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10/31/2002

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PAINPAINPAIN

The games industry hasn't forgotten girls for 20 years. Far from it, they've been at the forefront of gradually more and more sexist advertising content for said games. Nothing sells a totally crummy piece of software better than an advert with a semi-naked female and/or innuendo. At the end of the day, all gamers, including myself, are sad loner perverts who appreciate such high quality advertising.

Games for girls? Rez and Space Channel 5.

Steve ;)~

Dante

I will never know what all this commotion is over. Call me dumb, call me ignorant, whatever. My girlfriend plays the same games I do, and has just as much fun doing it. She'll play DOA2 with all the bouncing breasts and have just as much fun doing it as I will. We'll play a game of Frequency and enjoy it just as much.

I hear all kinds of points made over the art on boxes. This girl is falling out of her shirt, or this girl is unrealistically portioned...

...yeah? So? Take a look at all the musclebound freak guys in videogames. Do you think I look like that? Do you think I see him as a role-model?

It's crappy either way. Deal with it.

denis

you know, i think that the writter of the letter was trying to say if what girls wanted out of videogames was not ignored for the last twenty years than the games would be what everyone wants. he was saying that girls have always seemed to want the games that most guy gamers are craving now. girls are just like cool videogames more or something to that degree.

Tatsu[Redeemedsoft]

I want to know as a developer what female gamers want to see more of. Speak up now because there are going to be quite a few game developers looking in on this thread if I can get their lazy Jolt swilling asses to move their chubby little atrophied fingers over the keyboard.

jane

come on, now, that's a facile question. the problem is that there haven't been enough female gamers, yet; it's an undeveloped market. and it's a two-way street - women have to be marketed a game, have to be encouraged, and developers have to listen to their reactions. it's actually a great opportunity for game designers to try to figure this out - and i can see why you are posting this question on the forum. but it'll take a little more research than that. Asia has been making games specifically for girls for years, so you have whole genres of games you don't have in the west. and although i don't find the "princess raising" games particularily compelling, i think for example rpgs designed in Japan have much more content to offer female gamers.

but the success of a game like The Sims, and the fact that it attracted both male and female players, seems to suggest that a mature market is developing in the west where games are produced that are targeted at both men and women. as male gamers grow up, they want more from their games; and the same goes for adult female gamers.

in the end you will always have some women who love Soul Calibur and Quake; and some men who enjoy princess-raising. but in terms of the growth of the industry, in pure economic terms, women of various age demographics HAVE to be courted by game developers as a group in the west before the market stagnates. it will be very interesting to see what happens in the next five years.

paul

I am a male game designer, and the last game I worked on was actually specifically targeted at pre-teen females.

I just want to make a few points about the demographics of console owners these days.

1) The next-gen consoles, while they have come down in price, started out at such high price points ($300) that the majority of early adopters were 25-35 year old males. Who, of course, like gore and boobs.

2) There is less room in the market now for titles that do not aim at the center of the demographic. In the PSX days, you could aim at a smaller section of the market, like the teen-girl demo, and make a respectable profit. Now, the top 10 products are eating most of the pie, and there is little left for the rest. This is a disincentive for a publisher to target a subset of the market.

3)Sales of the GameCube, which is the most appropriate console for the pre-teen and teen markets, have been slipping. The PS2 and XBOX are doing much better and that's not a good sign for teen and preteen girl-games.

I think everyone in the industry would like to see a wider range of games being developed. The industry would love to have hordes of games-obsessed girls buying product. But it is a chicken & the egg situation. . .

anyway, love the site.

Psycofrog Pondwater

Hmm interesting statements, here is the thing though, What makes it a Female Game??
Obviosly we know what makes it a male game, breast, beating and blood, the three b's so to speak, but there really isnt a definitive list of what females want.

Some might say the whole raising thing, but look, it has a ton of male kids playing it and quite a few older ones as well, perhaps a spending game?no thats to sexist, saying females spend alot, how about the Barbie Games, again catorgizing, its not a question of only "why arent there more girl games?" its a question of "what is a girl game?" alotta females i know love puzzles, my own mother can out do me in tetris, though at the same time i know a female that played digimon, i know a female that does better than me on Gran Turismo, (a game thats not really geared either way but is dominated my male players.. like the rl racing world) Aside from the fact that males are more likely to pick up a controller, the fact that a majority of games are breast shows shys some females away. and the amount of gore in some shy's some males away too, The gaming companies have to know what females want in order to make a game for them... like a game where a female rabbit has to fight her way from the slums to save her family might do well, ya never know

Just think of what the main stream is and try a diff approach, you may like something ya never thought of


Remember
The greatest things come from the most un uxpected places.

jon

it seems that me that, based on Isabel Walcott's article, games are becoming more dimensional and deal with more complex problems than "save the girl" or "kick everyone's ass" type games, maybe even incorporating social etiquette by increased interactivity with other players (MMORPGs). But i can't really blame the game industry that is, as the writer points out, largely dominated by males. i agree that more females need to be in videogames for it to expand. I guess, as a cultural, we frowned upon females remaining in their rooms and staring at the screen-being labeled introverts.

and, as we all know, females are the first to arrive at social and physical maturity. it's no wonder it took twenty years to come up with more mature-oriented games in a largely exclusive industry.

Ian

Why are we even considering the question of "girl" games versus "guy" games? It seems to me the things females seem to enjoy are not so different from those enjoyed by males. The original crossover "girl" game, Pac-Man, was not, nor should any game be, designed to appeal to that (or any) specific demographic. Pac-Man was simply fun. If you'd like a list of the reasons why, you can email me. Why game designers cannot reach beyond "kill stuff-take things" is heavily an economic question. Any gamers who would like to see true innovation should look to shareware. Only in shareware do designers have the freedom to do their own thing, break ground, and make history. Expect nothing but stagnation and committee design from corporate game companies. My philosophy is: make games people will enjoy, games I enjoy, and people will play them. Some will be enjoyed by males, some by females, and some both. I will neither pander to nor ignore a demographic. Wouldn't you like to see a totally non-violent game? Join the Retrolution...
www.retrolutionary.com

bill

i think i have to agree with you....all of you....what's the word on samus and the Metroid style of gameplay? does this appeal to a female audience?

veruca

GIRL GAMES?!! x-P
Hey! I'm a girl, well, a grown-up girl. I started on the machines in the liquor store by my house: Donkey Kong, Galaga, etc. One of my all-time favorites is Mortal Combat, but I do like the recent GTA's. I like to go to the arcades and beat everyone else on the racing games... So, whaaaa....? I'm supposed to want some happy pink girl computer game or something? That can attempt to socialize me that one last time? Make me a better woman? Teach me how to stay in my place and shop and put on make-up and take bubble baths. Oh la-la ... NO!

Justin

I think there should be a game for the xbox thats like Shinobi, Grand Theft Auto, and Strider put together and have a little sneakin' around in it like Sly Cooper if you know what I mean and be sure to put hookers in the game to juice it up.

~Jus

highscore queen

I just found these three free games at http://www.melloyello.com made just for us teens. All three take place at a concert where you have to sneak boys into the restroom (restroom raider), keep all of your many dates interested (date dash) or score points by bring drinks to your hottie without spillin. Check them out and post any other free games like these.

Andrew

"the writter of the letter was trying to say if what girls wanted out of videogames was not ignored for the last twenty years than the games would be what everyone wants" Sure, thats correct

********

i think you should write something short

Michelle

To answer one of the earlier questions about what girl gamers would want in a game:

I am majoring in Game Art and Design at my college right now and am very interested in trying to develop games that could appeal to more females. I'm a girl, and one thing that I have always known would make a game cooler for me is for the main character that the story is about and the gamer plays as to be female. This isn't absolutely necessary, but I know that I would get even more into into the game and excited about it if the main character was a female like me who I can relate to and who is an awesome fighter and character in general.

And this doesn't mean Lara Croft either, although I do really love the Tomb Raider games and generally just think of Lara as just being lucky to have such curves and that it's not her falt lol. I do also see that unless the game is done right this way, male gamers will most likely not want to play it (like other obviously female targeted games like Barbie games and Marie Kate and Ashlie games).

I think that game developers and perhaps the few current and up and coming female game developers will just have to take that chance for things to change in the game industry. If not, things will probably always stay the way they are now. Who knows, maybe girls who normally hate video games will be drawn into the genre by these new games. Another think I think could really help to draw int he female audience is where game designers choose to advertise these new female geared games. If not many girls go into video game stors or read video game magazines then, how could advertisements for these games in this media reach them? I'd say, target other places that women and girls usually are, like toy stores, clothing stores, book stores, and female or general public magazines. Well, that's my two cents on this issue lol few! I'm very opinionated with this sort of stuff and have been ever since I started playing games.

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