Female Gamers,  MMOs

female/gamer

While I was catching up on blogs that I read in those last burned-out fifteen minutes of a long day, I read a very nice interview with Mynxee of Life in Low Sec: GamePlay and Women in EVE.

There is a lot of talk today that the gaming industry need more women. What improvements are needed to make games more attractive to women? Or are such improvements needed at all?
To be honest, the kind of game that might appeal to the majority of women out there who aren’t already gamers would not likely appeal to me. So personally, I don’t really think much change is necessary, unless the game companies simply want to exploit a market that isn’t being addressed and could produce more revenues. But that is not my concern. I have not had any trouble with finding fun games to play…or people–including women–to play them with.

Nicely put. I have an issue with games that are supposed to be attractive to females, because I think there is a (perhaps valid, I don’t know) perception that these customers are casual gamers. Because if they are already gamers? They’re playing the same games that men are. They are pirates in EVE Online, or raiders in Warcraft, or they play FPS games. I do play more MMOs than single player games, and I almost never play casual games, but in all sincerity I’ve never played a game that I thought wasn’t well-designed for women. I have never thought of myself as a female gamer, I think of myself as a gamer, and that is it. Age of Conan is probably the most male-oriented MMO that I’ve played (just due to the lore of the IP itself) but I didn’t feel slighted or shut out as a female player. I was able to make a strong female character, and that’s all that mattered – the fact that the initial quest involved saving a half-naked, bound woman didn’t bother me. My character rescued her and went on to kick a lot of ass, which was pretty much all I wanted to do in that game.

I think if you try to pigeonhole people, you make shallow games. I’m definitely a girly-girl, but I feel quite at home striding through a post-apocalyptic setting, covered in tattoos and toting a BFG. I don’t need a pink interface, or sparkles, or fairies. I don’t need a casual game that I can pop on to play while the waiting for the laundry to be done. I want games that make me think, where I can kick butt with my friends, and as long as I CAN create a female character, that’s pretty much all I need.

2 Comments

  • kaozz

    I agree with you, you made some great points. If I don’t play a game it isn’t because it’s not ‘feminine’ enough for me heh. If I don’t play it, that means it’s just not something I’m into. If I do play a casual sort like Free Realms… it’s because I’m in the mood for that.. not doing laundry LOL.

  • Mynxee

    Thanks for the link and comments, Ravven. You pretty much added the rest of what I was thinking: as long as I can play a character that I can identify with as an extension of ME, a game will probably appeal to me. Frilly pink and purple cutesy bullshit does not identify LOL.

    I hope you and any other women EVE players (current or former, or even “not there yet but really intrigued) you know will participate in interviews/focus group I’d like to conduct in early November as research for an article I”m writing for E-ON.

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