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Thread: Women Remain the Ignored Audience In Gaming [Slashdot]

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    Lightbulb Women Remain the Ignored Audience In Gaming [Slashdot]

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

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    The funny thing is that girls are so different from each other, that is really a hard thing to define. Often times the reason they are picking up more of what is currently available is because it already interests them. Some girls love the long RPGs, some like to blow things up in shooters just like the average guy, and some like the more simplistic arcade/pac-man kinds of games or the usually enjoyed by everyone first party Nintendo character games. Their preferences are just as diverse as men. Usually most of the games that are designed just for girls appeal only to the female kids.
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    The "not enough games are developed for women" argument is bs. RPGs, platformers, etc, are all tailored for women as well as men. Just because 90% of the games out there are first person shooters doesn't mean even all male gamers are fans of the genre. It just means that first person shooters make the most money so developers are going to continue to milk the genre.
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    My wife would spend some time farming on Harvest Moon, tear up the road in Burn Out, and hack the shit out of monsters in various dungeon hack style games (Baldur's Gate, etc.) She routinely kicks my ass at Dr. Mario.

    Only thing I can't get her into are first person shooters (makes her motion sick) or fighting games. Well...she did like Soul Calibur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickstilwell1 View Post
    The funny thing is that girls are so different from each other, that is really a hard thing to define. Often times the reason they are picking up more of what is currently available is because it already interests them. Some girls love the long RPGs, some like to blow things up in shooters just like the average guy, and some like the more simplistic arcade/pac-man kinds of games or the usually enjoyed by everyone first party Nintendo character games. Their preferences are just as diverse as men. Usually most of the games that are designed just for girls appeal only to the female kids.
    By your argument men are so different from each other that it's hard to define what would appeal to men as a whole. Which is true, but you still see games that are targeted to various male interest groups.

    I think the real point here is that you don't see many games that feature female leads that aren't there for sex appeal or to be damsels in distress. Or maybe they're the hero, but they're still kinda weak compared to other characters. I'm thinking a character like Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, Portal's Chell, Mass Effect's FemShep, or pre-Other M Samus as really worthwhile female characters. On the other side of the spectrum you have pretty much any fighting game female, or Princess Peach, etc. Or, perhaps it's a game that is definitely more bro-y like Call of Duty. Yeah, women play all these games, but they definitely are not the target demographic here. They're not even a tertiary demographic. Hell, look at Duke Nukem Forever; the game goes so far in the opposite direction or diversity I know guys who are not comfortable with it.
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    Well either no one thinks that girl gamers are a profitable enough market; or they haven't really seen a way to cater to that demographic. IF females make up that large of a percentage of the gaming populace (my personal feeling and experience is that number is inflated somewhat) and they are still buying what is out there what needs to change exactly?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubersaurus View Post
    I'm thinking a character like Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, Portal's Chell, Mass Effect's FemShep, or pre-Other M Samus as really worthwhile female characters.
    Also Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark, Marina Liteyears in Mischief Makers, Carrie in Castlevania and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, and Yae in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and Goemon's Great Adventure (all N64 games).

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    I have to wholeheartedly disagree, actually.

    I think women are the up and coming major market for the big business developers.

    First of all, we're seeing games for women much more frequently than we saw in the 90s. When Gameboy first came out, did we have games like Cooking Mama, Project Rub, Nintendogs or Bratz?

    There may have been 2 or 3 titles for 90s systems which were tailored for girls and they certainly didn't have the commercial success of the games targeting girls now.

    The fact is that girls in the video game industry behave a lot like girls in any other entertainment industry-

    They emerge as stronger buyers after the social stigma with the medium has been dropped. In another few years, girls will be stronger buyers than even men. (See: N'SYNC/BSB phenomenon)

    There will always be exceptions. There will be girls who prefer deeper, better games but I have a feeling they're the minority. I feel bad for those girls as I feel bad for male gamers who get nauseated when they see yet another historical fiction FPS with poor acting and a carrot in the shape of a medal dangling from the end of a flagpole.

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    imo these bitches are doing entirely too much gaming as it is and nowhere near enough cooking


    these cheese sandwiches aint gonna grill themselves b....wtf bro
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_the_red View Post
    First of all, we're seeing games for women much more frequently than we saw in the 90s. When Gameboy first came out, did we have games like Cooking Mama, Project Rub, Nintendogs or Bratz?
    Are these your first choices for games that are "for women"? Bratz? Really?

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    Quote Originally Posted by allyourblood View Post
    Are these your first choices for games that are "for women"? Bratz? Really?
    Haha, right? I don't think I know that many women gamers who are into those. More FPSs and shmups and RPGs and fighters than "Cooking Mama." If anything those are games for little kids or just about anyone interested in the genre.

    Quite frankly that's kind of an insult to women gamers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop2 View Post
    IF females make up that large of a percentage of the gaming populace (my personal feeling and experience is that number is inflated somewhat) and they are still buying what is out there what needs to change exactly?
    This was my thought too. The majority of female gamers that I play with over XBL or that I know personally could care less about how games are marketed or not marketed towards them. They just want to game like the rest of us guys. And as someone already eluded to, their personal taste are as diverse as ours are. Do they prefer playing as female avatars? Most seem to but they are also content with playing as the default male avatar, especially if they have no other choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by allyourblood View Post
    Are these your first choices for games that are "for women"? Bratz? Really?
    I just picked whichever games illustrated the point best.

    If your contention is that they're marketed to young girls and not women, okay, you're right. I didn't realize we were making the distinction between young girls and adult women in this thread.

    But if you're trying to imply that they're marketed to men... well, that's just nonsense, sorry.

    They're clearly marketed to females.

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    There is great potential for flame in this thread, so must tread carefully...but at least I'm in before any potential lock.

    My wife likes to play one game, and one game only: Donkey Kong Country. This was the only good game she had the opportunity to play growing up; her brother apparently hogged the N64 or whatever system they had, and her family wasn't too wealthy.

    I have a ton of games, but she doesn't seem to want to play them too much - she just wants to watch (except for Donkey Kong Country). I can't understand it, really...DKC can be kind of difficult, as a platformer - there are so many other, easier games that I'm sure she'd enjoy. She just doesn't want to try. She likes to watch me play Lost in Blue / 2 - maybe I need to get a second copy so that we can "survive together." But when I mention this possibility, she demurs - maybe she's just into DKC for the nostalgia factor.

    She readily admits she'd much rather have coffee or tea with a few good friends than play a game. She also seems to like board games more, because she can play with other people. Maybe she's not into the single-player games.

    It's possible that, for some women, solo play versus a machine doesn't really do it for them.
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    While there are certainly many many games that pander in a "traditional" testosterone/machismo way to the teen male demographic, I've always been of the opinion that a well designed/fun to play game will transcend any gender specificity potentially intended by the designers/producers.

    ie, if something is good, most people (men and women) will like it.

    ...Kind of like watching My Little Pony.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    ie, if something is good, most people (men and women) will like it.

    ...Kind of like watching My Little Pony.
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    Speaking as a woman who plays games I'm really tired of these types of topics. I have worked video game retail for near 15 years and have watched the change happen. When I first started out men (even some woman) would down right ignore me to talk to a man. After a bit of this I became more assertive and made it known that I too play RPG's and action games and soon I started to have exclusive customers (based on my knowledge) that would only talk to me about what games to buy.

    I too had some growning to do. When you work with all males, even as a woman you start to assume that the woman across the counter is buying for a boyfriend or husband. Once I stopped assuming I found out more and more woman were playing but they enjoyed it more when their boyfriend/husband were not at home. However online they are a gamertag and not sitting next to someone in the same room and could be just as great as any man.

    I really feel when we quit addressing the gender specific issue, you will find people regardless of gender enjoy what they enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The 1 2 P View Post
    The majority of female gamers that I play with over XBL or that I know personally could care less about how games are marketed or not marketed towards them.
    How much less could they care, exactly?

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    This market is where the video game companies missed a huge opportunity for many years. In fact, it is still an underserved market. When will the video game companies wake up and see the need to serve this unfulfilled need?
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