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.: October 2006 --> I pulled his heart out once, why do I need to do it again?

I pulled his heart out once, why do I need to do it again?

» A new survey shows that 56% of all gamers in the US play games online, and that 64% of them are female. Related: The disconnect between game design and women gamers.
 [ 10.06.06 ]


I agree that female characters are over-sexualized, and that game designers don't understand female players. but it feels feeble to me to go from that directly to the assumption that what girls want from games is to develop emotional attachment to the characters -- how does that explain Pac Man? I agree that it might be that girls/women appreciate more personal expression and/or interaction, but that could take many forms, and I feel that this one is being chosen for knee-jerk reasons.

I play Kingdom of Loathing, which is doofy on interface, and full of jokes and adolescent humor, but allows you to be motivated in various ways -- set up a display case to show off your treasures in various personality-expressing ways; "waste" time collecting familiars because they're cute or amusing; hang out in chat or post to a clan bulletin board. there are plenty of women playing the game, but I'll be that they're not equally represented among the "speed play leaderboard" ranks, or those determined to "spade" out every percentile of game mechanics and strategy; but the designers have made a space that allows for everybody to have fun in their own way.

it should be possible to make systematic study of what aspects of game design attract a gendered response, and the degree to which female players can be made more at home without adversely affecting the male experience. I'm not convinced that either pink backgrounds or "touchie-feelie" interactions with one's characters are really achieving that goal, at least outside of the marketing meeting room . . .

Like you, I've never felt I fit the typical profile of the "female gamer"—my favorite games are strategy games and first-person shooters. I still think Doom & Doom II are great fun. Doon III goes too far into horror and grossitude for me, though. Half-Life II is the best game I've played this year.

But I do think there's something to thinking about games from a different point of view. I like your ideas about systematic study without relying on outdated stereotypes to try and create "girl's games". I want Grrrl's Games.



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