Saturday, March 26, 2011

Girls and Gaming

(pasting from my dA journal cuz I wanted blog opinions on this too)

So I'm back from the Game Developers Conference. One thing that was very apparent is that there are very few women in game development. Like, very few. I finally found a group of women at one point and tried to chat them up and it turned out they worked for the conference >_<

Thank goodness I got to hang out a bit with Heather from emeraldactivities.com ^_^

Not that I mind... I had a blast lol. But it just makes one think about women and games. They keep talking about trying to tap the female market but they keep failing, probably because the majority of games are made by men and men are not women.

What do you guys think about that?
What kind of other games do you play? Are there games you wished existed but don't?

35 comments:

  1. I wish there were more console games designed so that the gamer has to complete tasks, rather than slaughter endlessly or continuously run from something or another. My favorite parts of games always turn out to be the tiny puzzles hastily shoved into the game play. Unfortunately they are few and far between.

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  2. I love the games where there's a really involved sense of character development; both whatever character you're playing, and the characters around you. That just makes the setting feel more 'real' for me, and I'm always more interested in the actual character interactions than whatever "kill and destroy" mission is going on. Fable has a little bit of this, in terms of the whole "your actions determine how others perceive and react to you" aspect, but the focus is still a little too fighting-centric.
    And I agree with the Anonymous above. The little puzzles and stuff are always my favorite parts. Or games where the entire POINT is a puzzle, like Portal.

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  3. I already commented on this on DA, but I will add that I wish there were games where you could make dungeons (like the ones in RPGs, like Oblivion) and you could share them with others, and go through them with friends, kinda like Little Big Planet but more of a fantasy RPG theme.

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  4. I kinda know what you're talking about. There are only two other girls in my computer science class, and one of my friends was the only girl in hers. It's kinda sad, I don't know why more girls don't get into computer programing, I really like it. It's like girls have completely forgotten the ordeal we went through (and are still going through) to be able to stand on equal grounds with guys.

    Yeah, that's my little spiel. :P Anyway, as for things I'd like to see in games, I like RPG games, puzzles and a good storyline, and not a lot of fighting, mostly because I have really bad at aim on video games. ^^; That's why I really liked Baten Kaitos, because I love the storyline, the puzzle elements and the style of battle, it's turn-based and you use these cards to attack, but you have to be fast and use strategy. I'm good at that, I'm not so good at bashing peoples heads in. :P

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  5. I happen to like RPG games, but I think my favorite part is actually getting to create your character. That's probably why I like The Sims 3 so much; I get to make someone in great detail and then play with their life. I really wish that more games had great character creation (it's like how I love Pokemon except for the fact that I have to look how they want me to), but hey, that's just me.

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  6. I play a lot of Sims related stuff- Sims 3, Spore, Sims Medieval (which is awesome but very buggy).

    I guess the problem with guys making the games is that they don't understand women, anymore than a white person can understand being black. They try to show us fairly (sometimes) but they lack the knowledge needed to make it believable, or maybe they just don't care.

    My favorite games are generally story telling games with graphics and plots that I can relate to- one reason I liked Spore so much.

    -ERA

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  7. I personally have boon looking everywhere for a Lion King character maker.....where they have "pride-lander" and "out-lander" features for both male and female, but here aren't any that I can find but I think you would be the one to do it

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  8. I love RPG and strategy games, Bioware's being some of my all time favorites (I have played through Dragon Age 6 times, and I think it get's better each time). I think my primary issue is that most of the video games out there are based on being able to aim with a controller rather than being strategy based.

    By the way, I read this blog all the time. It's a slight addiction.

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  9. Well I love playing games like Halo, Portal, and Mass Affect. I like games that have character creator like Mass Affect and good a good story line like Halo. And I like RPG games to.

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  10. I pretty much agree with what everybody else is saying and while I have my favourites I don't think that the types of games women are attracted to is what's important.

    The way I see it (and I actually took a class on gaming), up until recently video games weren't considered 'cool' by children. To play video games made you a loser or a nerd, these days people hang out just to play video games and the stereotype of being a lonely gamer is dispating because people see the diverse range of personalities that play video games. That being said, there still are not a lot of games geared towards girls or women. The ones geared towards younger girls are what i would have considered stupid as a child, things like bratz or barbie video games. They did little to challenge you and were focused mainly around pink things, shopping and finding cute boys.

    Similarly games made for grown women focused for so long on getting married or going out to wine with the ladies and various other stereotypical things. However, games don't need to be geared towards girls in that way and because there are so few women in game designing, the realization hasn't quite caught on yet.

    More little girls that ever are playing video games, especially with new things coming out like the wii and kinect for xbox. It has become cool to play video games to the point where not playing them makes you an outcast. This generation of girls doesn't care about barbie or bratz games (obviously some do, but not the majority), they like games that get you involved and hopefully that involvement their introduction to so many games now will lead them to enjoy them more in the future and pursue careers in it.

    As far as women playing video games. Plenty do, in some cases more women play a game than men. These games have all the typical qualities that people above listed that they like, good character development, a good story, puzzles, character creation, with an emphasis of character development. Women are especially scarce in places like xbox live playing COD or Halo 3 because that just doesn't appeal to most women, it lacks any substance. So what developers need to realize is that what the game is comprised of is just as important as how it looks and sounds. Last time I checked more women played free MMO's than did men, because there's a story that goes along with every quest. What attracts the majority of women to games is how good the story looks, games like final fantasy or dragon age or fable are chock full of female players, but those games don't have live aspects were you talk into a microphone and hear other people so you'd never know it.

    Women want something complex, not just a point and shoot or fight endless enemies type of game. Those are games I enjoy but for women who don't game regularly, a story with layers is more likely to attract them than how realistic looking the guns or cars are.

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  11. I'm in a games programming course at the moment - a two year course that the industry has had a large part in developing, aaand yeah I am the only girl there. there wasn't any girls in the previous year, either.

    hopefully the amount of girls in the game development industry will increase steadily as time goes on. I've got my fingers crossed, anyway :33

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  12. I agree with the previous comments, but that isn't why I am commenting.

    I just wanted to point out that on the Doll Divine homepage, the Marie Antoinette game icon when clicked links to the Princess Maker, which had previously taken the spot the MA maker now holds. Just wanted to let you know :)

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  13. I think that a very important difference is that women find social activities in person more important then playing games. If this would return in games, that would be way better. For example: I totally love the 'book' option on the princessmaker. It rocks, because as soon as a make a doll, somewhere in the back of my mind, all sorts of ideas are formed about who the girl is. I sometimes make a picture and then write a little bit about it. Now I can actually put it next to the doll! Totally awesome:D.

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  14. I'm really bad at fighter games, but I find sniper games oddly satisfying xD

    I mean, a lot of people are saying that women like to have layers and layers of story, and while I like that too, there's also something fun about a simple, kill-'em-all game with a clear objective.

    Also, most of the characters I make on here are pretty badass, but without a game to showcase it the only stuff I get out of them is in my head, which can end up pretty unsatisfying.. =/

    I'd like to find a game where there's a (customizable?) female lead who gets to do pretty much the same thing as most games geared towards guys. Maybe some more storyline, not necessarily a war or something like COD, but I want some action-y games for girls!

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  15. I've been playing games for as long as I can remember. This hasn't been a hardcore hobby but it started with my love of Pokemon and playing Pacman with my mom and then evolved into playing things like Super Smash Bros., Final Fantasy and Star Fox with my friends.

    For the most part I agree with what has been said above. I'm not into game design like many of you girls seem to be (right on!!). But I will say this, do games have to be "geared" towards women for women to enjoy them? I remember that the first generation of Pokemon the only character that you could be was a boy, but that never stopped me.

    There's also the great diversity of games that girl/women (and obviously men, otherwise we probably wouldn't have so many games to begin with) like. While I do like many of the game types that others have mentioned here, like RPG and strategy, I don't necessarily like some of the others (not going to name and names). So how can the gaming industry cater to women if we have such diverse tastes? There's the obvious things like not including sexist themes in games, but aside from that the only thing I would like to see from the gaming industry is more female game developers. So kudos, love, hugs, and congratulations to all of you girls that are developers, be proud of yourselves.

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  16. I like to make things... so the Sims, Zoo Tycoon, the sort of thing.
    I also loooove things like Nintendogs. And I love puzzles, so Scribblenauts and Professor Layton are my loves ♥ (especially Professor Layton..)
    I also like games to do with politics, like Civilisation. Though once you play it for several games it gets old quickly so I go through phases with that one, but the same goes for all games I like really.

    ~Ali

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  17. I like many types of games. They range from online, nitrome, to action adventure, Assassin's Creed series. The main games I like are Red Alert (2&3), the Sims series, Spore, Portal, Rise of Nations, Mount and Blade Warband, Zoo Tycoon and Harry Potter games.

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  18. I love The Legend of Zelda games because of the great storylines and puzzles. :) But I also like Resident Evil series as well (again, puzzles and storylines, but also because of Character depth.
    So, if there was a mixture in between Zelda and say...Fable (where choices change outcomes) then I would play more games.
    I do play lots of different games but I don't get into those as much as RPGs. :-\ We need more storyline and character centric kind of games.
    Graphics don't matter really as long as those things come into play (Ocarina of Time, anyone? Bad graphics now but still a great game!)

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    Replies
    1. Yes! LoZ! I think a game like that would be fun

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  19. I love the RPGs where you can pick different characters to play with, but the problem is they're all so immodest. I think a pick your own ending game would be fun.

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  20. I've tried gaming in the past, but there never were games I really liked. I've always wished there were games out there with really great and strong story lines, and very fully developed characters, where it's really as if you're acting and playing within a story. And then lots of adventure and action and great graphics is all fun, too.

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  21. @Emily
    Have you ever played Mass Affect? Its really good and it matches your description. :)

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  22. @Emily Try Okami. It's for Wii and another console but I can't remember! It fits your description. I think you'll like it.

    I like RPG games... they are very fun games to play (for an example: Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG)

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  23. I'm pretty sure Okami is also for PS2 or something. And yeah, it's a pretty great game. :D

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  24. Thanks for the bug catch!

    @Emily, haha my friend was reading this thread and he also said "I bet a lot of these girls would like Mass Effect" so I guess that seconds Julie's comment ^_^

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  25. I dunno, it depends. Do you mean video games in general or web games?

    Honestly, I (female) play video games a lot. Most of the other females I know who play them play the same thing guys do. My little hobby is dress up games and stuff, sure, but that doesn't mean I don't like a good dirty fighting game.

    I don't really see it as a big deal, though.

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  26. So, I get that the ALTA stuff is bothering you, but I think suki should have an engagement necklace from sokka. And we should be able to make all the girls pregnant in the ALTA scene maker. PLEASE!?!?

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  27. I really like the sims and pocket god because I just love controlling what people do. It's really just the point of the game, you are a god, and you control your "minions". What I really like is romance between the sims, so if there was a game where you created your character, and the aim of the game is find the right person to fall in love with and marry, I would definitely buy it.

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  28. My favorite game ever (I mean EVER) is the Professor Layton series! It is totally awesome! The Diabolical Box and Unwound Future made me bawl ;( but I love them anyway!

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  29. I agree, the biggest problem in the gaming industry is that so many creators are male and don't care or really know what female players want. It's so frustrating. There's lots of cool "girl" games from Japan that haven't even been considered for bringing over translated versions to the states and other countries...and there are series where they've only picked out a few of the games from the series and ported them or whatever but they didn't translate and bring over the other games! Then there's the fact that even when you do find a game to like there's almost always still things to find fault with it, like you can't play as a female character or only the female character gets alternate clothes and all the alternate clothes are sexy with few or no funny alternate outfit, few or no good "normal" outfits. As a fan of horror games I'm disappointed by how sexist most horror games are, same thing for fantasy games. I'd like to see creators stop treating dresses for female characters as "mandatory" in all games and let them be optional. I'd like to see less Pink and less of the stereotype that "bow on the head" = "female character" and less princesses - all those obnoxious stereotypes that really should've been outdated by now. - Karessa

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  30. I LOVE Assassin's Creed, Halo and Fable.
    I wish they'd do a Elder Scrolls mixed with Pokemon kind of thing. Where you could walk around, from task to task with the graphics from Skyrim.
    The thing is, games are generally created for boys, as the audience is usually mainly males. I don't care, killing stuff on video games is fun and I don't have a problem with how it is... created for a male to play. Probably because I grew up with three brothers and all the manly stuff is entertaining to me.
    I probably like AC and Fable because of the story lines. I agree, a lot of games are just mindless killing, but there still are a lot with good story lines and characters that grow throughout the game.
    If you want to run someone's life in a game, why not just play Sims, or maybe even Fable (Although there is still a lot of killing).

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