games gender bias (Re: Affecting the world)

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Sep 19 02:43:15 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:
>> So then the question might be:
>> Outside of traditional muds, what games attract a large female 
>> following?  
>
>I tried to avoid this kind of discussion. It isn't particularly con-
>structive. Attracting male or female players should not be a goal in
>itself. What I wanted to point out was that 'combat' muds are single
>minded. At least that was the most important thing I wanted to say.

Oh yes, it should be a goal by itself! If you are able to attract
female players, male players will come, driven by their very own
nature...  :-) The whole entertainment industry has neglected the
female market for decades, only recently has the industry recognized
the growth potential in this segment.  I believe this focus on male
entertaiment has a very good reason: "boys" are going-out-of-their-way
to get their hands on new advanced toys, and: most engineers are
male. However, online entertainment systems adds a new dimension to
"toys", the multiuser aspect, thus designing for "male entertainment"
only, is probably not the best road to success.  The key to success is
probably to find the female equivalent to racing-car-splatter-
entertainment and kill-everything-that-moves-and-if-doesn't-move-kill-
it-anyway-entertainment.

Think about it: 
- Disney made Pochahontas to get their share of the female market.  
- How many comics target a mostly male audience? How many comics target a
  mostly female market?  What are the storylines in these comics?
- For-girls-only game development teams are popping up.

On the other hand, maybe men find technological constructs more
interesting than women do.  So, maybe the answer isn't to find the
"Barbie-doll" of MUDs.  Or maybe it is... That is, what is the
difference between a "barbie-doll" and a "batman-doll", in terms of
concepts?  Substitute "doll" with "avatar"...  Etc...

Ola.



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