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A Perspective From a Pro Female Gamer

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-do-exist dept.

Games 101

Via Kotaku, an article at the SF Gate website about the game industry's interest in female gamers, and said gamers' proficiency with aforementioned games. The Swedish 'Girlz of Destruction' pro gaming group is mentioned (much more legit than, say, calender models with console controllers), as is the 'Couples, Computers and Gaming' event at Ruby Skye in San Francisco. From the article: "Lee compares the rush she gets playing video games to her high school soccer matches, and said some women who don't play unfairly equate games with crime and violence. Lee added she's never fired a real gun in her life. She will return this winter to her student life at UC Berkeley, where she is studying environmental policy. Enderle said game developers are still male-dominated, and if game companies want to get serious about recruiting women to play games, they need to recruit women to help make the games as well."

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I can see it now... (5, Funny)

WildBlue (787351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16824866)

138,385,532 replies with: "Got Pics?"

Re:I can see it now... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16824966)

tits or gtfo

Re:I can see it now... (0)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825210)

Nah, it'll go to 16 777 216 replies, at which point their comment database will crap out. The 2^24th comment will be a marriage proposal :-)

Re:I can see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16825786)

And now 13425321513245 replies to you with "You forgot to say First Post".

Re:I can see it now... (2, Funny)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827316)

or videos. ;)

has anyone considered... (1)

HelloKitty (71619) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830472)


has anyone considered that maybe the games industry doesn't need to change, rather, women need to change?

hmmm?

maybe it's not the industry who is broken.

we just need to convince women that "playing unfair" and "violence and crime" is the new designer purse... :)

(yeah, like this would work...)

I like kittys (-1, Offtopic)

Solartroll (1026648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16824876)

first post LOL rar rar rar rar rar rar rar

Interested Parties? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16824904)

Enderle said game developers are still male-dominated, and if game companies want to get serious about recruiting women to play games, they need to recruit women to help make the games as well.

That's all well and good in theory and probably should be followed. But I'm willing to make a little wager that there are FAR more guys interested in game development than women. It's just how it is.

Kind of reminds me of the whole "women and engineering" thing. They want more there too, but many women just don't want to be engineers.

Re:Interested Parties? (4, Funny)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16824956)

Agreed.

The problem isn't that engineers don't like women, it's that women don't like engineers.

Or as the few girls in my freshman engineering classes used to put it, "The odds are good... but the goods are odd."

Re:Interested Parties? (0)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826446)

Or as the few girls in my freshman engineering classes used to put it, "The odds are good... but the goods are odd."


I know plenty of girls who go for "odd." (probably the same girls making that above statement.)

-matthew

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826490)

I know a few as well - I'm marrying one :)

But that doesn't change the fact that there are many more men interested in these fields than women.

Re:Interested Parties? (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825076)

Personally, I think that the goal should not to be to try to recruit more women into making videogames but to encourage more non-gamers into making videogames; I know that for some people this may seem to be equilivant but it is not.

The fact is that the Gaming industry is not dominated by men but is dominated by hard-core gamers who happen to be men. As long as the main focus of development (and press) are games that appeal only to hard-core gamers the market will not expand into demographics that currently do not play videogames. A women who doesn't play videogames because they're overly violent and believes that they're childish will likely not pick up Gears of War II: Geardom even if it is designed by a woman; that same woman might pick up The Sims 3: More Expansions even though it is produced by a man.

Re:Interested Parties? (3, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825360)

Two things. First, the one example you listed of a widely appealing game (the Sims) was developed by, you guessed it, serious gamers. Will Wright isn't enough of a gaming geek for ya?

Second, expecting people to design games when they don't have a clue what makes a game good is a recipe for disaster. One of the most common ideas espoused by writers, moviemakers and artists is that in order to create something you must also enjoy it. Every good writer is also an avid reader, every good director also watches movies, and every halfway competent game designer is also a gamer. This doesn't just apply to the pretentious artistic fringe either; mainstream authors have said the exact same thing (Stephen King comes to mind).

Maybe more casual gamers getting into game design would be an improvement. Perhaps a gamer whose ideal was a game like the Sims would make a game that would appeal to non-gamers. But non-gamers as game designers? That's a horrible idea.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825530)

I probably should have been more clear as to what I meant by "making videogames" because, obviously, you can't take someone who has never developed a game and put them in a lead design position; what I meant to say was that you need non-gamers more involved in the design process of videogames.

A good example of this was Brain Age which was inspired by a conversation with Nintendo's CFO who had very little interest in videogames but (at the time) was working on puzzles in a brain traing book; I don't remember the exact story but it (basically) is that he stated that no-one his age (in his 60s) played videogames but they were all interested in this brain training book. Essentially, this single conversation was the necessary inspiration for a game that has sold more than 6 Million copies worldwide and is (largely) responsible for a massive number of non-gamers (including women) in buying a Nintendo DS.

What I was trying to get at is that most of the women you'd "recruit" to make videogames are largely going to be the rare girl gamer who will likely produce very similar content to what a male gamer would.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825916)

Ah, OK, that sounds a bit more reasonable.

OTOH, I'm not sure you'd get those sort of results most of the time. Usually when an inexperienced third party is suggesting design decisions to the pros, the result isn't so successful. The classic example would be letting marketing or management design a product over the objections of the experienced developers (who are then often blamed or fired for the product's failure).

Getting feedback from an semi-objective outsider isn't a bad idea, but letting them direct the process probably is. I would admit that game designers could probably use more of the former.

As for the gender imbalance, I'm of the opinion that no change within the games industry will fix that. "Recruiting" won't help, nor will trying to make games have more mass appeal. The root problem is cultural; games are seen as lowbrow "guy things", and women are discouraged from being interested in such forms of entertainment from a very early age.

As long as those two facts remain true, you will continue to see few female gamers, no matter what changes the game developers make. And simply going for mass appeal won't change their reputation for being lowbrow, since that reputation is imposed from without as much as it is supported from within.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

bla (96124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827246)

Usually when an inexperienced third party is suggesting design decisions to the pros, the result isn't so successful. The classic example would be letting marketing or management design a product over the objections of the experienced developers (who are then often blamed or fired for the product's failure).

i think the key here is that what you're describing is marketing attempting to design a product for gamers, whereas the suggestion is (if i'm reading this right) "let's have marketing design a product for marketers." in which case, they know the audience a lot better and have a much better idea of what they might want. now, it's obvious that no one with absolutely no game designing experience should be single-handedly designing a game (remember when homer designed a car? ;) but allowing a non-gamer to have input in a game being designed for non-gamers might not be the disaster you forsee.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826426)

My objection to this is that 'widely appealing games' are created by 'gaming geeks' because nobody else has the access to it. If (for example) my sister suddenly had a HUGE gaming idea, and it'd change the world of games forever, she'd have an almost impossible time getting it anywhere NEAR a gaming company, let alone getting it developed and marketted. And if she did manage such a feat, she'd now have to deal with programmers, artists and marketing types all at once, all trying to mainstream her idea. I seriously doubt the actual idea and the actual product would remotely resemble each other.

In some things, the idea man (or woman) has to be the person in charge, or the vision doesn't make it to the final product. I believe creative works like games are in this category.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827006)

True, but you could say the same thing about movies. Or book publishing for that matter (son of an author here, so I know this one second hand). This is called "barrier to entry" and it's a huge, inevitable hurdle to new talent. By no means is the barrier to entry for gaming any harder, or any easier, to surmount than it is in other creative industries.

The flip side of the barrier is that it also screens out some of the crap ideas that shouldn't be made. I'm sure if you asked people, you'd get a large number of individuals who think they have wonderful ideas that would never actually amount to anything if they were realized. It's often hard to tell the good from the bad without seeing the finished product.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

joystickgenie (913297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16835796)

I think the exact opposite actually. I think there should be more people in charge of game companies that actually play games. Sure some of the programmers, artists, and designers will play games when they have the time but the people who pick what games are made the executives, marketing, and investors by and large aren't interested in games.

I am actually very surprised at how many people I meet in the industry that don't play games at all. Programmers that are only there because they like "pushing graphics as far as they can go", business types that are just there because it's a growing industry that they want to capitalize on, former gamers that gave up playing games decades ago, or people who just sort of fell into games because they were looking for tech work at the right time, the industry is full of them.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826654)

This whole thing is laughable. Female gamers are nothing but a new market segment or marketing gimmick for companies. Apparently you can't even get a female clan together if it isn't sponsored and assembled by a corporation, and now it seems they even need a training facility. If you can't find any female gamers, then at least you can manufacture some (but make sure they're attactive)! I suppose it all makes sense from a corporation's point of view, but from my point of view it's just pathetic. If females don't want to play games, then I guess they just fucking won't play games. I don't really even care. Same goes for game development, or particle physics, or whatever.

I also like how video gaming is intentionally gender segregated in the interests of equality.

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833332)

I agree with you on allowing females to not play if they don't want too. We hold four large and profitable lans a year (and have done for the last six years now) and in that time we have held strong a fundamental rule of no girlfriends. The girls that come to our lans are serious gamers like us not trophies and they are given no special treatment - if they can't frag with the best they get ridiculed just like every one else. Strangely enough, at least from our point of view, this has had an interesting effect of holding our female numbers at around 25% of our regulars as they, from what we can gather, feel that they are equal with every one and can earn the same respect.

So from what I can gather if we really want more girls in gaming we need to stop pandering to them and just hold as much of a non biased line as we can. For those that are interested about half of those 25% are rather good looking; and no you can't have their numbers!

Re:Interested Parties? (1)

skinfaxi (212627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840828)

I also like how video gaming is intentionally gender segregated in the interests of equality.

Ya mean like these titles that are going to bring the women gamers running?

FTFA:
"Desperate Housewives will be joined on video game retailer shelves by Charlotte's Web, Bratz Forever Diamonds, Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses and Lucinda Green's Equestrian Challenge."

omfg...if that doesn't make women give up on gaming permanently as being run by a bunch of clueless condescending idiots, I don't know what will.

I like how the other big acknowledgement of women gamers was Lara Croft's breast reduction. Now, down from boobs as big as her head, she's merely a 44D.

FTFA:
"Sheri Graner Ray, a game designer and author who has been urging game companies to hire women since 1990, said video game females still feature engorged red lips and erect nipples -- while the corresponding male characters don't exhibit similar sexual characteristics."

I think in the interests of equality all male game characters should wear speedos barely covering gigantic erections. That'd bring the women players in droves.

Re:Interested Parties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16829470)

I've been in my fair share of engineering classes, and while females aren't the majority, they are far from non-existent. Just like engineering, give it time and more females will get into game dev.

Re:Interested Parties? (2, Interesting)

kria (126207) | more than 7 years ago | (#16836368)

I know one of the things that convinced me not to try applying to a game company (I'm a female programmer) has to do with the rumored insane hours. I didn't know if it was true (and I still don't, really), but the idea of working long and erratic hours didn't appeal to me, no matter how much I would have loved to work on AI.

Is that common to women programmers in general? Does it keep many men out of that industry? Again, I have no way of knowing, but there's one data point.

Might as well ask (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16824910)

It's been awhile since I was in a comp. sci class (8 years?) but I don't remember seeing any women in my classes.
Given how very few choice jobs there are in the game market, how often does skill, interest, and gender line up?
-GiH

Re:Might as well ask (4, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825154)

Well it is a bit of a catch 22. The industry is male dominated because the games aren't designed with female interests and sensibilities in mind, games aren't designed with female interests and sensibilities because it's male dominated.

The only way to break the cycle is for someone to go out of their way to break it. Meaning some company somewhere and some females are going to have to place gender above skill and interest to work as a catalyst for change.

It's not that these female gamers aren't out there and it's not that there aren't female programmers out there. But if they want to start making these changes they're going to have to pick female developers even if they don't fit exact into the position you're trying to fill, they'll have to make the deal sweet enough that female developers who would normally go into a non-gaming industry would be enticed into joining the gaming industry. And most importantly (and this might be hard for some to grasp) they have to actually listen to their ideas once they've become part of the team.

My girlfriend is an avid gamer, I've heard her criticisms of modern games and to be quite honest it doesn't seem like it would be all that difficult for game developers to make today's games more attractive to female gamers. In fact most of it is quite simple and painfully obvious once you realize it. I have to believe these companies either aren't listening, or aren't really trying.

Re:Might as well ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16833168)

Red pinko commie affirmative-action lover!! Your statements are totally false... you're nearly claiming that there is a such thing as gender discrimination! We all know that sentiment is due to reality's known liberal bias...

captcha: ballroom

Re:Might as well ask (4, Interesting)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825182)

As a current CS major... the crop is there, but the skills may be lacking for the next few years while public schooling catches women up with their male peers.

Going through public school, I was one of the few women who kept pushing the highest-level math classes at school (even if I didn't always have the best grades in Calculus), and I think that a lot of interested female gamers might be thinking that math and other science-y type courses correlates directly to computer science, whereas most of the early CS work deals more in patterns and syntax than anything worth the stress of the other courses.

Making computer science more appealing in general would do oodles more for getting more women in the system than anything else.

Re:Might as well ask (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832942)

Making computer science more appealing in general would do oodles more for getting more women in the system than anything else.

Have you considered that computer science isn't more appealing to women in general because it's computer science ?

Re:Might as well ask (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833576)

No, Computer Science just ain't appealing. There are very few things that appeal to only women in the way there are lots of things assumed to appeal to only men.

Comic Books and Video Games had the same issues, and now there are lots of women involved in both... the solution? Make it more public-friendly. Games like Mario were clean, colorful, and easy to pick up, and we now have legions of players, lots of which also happen to be female.

Re:Might as well ask (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16837590)

No, Computer Science just ain't appealing. There are very few things that appeal to only women in the way there are lots of things assumed to appeal to only men.

How exactly do you make CompSci appealing to women? Make it less hard? Talk about purses instead of widget? Ask students how they feel about their assignments? Don't think I'm being flippant or sexist, since I really don't know how else to feminize CompSci.

(My experience: Back in the mid-1980s at my small state Uni, CompSci classes were about 15% female, and all were really smart. Book smart. Got A's on tests but couldn't program their way out of a wet paper bag. In "the real world", it's 10% female, and, like men, they run the gamut from sharp thru brick-thick.)

Re:Might as well ask (1)

Babillon (928171) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825318)

Actually, for the most part there had been a decent amount of female students in Comp.Sci. classes. However, it's seemed to decline a bit more recently. Whereas a couple years ago (I believe it was about five or six) the local college had an almost 50/50 ratio of men to women in the Computer Programming Technology/Analyst course. This past year there where no females whatsoever.

Re:Might as well ask (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832788)

Actually, for the most part there had been a decent amount of female students in Comp.Sci. classes. However, it's seemed to decline a bit more recently. Whereas a couple years ago (I believe it was about five or six) the local college had an almost 50/50 ratio of men to women in the Computer Programming Technology/Analyst course. This past year there where no females whatsoever.

That's because those women were in it for the money, whereas the blokes are in it because they're interested.

Re:Might as well ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826182)

I've got the skill and my gender is female and I used to be interested in a professional game development career.

Note how I said used to.

I'm in the same city as the Blizzard head office and if I had really tried, I could have gotten a job there. However I know what backbreaking laborious feats are expected of Blizzard codemonkeys. As I'm not into such self-flagellation I went in a different direction and left games as my hobby. That way it's completely impossible for me to lose my love of video games because of my work. Instead I just curse at Java at the end of the day then start up a video game and forget all about it.

The only game development I do nowadays is helping people out on homebrew game debugging, some background/sprite artwork, and script dumping for translations. I feel this path is far more personally rewarding.

Female Gamers (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16824922)

My freinds girlfriend and the girl i'm currently talking to both like playing games. The games they choose are either RPGs or games with a higher aesthetic appeal (Okami, Shadow of the Colossus). While i do know that some female gamers like running and gunning, most of the female (non tomboyish) gamers would rather play the Sims. So if you know a girly girl interested in gaming give her smash bros. not Halo2. just my 2 cents

Re:Female Gamers (1)

operato (782224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825504)

most girlie girls i know prefer to blow people's heads off more than anything else.

Re:Female Gamers (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828942)

Also enjoyed are dream crushing, soul destroying, havok creation, bizarre rationalization and back stabbing.

Can you taste the bitterness?

Re:Female Gamers (1)

shashi (56458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830608)

Also enjoyed are dream crushing, soul destroying, havok creation, bizarre rationalization and back stabbing.

Ah! This sounds exactly like the title I've been looking for. Can you tell me the name of this game?

;)

Re:Female Gamers (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833048)

You probably wouldn't want it, it requires the IRL extensions and wont run on linux

Re:Female Gamers (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16834554)

Ah you are mistaken. It is portable. All too portable.

The most frustrating thing about it is that you cannot revert to a previous save game or get your money back after your subscription has been canceled. Even if you sign up for a permanent account, you can get canceled anyway (no reason need be given) and still have to pay the monthly fees despite being banned from playing.

Its a pretty raw deal, truth be known.

Re:Female Gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16825562)

fatties.

Re:Female Gamers (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825804)

I saw two college girls at Best Buy that were into Guitar Hero, and said that they played it at home. (I was only there because they were the last place in town to stock Red Octane dance pads.) When I told them about DDR, they seemed interested in that, too. Yes, I've already contemplated suicide for missing the opportunity.

Re:Female Gamers (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826108)

I find it highly dubious they knew about GH and not DDR.

Re:Female Gamers (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826186)

They knew about DDR; they just didn't know all the specifics. ("Is it expensive", "is it good exercise", "is it hard to learn", etc.)

Of course the game industry is male dominated (-1, Troll)

weteko (1022621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16824942)

Women shouldn't be developing games! They should be cooking, cleaning, giving birth, and pretending they have the right to vote.

Women playing video games is just cheating anyway... there you are fraggin' along in yer favorite online game and all of a sudden "HEY! I'm a girl!". And all the lil online gaming virgins get stuck in "huh huh huh. girl. huh huh huh" land, and she can just frag 'me all easy as that. It's free drinks at the bar - just cause you have tits - all over again.

A great big pardon to all you gamers out there if "frag" is not what you say these days. I hope I didn't insult anyone.. and even if I did well gnusto rezrov to you too!

The truth: (2, Interesting)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825488)

No self-respecting female plays the sex card when she's losing. The majority of people who claim to be girls are guys who are looking for the competetion to ease off.

Lame but true.

You probably play with girls more often than you realize. On the internet, no one knows if you're a dog (or a bitch).

Re:The truth: (1)

weteko (1022621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825574)

No. I am very much aware of how often I play with girls (mostly because I don't get nearly as drunk as I did back in my younger days). As for games (offline or online) all I play is backgammon and there seems to be quite a few women playing.

Re:The truth: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16825582)

No self-respecting female plays the sex card when she's losing.

Sure... those "self-respecting" ones don't... but what about the other 98% of them?

Re:The truth: (1)

Kattana (635282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830798)

And the reason for that is that far too often guys are immature assholes.
If you just want to play and not have to deal with "pix now" all the time laying low is the only way. And it does not matter if the guys are joking, its tiring just having to hear it.
I have seen many women flaunt their gender for the attention at first only to regret it later and often end up leaving the game.

I'm so very lucky (1)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825012)

I really am. I own a LAN-gaming center and my girlfriend loves playing Counterstrike. I hate to admit it but she's a lot better than me at it. She also wants me to teach her how to build her own gaming rig. Best girlfriend ever!

gimmicks? (4, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825142)

I wish we could see some real hardcore female gamers, I've spoke to several frag dolls on Livejournal and most of them come across as your average girl with very little intrest in anything non-mainstream. It's Final fantasy this and Halo that, which basicly makes them seem all the more gimmicky.

On the other hand I used to know the most awesome sniper on Team fortress classic and we had some fantastic duels on (what was) my home server.

But seriously, who cares if someone has a penis or a vagina? You shut up and you play, that way everyones happy and men and women are on equal footing.

Re:gimmicks? (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825716)

frag dolls

Your words, or theirs?

Re:gimmicks? (2, Informative)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825866)

http://www.fragdolls.com/us/ [fragdolls.com]

And they are paid by Ubisoft, but don't let that make you think they're not really gamers. I've spent time with a few of them, and about half are members of the PMS Clan [pmsclan.com] - they're serious gamers who happened to get a job where they get paid to do gaming stuff. A friend of mine tried out for them, and would have made it were she not already busy with her helicopter lessons - and she kicks serious gaming ass.

They also won the Ghost Recon tournament at PAX in 2005.

Pro Female Gamers (2, Funny)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825240)

I think most gamers are pro-female. The more the merrier :-)

Though I'm sure there's a few woman-haters out there...

Pro Female Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16825256)

I'm a gamer and I'm definitely pro-female. And so are most of my friends. In fact, I don't think I've ever met an anti-female gamer, although I've met a few anti-gamer females.

Pro Gamers? (2, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825290)

What the hell is this world coming to? Professional gaming? You've GOT to be kidding me. It used to be that at one point in time, the things that were professional implied some kind of useful skill. Things like, oh... being a doctor, a scientist, an engineer. Those sorts of things. Then the term got extended a bit to recreational activities, but they still needed useful skills. Things like, oh... chess and various REAL sports (I exclude golf) which required mental and physical accumen. But now we have "professional gaming"? And this likely applies to first person shooters and MMORPGs... So let's see... what skills do these games entail?

FPS: The ability to click fast and move a mouse on a surface or worse, utilize a joypad controller. Other than excelling in clerical work thanks to the mouse skills, how is this useful?

MMORPG: This is like "professional breathing competitions". Only lamer. The only things that MMORPGs seem to encourage are greed and isolation. REALLY useful there. I suppose if you're a eTrade jockey it just makes you feel better or something.

God, I hate what the world has become. I had so much hope that people would get smarter and that technology would augment that increase in intelligence to the point where we would eventually become the perfect hybrids of humans and machines. Instead, the majority of the populace are a bunch of preening idiots worried about how "phat" they are. I think we'd be better off if the majority of the less mentally equipped would just fade away.

Re:Pro Gamers? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16825706)

You forgot...

RTS: Real Time Strategy.

You know, like Chess (your example) only it's not restricted to turn-based play and offers more flexibility.

But I can see why you didn't include RTS - doing so would undermine your argument.

Re:Pro Gamers? (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825740)

More importantly, it's just not funny... (say this like Paul Harvey): Good day!

Re:Pro Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16825760)

Stop whining. Nobody cares if you think gaming is un-professional. You're simply way too irrelevant to prevent people from getting paid to advertise shit.

Plus, you're annoying.

Re:Pro Gamers? (-1, Offtopic)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828204)

I'm annoying? That must mean you're one of my regular readers. Oh... thank you! I have real followers now! I think I'm going to cry for joy!!! You like me! You REALLY like me!!!

Re:Pro Gamers? (2, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826082)

Cute. Just for giggles - do one now about "real" sports.

Re:Pro Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826122)

Hey eno., you hear that??

Your D.M. is calling you. Its your roll, and Felgar has the +9 dagger against Ogres!!

You better not forget the Mountain Dew, either!

/putz

Re:Pro Gamers? (0, Troll)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828270)

Ewww... is that D&D crap? That's for nerds. Go back to whatever little smelly grotto or crevice you crawled out of.

Re:Pro Gamers? (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826174)

All "professional" means is that you're getting paid, otherwise you're a hobbiest. That's all. You're reading too much into it.

Re:Pro Gamers? (0, Flamebait)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828532)

Or... I'm just "funnin" ya'll.

Re:Pro Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826214)

Well, "professional gaming" does require a lot of practice and training to get to the point where you can actually make prize money off of it. Any NFL player gets paid for their time, even if their team has a losing season. To make real money playing FPS or RTS games, you need to consistently be within the top few ranking players in the world. Or else you make nothing. worth mentioning. The real pro gamers who actually can make a living off of it are very few, and they are extremely skilled.

I was "good" at Quake 2 and 3 back in the day. By "good" I mean that if I went to a random server on the internet, I would usually destroy the competition. I never played professionally, though. However, on a few occasions I had the chance to play against some people who did. These guys made me look like a total novice, and they weren't even top tier pros. Their aim seemed to be perfect. They always seemed to dodge your attacks at the right minute. They were always one step ahead of you.

The pro game was at a whole other level of skill than the recreational game. The top tier pros have to be extremely skilled and dedicated to compete. Clicking around in MS Office is not comparable.

Re:Pro Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16828128)

OMG Hax!!!

Re:Pro Gamers? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826382)

And what, exactly, skills are needed by a profesional gamer in a "real" game like say... football need. (American)

Well, running real fast could be useful next time you're chased by lions I guess, but we don't see that many where I'm from. Throwing and catching a ball? Useful training for sports I guess (but that isn't real world!), but the last time someone tossed me something from further away then across a room outside a playing field was... never? What - you make plays? Last I checked the coaches make plays, and even choose most of them. And where else do you get a break every 30 seconds to plan your next move IRL? Nowhere. Simply put, the only thing playing sports prepares you for is... playing sports. This won't help you in any other job.

What? You lift weights to help with a manual labor job? Nothing about playing video games stops you from doing that, you just don't *have* to.

The point is that professional gamers, like *ANY* professional sports player is a preformer. For a FPS you train your reflexes and memorize maps. For football you train your muscels and memorize plays. If any skill is more helpful in real life, improved reflexes and hand-eye coordination is more useful for modern life. A profesional sports play is at heart a preformer - they put on a show for you by besting another player or group: like the gladiators of old but with less bloodshed.

But seriously if you play high school football what does that do for you in a "real" job like doctor, engineer, or lawer? The answer is nothing. Video games? Also nothing, but at least it proves you know your way around a computer, which you'll need for pretty much any job today.

Professional video gamers just means that people are finally willing to pay to watch (or bet on...) a match of twitch reflexes and FPS strategy instead of strength and football strategy. If people are willing to pay to watch the best CS players in the world, then the best CS players in the world should get some of that money - and getting enough money to live off of makes then professional gamers.

Re:Pro Gamers? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826756)

As a professional masturbator, I take offense at your comment. Now excuse me, I have some "work" to do.

Re:Pro Gamers? (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827894)

Best. Response. EVAR. Thanks for the insight! ;P

Re:Pro Gamers? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828958)

What the hell is this world coming to? Professional gaming?

lol, professional = making a living out of an activity, no matter whether the activity is engineering, proxenetism or playing Pac Mac.

Re:Pro Gamers? (1)

Unlucke (1026008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829124)

There is more to pro gaming then just "professional mouse clickers," they are also accomplished linguists. For example, "Joo g0t pwnd, lolz" roughly translates to "I just beat you in a duel."

Re:Pro Gamers? (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16841648)

Oh please. Of all the stupid shit people pay for, you're bitching about this? I can't even tell if you're joking or not, because this sort of opinion is sincerely espoused by many.

On the assumption that you're serious, how is "Oh, I can hit a ball with a stick" any more valuable a skill? You claim it requires "physical accumen", but there's no real argument for that -- it's eye-hand coordination, same as gaming. The running around in baseball is often incidental and there are plenty of fatass baseball players.

How about racing? Oh, whooptee, you can drive a car fast. Well, all that takes is the ability to sit on your duff and react quickly to what's going on -- just like gaming.

You can reduce just about any skill or craft down to something that sounds stupid. Chess? Oh, the ability to memorize a few pieces and how they're allowed to move on a completely arbitrary, artifical environment. Wow.

Frankly, I think gaming is equally on par as, say, "mortgage broker" or "medical transcription" in terms of usefulness or skill, yet these are supposed to be legitimate professions. Get real.

Gals and games? (3, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825356)

Okay, so we've got the perspective of a couple female gamers that like... eh... the same games guys play? So if they like the same games as everyone else, how does their perspective actually tell us much of anything about targeting the females that don't like these kinds of games? Personally, I don't think the problem really is coming up with games that target females. From what I've seen, the situation is that most females simply don't care to play video games in general, and the games available won't really change that a whole lot. However, if there IS a key to getting females more involved with video games, it has to be interaction with other real people in-game. I seriously doubt you'll ever get most them to play single-player games, no matter how 'girly' they are. Machines just don't hold nearly as much interest for females as they do for males. As far as I know, there's only one 'real' (as opposed to simple online games on websites, or similar fare) video game that's ever had mass-appeal for both sexes, and that's World of Warcraft. And look at the huge amount of interaction in that game.

Personally, I'll be extremely amazed if the Desperate Housewives game ever shows itself to be more than yet another Desperate Attempt At Making Money Off A Popular TV Show.

Re:Gals and games? (1)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826832)

I think you're forgetting the Sims. I knew tons of women who played it but very few guys.

I can imagine a desperate housewives game being like the Sims, and if so, I can imagine it doing very well...

Re:Gals and games? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827172)

Fair enough. But (to borrow just a bit from "ofcourseyouare"), I would say TheSims is one of those exceptions that proves the rule. In this case my point being that females as a general rule put a lot more priority on socialization than males do. Which TheSims still manages to provide plenty of, despite being primarily a single-player game. Also from what I have seen, most of the time when gals do play single-player games, they do it with one or more friends present. I still disagree with you though on Desperate Housewives. I think that game is going to be another flop that bombs to the bargain bin in a matter of weeks, not months.

Re:Gals and games? (1)

xblackstatic (988537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833192)

Almost every single girl I know plays some combination of Square-esque RPGs. Extrapolating out, I'd hazard that the following elements are required to make games 'appealing' to women:
  • Hot guys with fashionable outfits. Bye bye Generic Marine Shooter Man, hello Vincent Valentine/Arthas.
  • Character development, including but not limited to wangst, fluff, conflict, betrayal and romance. Does not include "revenge against demons who killed my wife/girlfriend/sister/dog".
  • Romantic plotlines that go beyond, "Boy meets girl. Girl gets kidnapped. Boy saves girl. Girl marries boy."
  • Interesting female characters. 'Interesting' does not include having large breasts, the ability to crush skulls with thighs or getting kidnapped.
  • Sensitive and/or vulnerable male characters. Sure, he can kick ass; but can he cook?
  • Asthetically appealing design and/or extensive character customizability. A gun is a gun, but a gun that shoots blasts of green plasma while glowing with the corona of ancient runes is cool. Bonus points if it's colour-co-ordinated with the rest of the character's outfit (no, "camo" doesn't count).
It's all very well to say "women play The Sims", but the question no-one asks is how women play The Sims. For example, guys I know who've played the game have a tendency to starve characters to death in single-cell inescapable rooms or have polyamorous relationships with the maid. Girls, on the other hand, tend to fill houses with models of their favourite musicians and movie characters and vicariously play out alternate relationships. It's not so much the game itself as the fact that women can use the free-form environment to create their own kind of gameplay/story.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833938)

That's an insightful bit that deserves more than a 1 score.

Re:Gals and games? (1)

metamorphiq (1009563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16836116)

Well, I'm a Comp. Sci. graduate and I love strategy games, speed and practice sport shooting in my free time, but thank you for re-enforcing the stereotypes! Not all women are the same, just like not all men are good looking gigolos or hardcore gamers ;)

Re:Gals and games? (1)

xblackstatic (988537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16836234)

Meh, I'm also a female CompSci graduate. So, for that matter, are a lot of my friends. And I'm not ashamed to say it; I play a lot of the same games as my finance (and a lot of different ones), but often for different reasons.

A stereotype is a place to start, more than anything else, and yeah; they're generalized and won't apply to everyone. What I was trying to point out, I suppose, is that when most men discuss women gamers they discuss them from the point of "women like to play X types of games". What I'm saying here is that it's not the genre of game so much as the content. Yeah, there are girls who will like FPSes or RTSes or MMORPGs or puzzle-adventures, but what's more important than focusing on one type of game and saying "girls will play this" is trying to understand what appeals to women from an aesthetic, story and gameplay perspective. Not only that, but that making a game 'appealing' to the female market (notice here I'm not saying "you" or "me", rather I'm talking statistical averages and we can argue nature vs nurture until the Tauren come home but it's a bit moot right now) doesn't necessarily make it unappealing to the male market. Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft appeal to both genders; maybe for the same reasons, maybe not. I think it's shortsighted for game makers to solely focus on one market or the other (eg. Desperate Housewives, and you would not see me touching either the game or the show with an 11 foot pole). Sure, 'gender focus' games have their place -- in the same way chick lit or action films do -- but there's something deeper going on. Writers write books and directors make films that appeal to both genders; so why can't the gaming market?

And I'm all for stereotyping in the sense that it helps find an 'audience'... but we need to make sure we're starting from the right one. Which I'm not convinced is currently being done. Mostly because it seems the last person anyone actually asks are women themselves.

Re:Gals and games? (1)

metamorphiq (1009563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16837388)

Mostly because it seems the last person anyone actually asks are women themselves.
You're right! :)

Regarding stereotypes: I admit I am rather borderline to the mainstream image of what women are and should be (i.e., I'm not dying if I am not wearing make up, or if I don't have that Chanel perfume).
But I think part of the problem is also that many women don't make time for playing because they consider it to be a childish or typically "manly" use of time. (There are also many men who consider it a pointless activity, for that matter.) Or they are afraid of being labeled as geeks, because, don't you know, men only love dumb blondes with a D-cup who read Cosmo :D

Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing against blondes, D-cups or Cosmo, but stereotypes stick to one's mind :P

I know a few female gamers (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16825658)

Few of them come "out of the closet", so to speak. Simple reason: They want to play a game, not find a date. As one of them put it (concerning MMORPGS): "I switched to playing male characters. It's just more playing and less inane come-ons".

When it comes to shooters, there's also a bit of a macho thing going on that quite a few guys simply refuse to play with a girl. Consider: Being beaten in a "manly" games by a girl! The only thing that could be "worse" than that would be to lose against a clan that only consists of gay guys. They might enjoy getting their asses paddled by girls in RL, but they'd never handle it well if it happens online...

I know a few female gamers-Itchy trigger finger. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826272)

"When it comes to shooters, there's also a bit of a macho thing going on that quite a few guys simply refuse to play with a girl."

Feels different when she pulls the trigger. :)

Seriously studies have shown that testosterone influences men and women in the womb and the consequences reflect throughout their lives. So maybe female gamers that like FPSes may have had more testosterone in the early part of their lives.

Re:I know a few female gamers (1)

josteos (455905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827130)

Asia Carrera (sp?) used to play A LOT of Unreal Tournament. She hosted her own server, with her own custom models & maps. So yeah, it might have been a big draw to show up & see her run around in her self-made topless outfit. Lots of folks didn't last long cuz she WTFPWN3D most everybody. She was damn good. I seem to recall she was actually ranked in the top 10 (maybe 3?) players worldwide at one point. She bbq'd my ass more times than I can count.

Her ISP was @Home, and when it died the server died, and never came back.

Re:I know a few female gamers (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827240)

Does this honestly happen in MMOs? I've played quite a few MMOs with female friends playing female characters, and I've also rolled a couple female toons myself, and I've never ever seen or heard of anyone getting hit on in tells. Of course you'll run into idiots and thirteen-year-olds that harrass people for shits and giggles, but that happens with everyone. The only game I've never gotten around to is WoW, so maybe if it's there...

FPS there is somewhat of a bigger problem, just because there is a metric shitload of women playing MMOs compared to FPS. I could see wanting to hide your gender there. I play an FPS with a relatively mature audience as that goes, and we had three women that regged on my main server. There wasn't really anything negative, but it was actually sort of painful to watch in the opposite direction -- instant reg status, conversation constantly centering around them, sex-related topics being introduced on IRC just for the "teehee I'm talking dirty with a RL girl" kick. Some people do thrive on that, but I wouldn't, and I'd wager some of the more introverted women that might enjoy those types of games wouldn't either.

How many girls go online and say I'm a girl... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826136)

...How many of you guys out there make sure everyone knows your a guy? really, how do you measure this? I ask because me and my wife play FPS's online, we were both playing Team Fortress Classic last night for a couple of hours. I've never heard or seen her mention she is a girl in an online game, why would you? You have to stop playing long enough to type a message completely unrelated to the current task at hand (blowing the bajeezus out of that incoming heavy). Altough when the game ends when my wife is one of the top players I wonder what some of the macho freaks would think when they just had their ass handed to them by a girl. it's not a topic that comes up in game chat channels, people talk about where the flag is, where the enemy sentry gun has been recently placed, etc. If you are talking in game chat channels about what people's home lives are like outside the game, you are probably playing a very boring game.

A Perspective From Someone Who Doesn't Care (0, Troll)

yaugin (1026682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826148)

Come on. These sponsored girl gamer groups are nothing more than models posing next to products. There are some real girl gamers out there, good ones, but they're almost invariably the kind of girls you'd prefer to keep behind your monitor. Although, that isn't to say that these gamer models don't actually enjoy what they do. Any girl with a half-decent appearance has a very easy time attracting male attention in gamer communities. Get a paycheck and feel like a supermodel, not a bad gig really if you consider that some of these girls wouldn't really stand a chance in mainstream media.

Next (3, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826178)

Stories like this I think are what perpetuates the divide between genders, race, religion, etc
Continually reminding people of their differences, whether in a negative or supposedly positive manner, is what keeps people focused on being different. Just let people be. This isn't rocket science.

If companies are worried the game they're making isn't appealing to females, take a look at it. You don't need to make a public spectacle out of it. Take a look at what kind of games DO appeal to the masses. The Sims and World of Warcraft seem to be the two games with the biggest draw. We don't need another mmorpg and the Sims pretty much has its legions of loyal fans that don't play anything else outside of arcade/parlour type games.

Whats this mean? You're out of luck. Just make the game you want to make and move on. Try to keep the thong platemail to a minimum.

Women don't need games as compensation (3, Interesting)

ofcourseyouare (965770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826254)

Why don't most women want to play games involving shooting/ hunting/ fighting? Simple: they don't need them to express their inner feelings, desires and predilections. But a lot of men do.

In a bit more detail, and please forgive the generalisations for the sake of argument...

* Our brains are the same as they were 10,000 years ago, when most humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies, where (as is the case with such societies today, on the whole) men tended to do hunting, jobs requiring bursts of strength and a bit of fighting, and women tended to do gathering and child raising. The brains of males and females were to some extent hard-coded to allow individuals to do their respective jobs more effectively.

* Cut, like the 2001 bone/spaceship shot, to the present day. We still have the same brains with the same hard coding.
- In modern Western culture, women can still do the things for which nature predisposes them: gathering, child raising, working co-operatively in groups.
- But men, by contrast, find many of their innate predispositions largely useless. You can hunt for fun, (provided you avoid the Vice President); you can go to the gym and do your feats of strength; you can get into fights in the street and end up in jail; and you can join the army and fight -- but these are choices with many obvious drawbacks.
- Normal life for most of us is the life of Dilbert. Many of those instinctive aptitudes of men which relate to hunting and fighting are pretty much useless; but the traditional skills of women are as relevant as they ever were, and now carry much greater rewards in the co-operation based modern office.

* This is why men play games: to enter in the imagination a world where their natural hunting and fighting skills are vital.

* This is why most women don't play typical console games: they don't need a game to experience childbirth, or child raising, or socialising, or co-operative working. They get that from real life.

* Lastly: some exceptions that prove the rule...
- The Sims works as a game for women because, as dolls have done since the year dot, it's a game which dramatises socialising.
- There are of course huge differences between different individuals of all genders; but I think the generalisations above are valid for most males and most females.
- Of course men have aptitudes other than hunting and fighting, such as problem solving -- a skill still very useful today in the real world, and of course there are many puzzles that involve solving puzzles. But there are few games where you can play at being, say, a software developer or a chip designer -- because if that's what turns you on, and you're good enough at it, you can just go and do it for real...

Re:Women don't need games as compensation (1)

sean_ex_machina (1026748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16828678)

Indeed. The sorts of stories and activities that men like tend to translate very easily into video games. The sorts of stories and activities that women like usually don't work as video games. In other words, there's a fundamental difference in the interests of men and women, and adding cute baby animals to Grand Theft Auto or toning down the violence in Halo isn't going to change that one bit.

If anything, feminizing video games is just going to make them less fun for men. Let's not screw up our hobby because we foolishly think doing so is going to get us laid.

Re:Women don't need games as compensation (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833042)

But men, by contrast, find many of their innate predispositions largely useless. You can hunt for fun, (provided you avoid the Vice President); you can go to the gym and do your feats of strength; you can get into fights in the street and end up in jail; and you can join the army and fight -- but these are choices with many obvious drawbacks.

This is why we have sport. Sport is, essentially, an outlet for all the "manly stuff" that "men" don't get to do anymore. Team sport is basically warfare without all the dying and stuff.

Computer games, of course, are so lazy people can do it without having to get all hot and sweaty.

Is it really a lack of women? (2, Interesting)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826464)

Or a lack of themes other than sex or violence? There are a lot of males in fashion design and film, and they make a lot of products that appeal to women. They manage to come up with shows, products, plot lines, and characters that appeal to women, and yet somehow its impossible to do for games because there aren't enough women engineers? I think the main problem is that a lot of game designers grew up on a particular diet of certain themes in games, and that's what they know and like. It takes a lot of creativity and ingenuity to break the mold, and maybe that's what's really missing.

The real reason girls don't play games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826646)

The real reason girls don't play games is the same reason guys don't play barbies. As a child you are given boy toys and girls are given girl toys. Video games fall under boy toys. This is slowing changing as time goes by and Video games are crossing the line, but in no way will the change be instance. If more girls wore shirts like this http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/ladies/85d1/ [thinkgeek.com] at least we would know we were about to get pwned. I can count on my fingers how many times I have beat my g/f at Wario Woods and I'm pretty sure she would need at least an unsigned int to store how many times she has beat me. But her mom and dad played video games as does my mom and dad. Simply passed down.

"Pro Female Gamer" (1)

Iron Condor (964856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826966)

Wouldn't a "Pro Female Gamer" be someone who professionally plays female characters? Or did they mean "a female pro gamer"? Admitted, that combination of words is so unusual as to give people pause when typing it, but I think the rules of English grammar back me up on this one...

Re:"Pro Female Gamer" (1)

slcdb (317433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16840892)

Wouldn't a "Pro Female Gamer" be someone who professionally plays female characters?
No, I think a pro-female gamer is any gamer, either male or female, playing male, female, or even non-gendered characters, who happens to be in support of the existence of females. As in the opposite of an anti-female gamer. :P

Commas, man! (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827414)

OK, normally I'm only a low-ranking brownshirt in the Grammar Nazi heierarchy, but I had to re-read this passage two or three times before I figured out what was meant. For the sake of saving others from the same headache, I give to you the Amazing Comma:

and said some women, who don't play, unfairly equate games with crime and violence.
I mean, really; I was trying to figure out why women who cheat at games don't make the same associations...

Re:Commas, man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832804)

I was also wondering why [women] who don't cheat [don't play unfairly] equate games with crime and....WTF!? :thumping sound of skull repeatedly hitting desk:

Thank you. I gave up after the second time I read it.

Let's compare (1)

jfdawes (254678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16829580)

The article suggests that one of the reasons women tend not to play video games is because the games boxes feature scantily clad women. (The quote was something like erect nipples and engorged red lips).

Let's compare Games to Magazines.

Men's Magazines....women on the cover with erect nipples and engorged red lips.
Women's Magazines....women on the cover with erect nipples and engorged red lips.

Ok, so ... maybe the women on the cover of women's magazines aren't portrayed in quite as sexual a light as on men's magazines, but the theme is consistent. Attractive women on the cover. Perhaps more women would play mores games if the girls on the cover had better shoes.

(Anecdotally, my wife who is scared of heights took up snowboarding because of the [u]clothes[/u])

Bad controller designs. (1)

Pinback (80041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16833652)

Someone needs to invent a controller that you have to stick your fingers in to make it work. Maybe add a lick activated fire button, and cover the whole thing with fur. Rumble, gotta have rumble.

You could call it the Microsoft XY-Box, the Nintendo Vaag, or the Sony OPP.

The Circuit City parking lot would be full of Subarus for a week.
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