Female Gamers

Today I found a youtube video, shared byย Balp on my Plurk network. Being a female, a gamer, and married to a game designer, I heard a lot about this topic. They analyze why women don’t like games, or why women are mostly attracted to casual games.

There was nothing new in the video, except for the presentation (I think it’s really nicely done). And probably because I heard enough of it, I started to think about it another way. I really don’t like how these topics usually separate people with genre (although I did that too for the title of this post.

I believe as human beings, we have preferences and tendencies. Things we like that we can’t explain why we like it, and things we learn to like because we are thought to think like that. Girls with pink ponies and boys with blue robots.

What does it got to do with games?

I can’t speak for everyone so I’ll tell my story… I am very lucky that my parents never limit me to a pink girl box when it comes to choosing what I like. As a kid, I am not attracted to dressing up dolls or playing tea party host. I prefer remote controlled cars and being a librarian. Of course I eventually had a Barbie doll (I guess at some point either my parents became worried or I was afraid of being different – teenager thing) but I also get myself Tamiya cars and airplanes that I made myself.

I never thought of things I like or dislike because it’s a girl or boy thing. I like shoes, make up, and chicklits. I like games and football. I’m good in casual games and hardcore games.

I never saw games as a guy thing. Not even when it involves fast cars, gores, or female as sex object. I actually love Leisure Suit Larry ;).

For me, it doesn’t make sense to divide games into female games and male games. It’s more of good games and crappy games. But then again, as you see, I’m not the average female either.

Can we change games to be more appealing to women?

Definitely. But don’t expect instant result. I think it’s kind of the same as trying to make men more interested in fashion. It takes time. And changes to the way we stereotyped things.

Let it flow, keep making good games, and stop marking those games in separate genders.

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  1. Cat January 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    That’s an interesting approach. I have to admit I have a low attention span when it comes to console games, but I love online games and have to watch myself not to get too drawn in.
    Now you made me wonder if I only play what developers might see as “female” games …

    1. astrid January 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      What kind of online games do you like? Actually I did read/saw somewhere that female gamer growth in online casual games is higher than male.
      It doesn’t matter, really. A game is a game, as long as you enjoyed it :).

  2. Wulfette January 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I don’t agree of people discussing how to make games appeal to women. I mean: why make games for different genders when the whole world was trying to get equal rights?

    I personally like adventure and RPG better, and I would probably never play D.O.A. ๐Ÿ˜› There are times with casual gaming is fun, especially when you’re tired and can’t concentrate. There are times when you just need some troll bashing too.

    But like Astrid said: it’s a matter of GOOD games or BAD games. Game industry: just concentrate of making a good game with good script. For example, Harvest Moon series could be categorized as a girl’s game – but look at how cool it is now when they did Rune Factory, where instead of just trying to get a girl, you also have to fight monsters? ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. astrid January 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Yup, exactly! I think it was just about personal preferences, not genres. Actually the reason why I don’t play games like Quake is just because I have motion sickness :P.


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