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

Albert artfulbob at mindspring.com
Wed Sep 1 15:44:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

At 10:04 PM 8/31/99 -0700, Ben wrote:
>Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
>> On 03:12 PM 8/31/1999 -0700, I personally witnessed Matthew Mihaly jumping
>> up to say:
>> >On Tue, 31 Aug 1999, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
>> >
>> >> On 07:43 AM 8/31/1999 -0400, I personally witnessed Jeremy Music
>> >> \"Sterling\" jumping up to say:
>> >> >
>> >> >On Sat, 28 Aug 1999, Marian Griffith wrote:
>> >> >>
>> >> >> There is no such thing as an emergent girl game market. There is
only the
>> >> >> anti-girl marketing.
>> >>
>> >> Not true. A large number of companies have been formed rather
recently with
>> >> the specific aim of making computer games for girls. How well they are
>> >> doing and whether they will survive is a whole different question.
>> >
>> >That doesn't mean there is an emergent girl game market.
>> There exists a market for games whose audience consists primarily of girls,
>> which can be effectively termed a "girl game market". This market has been
>> recognised for quite some time, but is only now receiving serious
>> attention. And this is precisely what "emergent" means.
>I believe one such company was called something like Purple Moon.  It
>went bankrupt and was absorbed by the barbie folks (that's gotta hurt yer
>pride!!).  I remember reading a lot
>of articles a year or two ago about 'games for girls'...  It acually seems
>there is less hype about it now.  Kinda like push content and portals :)

Although I don't know much about it, I've heard that specific types of games
(life\love sims, mostly) are played avidly by girls in the more wealthy
Asian nations like Japan and Korea (as well as men, but that's another story
entirely). Point being tastes differ and it is useless to attempt to argue
otherwise. A majority of games out nowadays focus on violence, which alone
would turn off most girls. In addition is the technical aspect, and I don't
know of many girls (or guys for that matter) who are competent enough with
a computer to justify spending $50 for a few hours of solitary enjoyment,
when instead they could be going out with friends, talking, or other more
"normal" stuff. I don't think the solution lies in gender-neutral games like
adventure\puzzle, but rather, catering to that other half of the market
with specific titles. Sure we all laugh and chuckle and Barbie Fashion
Designer, but I believe it is a shaky step in the right direction. Should
interest in such games grow, naturally others will follow suit, and
eventually, as Valve did in amidst the flood of quake-clones, jewels will
arise and raise the standard, until at last the two different markets
combine into one.


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