As usual, I have to first provide the disclaimer that will hopefully keep the hardcore gamer girls from slamming my inbox with reproachful e-mails: in no way am I saying females can't like games, in no way am I saying they're less feminine if they do like games, and in no way do I view girls who play games any differently. There, that should cover me…I think.

Anyway, the point is this: for a while there, it was my belief that as the industry continued to move forward and snag more and more female followers, that eventually, video games would be no more "male-oriented" than movies, music, or books. But I've come to realize that perhaps the core entertainment factor of games may be tied to the male psyche and if we alter the formula too much, that entertainment falters and dies. Now, I'm not saying that women have to like the same things but my question is, "would women find games specifically geared toward their gender fun?" I asked myself this question after seeing that Cover Girl game for the PSP. I just get the feeling that most girls would rather be doing something else; I mean, it's just a virtual fashion magazine, right? But…is that technically a "video game?"

There's no doubt that females are becoming more involved in the hobby but I've also noticed it's not due to games girls would like, but games girls would also like in addition to the guys. Know what I mean? For example, it's easy to name certain titles that lots of women play that also appeal to a lot of men, but can you name many games that appeal specifically to women? The key to the video game lure is interaction and – just to abuse the stereotype for a moment – it's not hard to find programming on Spike TV that could easily become a video game, but it's not so easy to find shows on Lifetime that would make for good "virtual interaction." This isn't to say entertainment geared toward one gender or the other is more or less intelligent (another disclaimer here), but it means this: I find it unlikely that women who read chick lit, watch the romance movies, and enjoy other activities like shopping would get a kick out of doing any of that virtually. Why not just…do it?

Perhaps it comes down to the fact that games that appeal to men have the player doing things we could never do in real life. Maybe that's the fantasy lure of the hobby. And therefore, if most women aren't interested in such things, and combined with the underlying interaction mechanic, how can gaming ever really target each gender equally? I actually think it's impossible. And if you're a girl scoffing at this, saying something like, "you're full of sh**; I like girly-girl things but I also love games like Uncharted and Gears," please just answer this question honestly: are you in the minority or majority? Hey, we gaming guys love ya, but we should at least be realistic if we are to address this subject accurately.

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Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

And that's how it is
I never really thought 'bout it that way before

But that's how it is. It's just like Sports, it's something women don't enjoy 'cause they don't see themselves playing sports.

Or would rather do something else instead.

Us guys would love to live in a fantasy world like Ratchet and Clank.

Or would love to kick the crap out of each other, like you can in Tekken or Street Fighter.

Heck! We'd love to travel the world with a bunch of friends trying to save the world! (rpgs)

Most females would instead love to shop all day, find the perfect man, and probably just make a family. Or if anything they'd rather be talking on the phone.

It's always great to see open-minded female gamers though. I know one of them, and she's the nicest/cutest thing ever.

But yeah percentage wise it'll always be a guy's dream hobby.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

and women love money, real money, not gil or golds or zehn or potch or what have you. Women love money.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

To be with a women you need time and money
so,
1. Women = Time x Money
2. now "Time is Money" so, Time = Money
3. Therefore Women = (Money)^2 or money x money
4. "Money is the root of all problems" so Money = SqrRt Problems
5. Therefore Women = (SqrRt Problems)^2
cancel out and in conclusion
Women = Problems

here's a little visual help =)
http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/7788/women6ob.jpg


Last edited by LegendaryWolfeh on 10/17/2009 3:23:35 AM

frylock25
frylock25
11 years ago

@ legendarywolfeh i laughed so hard reading that. that was great. i think i shall copy that and show it to people. i wouldnt claim making that myself but would like to ask if you did cuz that was funny shit. the funniest part is it works as a real math problem lol


Last edited by frylock25 on 10/17/2009 5:16:21 AM

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

Lol I entirely wish I made it =) but no, I found during my browsing of the web one time, haha.

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

I hate to pour cold water on that hilarious equation, but the quote is "The love of money is the root of all evil."

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

Eh, it's already misquoted enough so it doesn't matter =P lol

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

I don't think that gaming will never appeal to women. Stuff like ninja's and action are pretty universal. I think we can all agree that all that stuff is pretty badass. Look at how well The Dark Knight, The Matrix, and Pirates of the Caribbean did at the box office. Surely not all the movie goers were male, there's no possible way.

There is just a couple of things about gaming that developers need to take out to make things less of a bar towards entering gaming, like the fanservice-y characters. I don't see why developers can't just take out the misogyny, I don't think anyone will miss it too much. T and A are nice but I don't feel the need to look at it all the time.

Though you do make a good point (to a certain degree), you couldn't really make stereotypically "feminine" things into a video-game. Though I think shoujo could be made into a video-game. But there's really only a large enough audience for in Japan, and we all know how the market is in Japan so…..

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/chicks-on-anime/2009-08-25
The above article really makes some interesting points.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

"Stuff like ninjas and action are pretty universal."

…how many women do YOU know?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

dude, the women at the theatre for the matrix, batman, et al were there to please there boyfriends for the most part, just like we see romantic comedies for them.

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

It's just that. When I read articles, I find that when people try to think of something that might "appeal to women" they make their arguments based on stereotypes. I kind of feel like all they do is take the traditional female Housewife stereotype and say "How can we make a game out of that?"

Admittedly, my perception may be a little colored. I grew up with six sisters (no brothers), one of them is a captain in the army, one of them's a math genius, my mom's an electronic technician. Even the one that I think to be "girly" and really is into shopping and clothes still likes whatever science fiction movie that comes out. We watch a lot of the same movies. The other ones are a little to young to really form those interests but still….none of them I'd consider to be a personification of the Housewife archetype.

You're quite a bit older than myself so you are no doubt more knowledgeable. There's quite a generation gap here. Your 30 something, I'm 18 so….maybe things are changing?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I will say this: most people may not like it but stereotypes and cliches exist for a reason. The key is to ask whether or not someone's basic behavior is the rule or the exception to the rule (there are always exceptions).

Let's pretend for a moment you have a friend who has a shopping addiction, do you picture a man or a woman? Some may call that sexist, I call it mostly accurate.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

TGG: It's not just your family, but the fact that you're maturing during a time when tolerance and the idea that all stereotypes aren't true is constantly shoved down your throat.

But as World said, there is a REASON stereotypes exist, because most every last one of them is grounded in truth. We just let the pendulum swing too far in one direction, thinking all members of a group are some such way, but now they're taking it to the other extreme and trying to say that no stereotypes are ever true, and if you believe them, you're just "ignorant."

Aristotle knew a very long time ago that all extremes are bad. It's why his theory of the vices being the far ends and the virtue being directly in the middle should be embraced by all, IMO. In other words, while courage is a virtue, rashness and cowardice are its corresponding vices.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 10/17/2009 12:31:16 AM

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

What about the stereotype of gamers being grounded in the basement! Sorry, that was goofy.

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

The point I was getting at was that there really isn't this huge cultural divide between a masculine or a feminine culture. I think that there is this huge common ground that both sexes enjoy, and I think that common ground is more stereotypically masculine than feminine(I'm not using the word stereotype in a bad way, there just isn't anything inherently masculine or feminine about something, so I use the word to refer to things people generally see as masculine or feminine).

For example, would you think it was weird that a girl liked The Dark Knight? Probably not. But would you think it was weird if a guy said they liked Twilight? Exactly.

P.S: No I don't like Twilight. Just making a point.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I'll just leave you with this-

During one of my last Psych classes in college, the professor walked in without saying a word and put a puzzle up on the projector. He said when we had solved it to raise our hands. I remember looking at it and not even understanding that it was a puzzle; the solution was so obvious, it may as well have been 2+2 to me. So I raised my hand almost instantly. So did a bunch of other people. The professor then said, "look around the room." Every last male in the room had his hand raised while the girls were looking at each other in complete consternation.

He then repeated the process, only with a different puzzle. I remember this one, too; it made zero sense. It wasn't a puzzle, it was a mess. There's no solution to gibberish. But all the girls had their hands raised. And the professor said-

"This is for everyone who insists there's no difference between men and women."

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

TGG,

But how much do females REALLY like Batman

Don't kid yourself, they're blissfully enjoying the fact that a Batman movie came out.

As opposed to a long-time Batman fan who has actually followed the super hero since he was young. Knowing most of the canon, its characters, backgrounds, etc.

It's the difference between the casual and the hardcore.

Movies are never a good example for anything. It doesn't require much, just some food and company.

Unlike Sports, which actually requires knowledge and attention (or else you'd fall asleep).


Last edited by Scarecrow on 10/17/2009 10:34:12 AM

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

I'm not saying there isn't any difference. There's a huge difference. I know this first hand pretty well. But we're talking about other things than math ability or visuo-spatial skills. That's completely outside the realm of whether or not a girl would like action scenes in movies.

I know my family is weird, but I think girls like more guy things than what they're given credit for.

As for Batman. I don't read comic books, I have never read a Batman comic book before. I haven't seen a single episode of the animated series. I haven't even seen the previous (non-Christopher Nolan directed) Batman films. I did however enjoy the two recent Batman films, and I am now currently enjoying the new Batman video-game. And the reason for this is because we live in a world where we are all pretty well acquainted with those things despite never really having any previous experience with them.

I mean, society has been dominated by males for the past several thousand years, so females are pretty comfortable with that fact. But there is no way(as a male) I'd enjoy a romcom.

A2K78
A2K78
11 years ago

To say that video games would never appeal to women is like saying sewing would never appeal to men.

But anyhow whoever came up with the idea that gaming would never really appeal to women clearly haven't seen much. I say this because back in the day at the arcades it would pretty much a regular sight for me to see female gamers and they weren't by the few either. Also, I guess some people don't even get the fact that some of the top players of Street Fighter, Tekken, and Virtua Fighter are female. In fact even in Japan female gamers are regulars(as players) and participating in tournaments surrounding these games.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Let's not lie. I was in the arcades, too, and there was never a case in the history of the planet where the girls equaled the guys, or even came close. It's also ridiculous to cite hardcore female gamers as they're outnumbered by about 1000 to 1 by guys; saying there are a lot of awesome girls who play Tekken is like saying there are a lot of awesome guys who read Danielle Steele. Yeah…some do. Most don't.

And as for your first comment, maybe you should actually read the piece before commenting. You seem to find a problem with just about every article and it's starting to annoy me.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 10/16/2009 10:36:18 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Sewing will never appeal to men.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Maybe this guy lives in the land of the burly women? Minnesota? I have only seen girls in arcades when they were with their boyfriends but that was just temporary because then those girls would go off with their friends shopping.

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

LOL. That's where I'm from. We're all pretty big rednecks. Pretty conservative culture overall. Burly, yes, but really conservative.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Ben my man, whats with the uproar about these editorials? This one is dead on. Anything meant to appeal specifically to women in the gaming realm isn't going to be a huge seller. Of course there are girl gamers and yes we love them and the annoyingly sexy way they wrench the controller from left to right trying to make a character move more (although with motion tech this helps) but the best part about gaming is that it essentially appeals to a fantasy that more men happen to have than women. I mean isn't that just about the size of it?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Eh, you can't satisfy everyone all the time. I don't expect that my editorials will always go over well; if they did, they'd be too bland and boring. They're designed to encourage discussion.

But in this case, I have yet to see anyone actually refute my point. They just say I'm bowing to stereotypes when I go out of my way to explain the disclaimer in the first few sentences. But hey, I already know that many people will comment and only read the title, not the text.

Ah well.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

indeed sir, that is the biggest problem which intersects with your other article, the new generation cant even read an article, one of the shortest things besides a haiku. They go ahead after reading the title!

SkantDragon
SkantDragon
11 years ago

I think it's a little crass to assume that anyone who doesn't agree with you couldn't be bothered to read your article, Ben.

It really is possible for someone to legitimately disagree with what you've written in an editorial. And that doesn't necessarily mean that there's anything wrong with them or anything wrong with you.

It's an editorial. An opinion. People will have differing opinions.

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

Ben, I'm not refuting your points (the bit about fantasy fulfillment was spot-on), but you seem to be overlooking The Sims, which absolutely involves "playing" everyday activities and it sells better than just about every "hardcore" game out there.

And don't just discount it because it's primarily on PC. 😉


Last edited by Fane1024 on 10/17/2009 3:55:03 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

SkantDragon: Yeah, pretty sure I just got finished saying exactly that.

Are you going to stop lecturing me now, or do I have to continue to run your ridiculous rhetoric through a literal shredder?

SkantDragon
SkantDragon
11 years ago

Ben: No. What I wrote is really not like what you've said at all.

You just finished claiming that anyone who disagreed with you couldn't have been bothered to actually read what you wrote only a few comments above.

And here you go on to call anything I have to say 'ridiculous rhetoric'.

You treat anyone who disagrees with you with a lot of disrespect.

It's called bullying, Ben.

Wage SLAVES
Wage SLAVES
11 years ago

Its funny because guys tend to be more of the action movie types, which games tend to be like. Though when you get drama and story driven games like many RPGs girls tend to be turned off by the complexity. Can't win, I suppose.

My wife doesn't play too much but if she does she'd rather play a platformer. She is really excited about Ratchet and Clank: CT. Though she probably won't get addicted as a typical gamer. Those 'gamer' girls are really diamonds in the rough…RARE.


Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 10/16/2009 11:36:26 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

My wife likes watching me play Uncharted 2. But don't think she'll ever play it.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

@ Jawknee – Well maybe if you'd stop hogging the controller…

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

@ Jawknee, does she think it's a movie? :p

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

@alien, I offer but she declines. I got her to play RE5 with me but all she wanted to do was play Mercenaries and she got board of that after 20 mins. The only game she can play for extended periods of time is LBP of course. I think that was #2 on Bens list of girl games, no?

@fluffer, I don't think so. Haha but the cinematic quality can be deceiving. A buddy of mine who's not into games walked in while a cutscene was playing. He thought it was a Pixar movie.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

I think this concept goes even way farther to back when we were kids. Most girls would play house for example and they'll have the toys to play house, even the dolls. In my opinion, for better or worse, guys tend to live in their own worlds. Hell i remember playing/imagining games with a damn stick. used that thing as a sword, a gun, and whatever. We(guys)like thinking what its like living in a fantasy world. I dont know how much times a girl told me that "thats just stupid" when im playing games like street fighter, resistance, or ninja gaiden sigma. While that goes on, the only thing im thinking is that you're lucky i dont have that sword, leave me alone. Im not saying that video games will NEVER appeal to women because i think thats too much. But videogames applies more to guys because we like to live in a fantasy world. Not an actual world but a state of mind. we like thinking "i can do that" after watching an action movie for example. I know there were times i walked out of a movie theater thinking i can kick a guys ass twice my size just because i saw what jackie chan did in the movie. Hell, thats part of what being a guy is. Now if you would excuse me, i'll be going back into fantasy world for my harem with kristin kreuk, premommy leah dizon, and all the other girls from the movies i watched. hahaha

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

[ALERT] *Teenage kid having a rant about college situations*

We've got a long way to go until the girls (you know, the ones who are popular – that's my crew) I'm interested in start playing PlayStation for real ^_^

I don't hang out with those chicks who love anime and might like stuff like Zelda and Final Fantasy.
Though I should, coz' one might turn out to be cute LOL.

I forgot what I was going to say for this article.. sorry o_O

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Another win for ADD.

___________
___________
11 years ago

its just a negative stereotype.
just like all Mexicans like tacos.
or all Italians like pasta.
or all Greeks are shifty sneaky lazy bastards.
wouldn't say its the majority but there is certainly a decent amount there, and most of them would probably kick your a$$.
thats one thing ive noticed about ladies, there much more determined and dont give up easily.
most of the guys i know will try anything, but if they dont like it, or find it to difficult will quit.
but ladies will persevere for longer trying to make themselves like it.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

What Mexican doesn't like a freakin' taco? C'mon! They're tasty! Pink, fish tacos are the bee's knees!

___________
___________
11 years ago

fish tacos?
neaver tried that, beef, chicken ok.
but fish?
mmm should try that some day, may be with some smoked salmon.
anyway i know a Mexican who has a sensitive stomach if you know what i mean.
and im Italian, and i HATE pasta.
not saying all stereotypes are false just 99.9999% of them.
just like old wifes tales.


Last edited by ___________ on 10/17/2009 8:10:13 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

No, DON'T. I tried fish tacos once…it was naaaasty.

And I like regular tacos. The way they're SUPPOSED to be made. 🙂

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Women are nasty? Wha-wha-what?!

Dub LoC
Dub LoC
11 years ago

Pink Tacos, hmmmmmmmmm

Sol
Sol
11 years ago

I guess I'm lucky to have a good friend that happens to be a female gamer. She's looking forward to handing me an a$$ whooping in Tekken 6 when it launches.


Last edited by Sol on 10/17/2009 12:44:48 AM

kreate
kreate
11 years ago

i dont know what kind of women u guys are hanging out with but.. the girls i know are major fans of god of war, resident evil, and silent hill, to name a few.

but they also like games like mahjong, mini ninja, super puzzle fighter, kingdom hearts, final fantasy, and guitar hero.

generally speaking, at least the girls in my area, dont enjoy fps or racing games other than games like mario kart. but i do know some online who plays fps games like modern warfare, and resistance. met some girls who play mgo. i havent met any females playing killzone though. these girls have headsets so i know for sure they are females and they already met the 100 friend cap limit.

something i did notice is, most of them have boyfriends who are also gamers. this is coming from the girls i know within my circle of friends.

i dont know how many of u guys are familiar with the soseproject but the people involved are definately women. idk about the xbox. but ever since ps home, ps3 has lots of girls (excluding the fake ones).

maybe some of u guys are living in the wrong area? also race can be a factor? EX:asian girls love gaming from starcraft to dating sims, to console gaming.

im not disagreeing with the article, gaming is more appealing to males than females i agree. but im just pointing out that it also depends on who u hang out with.

Sol
Sol
11 years ago

Agreed.

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

"EX: asian girls love gaming from starcraft to dating sims, to console gaming. "

Yeah, now that I think about it I've begun to notice that. You're completely right.

Antu
Antu
11 years ago

If someone wants to know how many girls play game , i think he should pay a visit to the [email protected] . that place is over loaded with women . i have some friends and man they dont understand anything exept [email protected] . they like it more than any games !! Though [email protected] is an awesome place . There's no doubt about it 🙂

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Again, not a game. It really is something women would get into.

…but don't forget that there are a lot of men with female avatars in Home.