[MUD-Dev] Game design and gender: An interesting article

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Tue Aug 31 12:56:46 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Tue, 31 Aug 1999, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> I suspect that if marketers and designers thought their main target are
> 16-25 year old men, Lara Croft wouldn't have become a household name.

Although one might point out that the success of Tomb Raider was due
in no small part to the large female audience it attracted.  Between
gameplay oriented more around exploration and puzzle solving (rather than
constant Quake-like violence) and a very strong female lead character,
it drew quite a large female audience.

> Those large breasts aren't there to appeal to homosexual men.

I think people read a bit much into that.  Lara was designed, like most
video game characters, by a comic book artist.  America comic book art
has a very exagerated style: women always have hourglass figures, and
men always look like they spend twenty-five hours a week in the gym and
have jaws as square as a box.

Would you say that Spiderman was designed to appeal to women because of
his buldging muscles and tight outfit, or that Batman was designed to
appeal to homosexual men because of his latex outfit and prominent
codpiece?  Hardly so.  That's just the style.  (It may appeal to those
markets as a side-effect, but comic book readers are still largely
preteens who are not even very aware of such obvious sexuality just yet.)


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