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

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Tue Aug 31 18:19:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


Marian Griffith wrote:
> There is no such thing as an emergent girl game market.

Well, there are girl gaming sites...

> That said I also believe that a game were you must 'feel' and 'think'  is
> more likely to appeal to girls. If you take a look at games that did well
> with a female audience:  Myst, Tetris and Creatures,  they have little in
> common other than being gender neutral and well-crafted. Myst has a story
> that you can empathise with. Creatures is constructive,

Are you telling me that I've bought   G I R L   G A M E S   ????????????

*panic mode*

Anyway, the story in Myst doesn't "exist" on the box I think, so I don't
know if you are right on that one.  Creatures doesn't work very well, unless
you are extremely patient.  And the spank-the-baby thing was very nasty!


> What these games lack is the blood and explosions.

YEAH!

> was something several of the males ooohed at.  I wanted to play those in-
> sect-like creatures and find out how to build up a colony for them. And I
> almost immediately started to redesign the game, by thinking of creatures
> I wanted to add just to make the colony more complete,  and even thinking
> of entirely new races  that might be interesting to play.  I do not think
> this points  at a basic difference  between men and women,  but more at a
> general lack of games that exist today. Addressing these issues will draw
> more girls to games, but will also attract more boys.

The great failure of the gaming industry comes now that we move into social
spaces.  Some seem to be rather ignorant to the value of having female
players in such systems. I sometimes wonder if they think that their main
audience 16-25 years old boys (or so) are homosexual men.  Then again, I
don't know how to attract female players, so maybe I underestimate their
market insights...  Of course, you are now most likely going bananas because
I argue for using female players as bait.

Which ones of these games would you have chosen based on their marketing
efforts, and which ones are not even worth looking at?

http://everquest.station.sony.com/eqmain_h.html
http://www.microsoft.com/games/zone/asheronscall/ (www.asheronscall.com)
http://www.anarchy-online.com/
http://www.atriarch.com/
http://www.shadowbane.com/
--
Ola



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