occasional side order of zerging -- as opposed to the exact opposite in DAoC.

I think that's one of the major differences between men and women's interaction with games -- my wife usually wants to be entertained intellectually (most of the time), but my adrenaline rush and need to WIN trump my intellectual needs (most of the time).

That's not to say that I haven't gotten her to embrace my Red == Dead philosophy (she actually quite enjoys a good gank these days), or that I didn't play Prince of Persia: Sands of Time exclusively for the puzzles. It's just that those go against our usual normal tastes.

Regardless, she won't touch The Sims or any shooter, but well designed RPGs, puzzle games like PoP, and the occasional Gauntlet clone like the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series get her undivided attention, and mine as well.

gender != sex (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#12955965)

Gender is a grammatical term, not biological.

see : http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/30/15 32238 [slashdot.org]

for further details

Re:gender != sex (1)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | about 9 years ago | (#12956484)

Hmmm,

This [reference.com] clearly supports you in it's first sets of definitions. However, if you read further down in the usage section, you'll find that it's been slowly evolving. It notes the usage of "gender" as a social and culture grouping, and sex as a strictly biological term is becoming more and more common. You'll notice that even in the dictionary that clearly labels it primarily as a grammatically term, still lists secondary usages that clearly match up with the usage above (3b being the easiest to identify).

This might all be the fear of being politically incorrect, and using the word sex. However, it'll probably end up being coming the wrong usage to use sex there instead of "gender" as some point in the future. Just like it's now considered improper to use gender netural pronouns in the singlular case. This link [linix.ca] discusses it better. "They" was used as singluar pronoun in the ambigous gender cases. From reading the above link, it appears that "you" went through the same transitions.

Kirby

Re:gender != sex (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 9 years ago | (#12956900)

Great, now you've done it. You've gone and used the 's' word. Now the Bush administration can shut down Slashdot.

Of course, feel free to use British curse words all you'd like, though. Saying 'the US is full of sods' would probably gartner agreement from most Americans, along with a healthy dose of ribbing on the size and climate of the UK.

Typical Headline (1)

SillyHatsOnly (875532) | about 9 years ago | (#12956570)

The headline should be "The uneasy relationship between CONSOLE gaming and gender"

I can't help but get the feeling this article was to rile up readers and not provide any positive insight. After reading this, I thought in regards to female gamers, how can this not even mention The Sims, Civ, Pogo, Yahoo Games, or some of the MMOs that have a wide audience? Could have sworn games have made improvements.

Re:Typical Headline (1)

djdanlib (732853) | about 9 years ago | (#12956840)

That's a very small percentage of games actively played today. The article's point is still valid. Oh, sure, some games dented the male-dominant world - I know, my mom plays those Popcap games all the time. But what about serious games for serious gamers, other than those dime-a-dozen Flash/Java "clones", maybe even where we'll interact with each other? Women like games, definitely. But (thankfully) they aren't pumped up on testosterone, thus having the need to fight and kill and maim, so they purchase a small fraction of the games we do. MMOs have come a long way but there's another problem: Claiming to be female will get you free gifts from almost every passer-by... or sexual harassment from the little punks who think that it's funny and ok because they're anonymous. Need references for either of those? I'll post 'em if you need 'em. Also, the clothes female characters have to wear: All the good gear is skimpy and revealing. Sigh. See, it's a tough thing to figure out, which is why nobody has fixed it, and articles like this still freakin appear periodically.

Seriously, how many CS/UT/other team or deathmatch or ctf servers are still active (lots), what's the logged-in user stats on Battle.net (lots) and how many people actually play Civ/Sims anymore (few)?

The still-beating-the-dead-horse point is that women barely represent themselves in the gaming market, because they don't even like the games that are marketed specifically to them.

In other news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12956603)


Dress making companies can't figure out why more guys don't wear dresses. Defended Joe block in his suit stated that dress companies dont go far enough, and alienate 1/2 of the market. Sexism at its worst!

What is all the hype about girl gamers? (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | about 9 years ago | (#12956653)

Web sites and gamer magazines do these stories for there mostly male readers.

The real fact is some girls like games and some dont. Many like game and dont know they are a gamer, Look at who is playing most of the java games on the web. Hard core gaming girls(or woman) are harder to find, but they like what guy gamers like. I known woman that like CS others that like The Sims to some that like Leasure Suit Larry.

My wife is a gamer play many game love the FF series and has a bad WOW habbit. My 6 year old daugher loves her GameBoy and gamming is just a normal thing for her.

discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12957093)

What about for homosexuals? There aren't enough RPGs, RTSs, FPS games for homosexuals. Why is it just about women?

Re:discrimination (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | about 9 years ago | (#12957576)

Homosexuals don't make up over half of the world's population.

Re:discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12958034)

Yes they do. More than half the world is homosexual. Besides, not all geeks are heterosexual. Who's to say that all people who play RPGs, RTSs and Shooters are hetero? There should be at least mods for homosexuals. Doom3 add-ins, etc. They're even a bigger market than straight women.

Re:discrimination (0, Troll)

JavaLord (680960) | about 9 years ago | (#12960416)

Both the grandpaent and parent are off base, the worlds population does not matter. The gaming population is what matters, and no matter how many bogus studies the media comes up with about yahoo games the main demographic that will spend money on video games is still 13-30 males.

Re:discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12960643)

Please, you have Half-Life 2. Gayest ending ever.

I keep getting hung up on his bad references... (1)

rekenner (849871) | about 9 years ago | (#12957977)

Phantasy Star IV for the Genesis likewise starred a tough female named Alys.

... Strike 1. See, she was never the main character... And then she dies about 1/3 of the way thorugh the game... A sign of weakness, maybe?

Few adventures star middle-aged balding men with love handles and average jobs (although it's not unheard of: Dragon Warrior IV starred a rotund merchant, Taloon, whose wife handed him lunch every day on his way to work

Stiiiiiike two. Talloon is a pretty minor character in Dragon Warrior 4. He DOES have a few games of his own, however.

IT wasn't a bad article, on the whole, but... Wow, man, play the damn games you reference.

Re:I keep getting hung up on his bad references... (1)

MrDyrden (833392) | about 9 years ago | (#12958839)

Strike 3 - I call bullshit on your strike 2.

Taloon was definitely the most important and major character besides yourself (the 'chosen one')

He had a whole chapter devoted solely to him and later in the game he was that all important 4th member to fill up your party. Not only that but you got to run his shop and sell battle axes and whatnot for insane prices.

Re:I keep getting hung up on his bad references... (1)

cthulhubob (161144) | about 9 years ago | (#12962356)

Did anybody else intentionally take a long time getting through Chapter 3?

I thought being on the other side of the counter in the shop was the greatest thing since sliced bread when I first played it, especially being like "no, I'm sorry, you heard the price wrong. It's actually 100 GP more expensive" just because you didn't like the look of somebody... or wanted to make sure the Sword of Malice stayed in the shop until you earned enough to buy it yourself. :P

What's the status on some of the Torneco no Daibouken games as far as translation goes? Anybody working on them?

Re:I keep getting hung up on his bad references... (1)

rekenner (849871) | about 9 years ago | (#12967019)

Hey, I love Taloon. But... You never sell battle axes, Hero, Ragnar, Alena, Cristo is the best party, and the money you make in chapter 3 can only be taken to the fifth chapter through abusing item carrying. He is a nice source of Sword of Malices at that point in chaper 5 though.

Final Fantasy VI (1)

phorm (591458) | about 9 years ago | (#12979770)

I won't even mention the cleavage-bearing atrocity that was XII, but if you want a game with a primary female character, check out Final Fantasy VI (aka US FF III on the SNES, etc).

The main character was a woman (Terra), and she ended up being pretty kickass. There were also some supporting female characters... well one good supporting character anyhow as Celes kicked ass.

I remember being a little shocked at the idea of an RPG with a female lead - not that I'm gender biased but it just wasn't a common thing. Overall FFVI turned out to be my favorite of all Final Fantasy games though, a fact I found had little to do with the gender of the main character and a lot to do with the plot and development of characters overall.

Why would women want a gaming industry? (1)

el_womble (779715) | about 9 years ago | (#12958917)

There are many reasons why women arn't targeted by games manufacturers

Women arn't stupid enough to keep buying the same game. Women know that bigger numbers doesn't mean better gameplay.

Women arn't interested in scoring points, or winning in the same, obsessive way men are. In their eyes they've already won, by not playing the game in the first place.

Women have hightened color perception and perceive virtual worlds differently to men, in that they often get motion sickness from playing FPS. Being sick isn't fun.

Women know that virtually blowing somebody on the other side of the planet is not real human interaction. If you want to interact they would rather use a phone. In the eyes of many women - talking to the 13 year old that just whooped your ass is sad.

So what would women play? Sims was a classic female mind friendly game. Building relationships with no agenda makes a lot of sense to women. Nearly all the women I know love puzzle games, especially quick pick-ups like solitare, mine sweeper and tetris. However, deep stratergy like Chess, don't seem to stick (I guess its because you are actively competing in chess). I know a lot of women who love card games in the real world, but shy away from their online equivalent - because women play the people not the game.

You won't get women playing games until there is an all women programming house. People write games for fun, so you write games that are fun to you. Until women are actively programming games in large numbers, I don't think we'll see a gender shift - and to be honest I don't think that we'll ever see it happen - hardcore gaming just isn't a female thing to do.

Re:Why would women want a gaming industry? (1)

shepuk (588339) | about 9 years ago | (#12959720)

> Women arn't stupid enough to keep buying the same game. Unless it has the word "SIMS" written on the box. > Women arn't interested in scoring points, or winning in the same, obsessive way men are. Have you played any MMORPGs recently? In my experience, the female players are just as level-hungry and treadmill-focussed as the guys are. I have a couple of female gamers in my circle of friends, and whenever we've played the same MMORPG, they have *totally* outpaced me. > Women have hightened color perception and perceive virtual worlds differently to men, in that they often get motion sickness from playing FPS. The female angle on this isn't something I've heard of before (an awful lot of those MMORPGs are first person) - Got a reference about this phenomena? It seems kind of odd that their incapacitatingly-enriched color perception only switches on when they play computer games... ;)

Re:Why would women want a gaming industry? (1)

Gulthek (12570) | about 9 years ago | (#12963613)

Wow, for someone who says that only Sith deal in absolutes that post was chock full of stereotyping. You could've at least thrown a "most", or a "many", or possibly a "generally" in there.

BBC Coverage (1)

-pms-mistletoe (894503) | about 9 years ago | (#12958924)

The BBC have also picked up on the 'women in games' issue recently [bbc.co.uk] : more coverage on Wonderland [typepad.com] and the Guardian Gamesblog [slashdot.org] . Nice to see us girl gamers being written about, again...

Re:BBC Coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12959113)

Actually, I find it pretty boring to be reading more whining about girl gamers, since they rarely bother trying to FIND any girl gamers (or girl game programmers, like, oh, ME) to talk to, and instead often just have articles written by a MAN talking about what HE thinks is wrong with women in gaming. :) (Thankfully, this one wasn't, and also remembered that girls did play the NES.)

They whine about how they want more games for women, but they don't look around to see who's actually MAKING them and promote them. THey just want to show how socially conscious they are without actually having to lift a finger about it.

I make games. The vast majority of my customers are women. The media doesn't care about me. :)

Re:BBC Coverage (1)

-pms-mistletoe (894503) | about 9 years ago | (#12959236)

I make games. The vast majority of my customers are women. The media doesn't care about me. :)

I think the media have come to the conclusion that you don't exist...

Definitely Insightful (2, Interesting)

Xentor (600436) | about 9 years ago | (#12960924)

I can kind of see the other side of this story. I'm writing a computer game at the moment, in my spare time. It's an adventure game in the style of the old Sierra games (Yes, AGS, for those of you in the know -- My other game-in-progress is actually a homemade isometric engine).

Being a fantasy game, the plot is a little bit "out there," but if you take out all the frills, it really does boil down to:

1) Boy meets girl
2) Girl gets kidnapped
3) Boy rescues girl

Why? Well, it's the type of plot I was brought up on. In this case, the "girl" character is actually an extremely powerful mage and deadly with a melee weapon, and is letting herself be imprisoned as part of a rather large scheme to test the boy's worth, but the basic plot remains.

The article really does hit the nail on the head here... So many adventure games and RPGs are based on the "man rescues woman" stereotype... It's a bit hard to break away from. But with any game based around a single protagonist, won't you necessarily alienate one gender? If the character is male, any kind of love story embedded in the plot (Which you have to admit will usually enrich any game that isn't based entirely on death) will always involve a female on the other end (Unless you want to take a big risk and offend a lot more people). If you switch it around and put a female in the main slot (And I'm not talking Lara Croft, which obviously still catered entirely to men), you'll just end up alienating the other half of your target audience...

Disclaimer: Yes, I'm generalizing this, and I know there are exceptions to what types of games guys and girls play, blah blah blah.

Re:Definitely Insightful (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | about 9 years ago | (#12975205)

You've got a good point. But I would like to point out, noting also how rare the swap seems to be, that there was a Legend of Zelda game where Zelda rescued Link [gamefaqs.com] called Wand of Gamelon. Simply put, it blew.
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