Rom commented with a question about female gamers. You know what? If I believe most articles on women in gaming, my experience is very untypical. (Supposedly, women like casual games that they can pick up, play for a few minutes, and walk away from.) According to my personal experience, though, there are a lot of female gamers out there who don’t play any differently, or buy games differently, from men. I’ve been in three Warcraft guilds, one all-female, and two that had a healthy mix of male and female gamers. I’ve played FPS games at lan parties, and know a lot of women who do. I don’t think the female gamer stereotype really exists, although people sure do try to market to it.
On a Metroblogging Azeroth post, I wrote about girl gamers and WoW. I thought that, if there was any difference between women and men who play games, perhaps women like more diversity in game, and more of a sense of inhabiting a persona. I could enjoy playing a total testosterone-blowout game like Gears of War, but I wouldn’t play it all the time…because I enjoy the illusion of actually inhabiting a world.
Is that the difference, for me? Perhaps. I have male friends who are just as addicted to WoW as I am, but they don’t see their characters as being “people”. They’re always themselves when they play, whereas my toons have personalities that I sort of inhabit when I play. Interesting.
Recently on Yudhishthiras Dice the question was raised:
“Ladies, what RPG covers (or interiors) have you seen that involve a woman in the art that make you say, I want to play that or, just as good I want to play her. Or that make you feel like it is a game you could like, or be included in by a group of guys youd never met and whose maturity you didnt necessarily know?”
This was turned into a meme on the Official Shrub.com blog, which you should check out. I started playing WoW when the original packaging featured a nelf female. Had I not already played, I would never have picked the game up based on the Burning Crusade packaging: the snarling male depicted on the cover would have given me the impression that this was a game that I wouldn’t like. I’ve also never played any of the Tombraider games, because I feel no kinship or attraction to the overblown Lara. I did, however, buy Dreamfall, at least in part based on the cover.
So what is typical? I haven’t the faintest. :) Any thoughts?