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Monday, September 15, 2014

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Cube Republic

When you start to break this recent plethora of opinions down to their most basic elements it all starts to seem ridiculous and self contradictory.

1) By your own pen you admit that the sims is hugely popular with females and worth millions as a franchise. Therefore it must be marketed at and appeals to girls.

2) I bet battlefield is hugely popular with males with a lower percentage of female players. This must be because it's marketed to and appeals to males.


Why is this a problem? Different things appeal to different genders.

Deoridhe Quandry

I'm a woman gamer who has been a feminist since I was in single digits. Most other gamers I know are also feminist, more by necessity than design; many women start out in gaming not being feminist, and then after a few years of sexist treatment and abuse become them.

There is no evidence of men and women being intrinsically psychologically different, and physiologically we are so similar that an XY person who can't absorb testosterone presents as physically female. Gendered socialization, on the other hand, often begins before birth and has a profound effect - the studies on how people treat infants differently based on presumed gender are simply stunning.

But, you know, "the sexists support me in email", "because SCIENCE!!!" and all that.

Wagner James Au

Actually The Sims franchise is marketed to both males and females and is about equally popular with both (link below). The reason for at least trying to broaden a game's demographic appeal is pretty obvious -- if you're only targeting half your potential audience, you're ignoring half your potential market.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/gaming-no-longer-a-mans-world-1408464249

Female gamers made up about 48% of the game-playing public in the U.S. this year, according to a report recently published by the Entertainment Software Association, a U.S. game industry trade group... Another trend has also helped boost female gamers: couples play. "We've done some studies on this and, interestingly, we notice that many couples seem to be playing games like Assassin's Creed together," said Alain Corre, a Ubisoft executive. "So while a game like Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed is predominantly purchased by males, it isn't necessarily played [just] by guys," he said... U.S. game publisher Electronics Arts Inc., rolls out in the coming weeks its "The Sims 4" game—a life-simulation game in the publisher's widely popular Sims series for PCs. Rachel Franklin, the game's executive producer and a games industry veteran, said approximately half of The Sims' player-base are women.

Diddly

The industry doesn't have enough women in it building video games and influencing game design. Shut up about sexism and go make video games.

Diddly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpJGkG1g-Lk

InsaneintheBrain

I love how the title itself is a contradiction

'Minecraft Became So Big Because It's Extremely Popular With Girls & Women -- Another Reason Why the Game Industry Needs to Solve Its Sexism Problem'

There are a shit load of female gamers who already find the existing games that developers make appealing and accessible and that is why the industry is sexist lol.

I wonder the day when certain liberals and certain feminists will actually treat women as truly equal and not just victims and children who need an artificial leg up.

CronoCloud Creeggan

What I want to know is how they can tolerate playing it on such a small screen!

2014

game for kids to play on mom/dads phone/tablet in the back of car to keep them quiet.

Metacam Oh

That's pretty ignorant, 2014, not shocked though.

Mazey Longswitch

Next logical step: do away with the gaming all together so that gentle sensitive types aren't offended anymore. That's the accepted heavy handed zero tolerance year 2014 approach to anything now.

*eyeroll*

Kim Anubis

Diddly, when I tried to walk into my high school computer lab, I was driven out by the inmates, who acted as if I had stumbled into the boys' locker room. This was just a few years after being picked on because my mother dared to show up at a PTA meeting wearing slacks. Despite this, I went on to first be on a game development team back in 1985, and since then I have encountered a lot of sexist behavior in the tech industry.

These days, a girl can use her school's computer lab without being bullied, for example, but plenty of women who might develop wonderful games today are disadvantaged by the ramifications of the sexist culture they grew up in. And even those who are young enough to have grown up in an improved climate may have chosen to learn to do something else for a living instead of learning to program, but play games, and have opinions about them.

If you had a complaint, say, about some aspect of the medical industry, would it make sense for me to say, hey, shut up and become a doctor yourself? In the big, abstract, long-term picture, perhaps. But you aren't going to run out and sign up for med school today, and by not doing so you wouldn't be canceling out your right to speak up about it.

All this said, I am not sure whether being a woman has worked more or less to my own advantage in tech. There are a few upsides, and rather than spending a lot of time thinking about it, I'm busy doing my work. Still, I often wear something pink when I make a public appearance, sort of a middle finger to the guys who chased me out of the computer lab in 1983.

Ciaran Laval

The headline is probably not the ideal choice for this article. Some games will appeal to females, others to males and plenty to both. That's how it should be. The article actually makes this point when it says :

Making games that appeal to both genders is good business sense. "

Another important point in the comments, although not well presented is from Diddly :

"The industry doesn't have enough women in it building video games and influencing game design."

Why aren't people asking educational institutions why so few females want to engage at younger ages? That is indeed an area of concern and one that very rarely gets addressed.

Adeon Writer

Don't knock the mobile version. Its no PC version but it's still pretty awesome. Tiny screen isn't much of a problem.

Arcadia Codesmith

An interesting phenomenon emerged during the early days of the MMO industry; features included in games that were intended (at least in part) to draw in more female players proved hugely popular with the male audience. Examples include robust character customization options and player-created social spaces.

It's less a matter of designing specifically for women (or any other target demographic) and more one of designing for a broad, inclusive and durable community.

Things change. We cope. That's life.

Pussycat Catnap

"I love how the title itself is a contradiction

'Minecraft Became So Big Because It's Extremely Popular With Girls & Women -- Another Reason Why the Game Industry Needs to Solve Its Sexism Problem'"
********************
Not a contradiction at all.

One example does not make for balance. Even a handful don't.

Rather what Minecraft, the Sims, and Second Life all point to is that... if the other games got on board with being women-friendly... they could get a piece of that success.

This may also indicate why app games are doing so much better than PC / Console games - the app games have tended to market themselves gender neutrally.

The PC / Console games have tended to market themselves towards the adolescent male - a demographic that is not the major game buying or game playing demographic, even among just males or even among just adolescents.

Minecraft, Sims, and Second Life don't market to women. They just don't market specifically to men either.

Second Life just doesn't market...

Sims and Minecraft... just market to anyone paying attention, as much of the app world also does.

The 'sexism' problem in gaming doesn't have to be solved by catering to women specifically. It can mostly be solved by no longer catering only to men.

Cube Republic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MxqSwzFy5w


Everything from the last few weeks of NWN debunked in one video.

Wagner James Au

I had a feeling that was the video of right wing ideologue Christina Hoff-Summers put out by the right wing American Enterprise Institute before I even clicked it. This guy on Reddit (hardly a feminist) gave a thorough critique of it:

http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/2gl2ak/are_video_games_sexist_christina_hoff_sommers/ckk853g

Seriously, it's minute by minute - sample:

2:20 - 3:00 : She then uses classic pathos to shift the goal posts to the argument about violence in video games and about how gamers have been vilified when that is not what the argument is about. Just becuase the link between violence and video games does not exist, does not mean that there is no other problem within the community and that is an intellectually dishonest way to argue.

3:40 - 4:25 She then brushes the valid points about sexist tropes under the rug and says the SJW's cherry pick after having just moonwalked out of the argument and into a tangent of violence. She also posits that there are now equitable representations for women after minutes ago admitting that it is a male dominated field and hence contains the above mentioned sexist tropes. In order for the male oriented gaming culture to die, does that spell doom for gamers? I thought gaming did not matter about gender? Why then is there a problem if the male dominated field becomes saturated with female media? is that a threat to the identity of a male gamer? She then says male gamers prefer men and sexy women, could that be because they are "uh" male? really? So it's basically no longer inclusive but it is now a boys club because reasons and biotruths? At this point there are no more studies to cite.
4:45 - the end She then tries to place the shoe on the other foot about how we should imagine if gender critics attack oprah or the view or women's magazines. Does that not happen on a daily basis where cosmo gets called out for their ridiculous men care tips? The view gets heavily criticised for having incredibly biased focal points regarding issues such as male rape and domestic violence. She then tries to allude to the "false" allegations of abuse by Anita and Zoe and uses her anecdotes of talking to tech savvy gamer guys as proof that there is no problem.

Arcadia Codesmith

"an intellectually dishonest way to argue"

You already said American Enterprise Institute. This phrase is redundant.

CronoCloud Creeggan

@Adeon

I'm not knocking the mobile version, I have it on my 7" tablet, but I can't imagine playing it on a phone screen even one of those oversized phones.

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