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Video Games and the Female Audience

Cat writes:

"I recently spotted this video over at GTR, and was pleasantly surprised. Not to sound overly cynical, but there is a lot of girl-gamer drivel out there. Daniel Floyd delivers what appear to be the notes of Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander (formerly of Kotaku). I like what they have to say, and if you can't spare the ten minutes to watch the snappy little vid here's your summary: Women aren't in constant state of taking offense at breast physics, we just know they're not for us.

Addressed is the recently reported increase in "female gamers", which most of us know to be a reported flux not of gamers as we know them, but of women that bought Wii Fit, or play Bejeweled to kill time at work. I don't like to play into the hierarchy of gaming, and should make clear that I agree that casual gaming is fun, has its place, and may be a valuable gateway drug to the harder stuff. Where I do make the distinction is briefly touched on in the video: the ability to talk, and identify, with other women who game."

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Cat3308d ago

Thanks, Columbo - I thought the video handled the topic really well, far better than any oversimplified "too many boobs!" pieces I've stumbled upon.

wAtdaFck3308d ago

with you and the video. and thanks, i enjoyed the presentation very much.

i think the vid hit the nail on the head. its not the video games (mostly), its the marketing, and the way we perceive video games

TheAntiFanboy3308d ago (Edited 3308d ago )

The vid raised some really awesome points, and I have a great deal of respect for Leigh Alexander. I very much enjoyed the video.

Beyond that, I think male gamers need to do their part by not treating female gamers like mythical creatures or aliens, and instead treat them more like, you know, gamers. It's irritating listening to an ENTIRE online lobby's attitude change instantly when a girl joins the room. She either gets worshiped like a God or griefed about belonging in the kitchen. No one has enough modesty to just act as they were and get past the fact that the voice behind the name is a little higher pitched than what we're used to hearing. All this sort of behavior does is just alienate the player.

That's not to say all of the fault lies with men. Both sides are at fault for over-exaggerating the significance of the gender. While guys need to work on not acting like there's a unicorn in the room, girls also need to do their part in not acting like the unicorn. They need to be modest and willing to integrate themselves into our little society. Sure, it goes without saying that there's a certain sense of pride in being unique, but using that as an excuse to put oneself above others only increases the divide. Girls who go into a game lobby and strut their stuff are doing nothing to help integrate their gender into the rest of the subculture.

rockleex3307d ago

Consist of Asians, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and even... women, just a few though. ^_^

Timesplitter143308d ago (Edited 3308d ago )

How many female guitarists VS male guitarists?
How many female movie directors VS male movie directors?

Video games are not alone. I guess girls simply aren't conditioned by society to like these things (dolls for girls and cars for boys), and because most people are conformist, well the majority of the girls will simply ignore video games and all that other stuff.

Oh and I'd love to see more female characters like The Boss and Alyx. They're some of the best characters ever. However, I'm not sure if it would change anything. Women in general simply aren't into this kind of stuff. For now, at least. Maybe the "dolls for girls and cars for boys" mentality will fade away with time. Maybe it already is. I'm starting to see younger girls with their parents in videogame stores sometimes.

TheAntiFanboy3308d ago (Edited 3308d ago )

It's really a huge psychological and sociological issue.

The typical male mentality is to dominate, seek any sort of reason to assume superiority over others. Video games are an easy road to competition, especially with the huge increase in popularity of online gaming around the late 1990's.

Then there's the typical female mentality: to understand other humans, to learn about how people live their lives, to comprehend emotions, to care for other humans. Most societies attribute this to a natural, maternal instinct.

But how much of this is just us forcing newborn children into gender roles right from out of the womb? Making a newborn girl wear pink, buying a newborn boy toy robots? What if we reversed the roles and placed the typical male expectations on a girl, and likewise with a boy? What if we gave the boy a doll, and the girl a wooden sword? Would women become more aggressive, men more empathetic?

I'm not saying that girls are completely free of any urge for superiority, and I'm definitely not saying that men are incapable of human empathy and understanding. But it's just far more common for those stereotypes to apply than it is otherwise, and that commonness is most likely due to our own self-enforced social gender roles. Yet these stereotypes are only true simply because we apply and aggressively enforce them.

You said the keyword yourself: conformity. Enforcing a particular cultural role on a human being. It's the reason behind all stereotypes, from age, to sex, to race, to demographic. The unfortunate reality is that this is the way the cookie crumbles. We continue to relentlessly feed the cycle. Unless there's some significant cultural revolution, it'll always be this way for the rest of humanity.

CaptainKratos3308d ago

i like the animation as well.i have yet talk to a female that's into games.actually i have yet talk to a female... :( j/k.LOL. but seriously. I'll keep looking,i will find one.

Timesplitter143308d ago

I'm with you, bro.

One day, we'll find one

CaptainKratos3308d ago

like put on a wig and stuff? and say "OMG this game is awesome!"yes?...no?....ma ybe.lol.i just kidding.lol.

Cat3308d ago

You guys crack me up - you're surrounded by female gamers but you're too busy talking to one another to notice! ;)

CaptainKratos3307d ago

im not folowing.....wait i think i get it...nope still not following.help me out here.

bjornbear3307d ago

I agree though, i know a girl thats quazi-interested in gaming, but very basic level

(hell she got stuck on Heavenly Sword on her PS3...and called in Sony support because she thought there was a problem with the PS3.....-_-)

But i would actually like to chill out with a girl talk about games normally and have a few multiplayer matches like i do w my mates! =)

There are many out there, but like the video states, they tend to hide...=( stupid society

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3306d ago
Tex1173308d ago

That was excellent.

It was informative, insightful, and really a pretty good speech in general. (From a speech standpoint)

TheColbertinator3308d ago (Edited 3308d ago )

Most of the girl gamers I know including my gf all say they love videogames because they started gaming at age 3 or 4.If people want to increase the number of girl gamers introduce them to Mario,Sonic and Zelda at an early age.

MelaDarkwood3308d ago

This is true: I think most girls aren't into games because they don't play them early on, and then find them uninteresting later, because they're into "girly" things. I myself started playing on an Atari and my dad's old apple, games like Joust, Dig Dug, and Q-bert. (There were other Atari games, but I don't remember the names.) Then we got a Genesis, my sister, brother, and I, and we all played Sonic, though I think me and my brother played more than my sister. Then we got a PS1, and we loved that too. Me and my brother continued to play, while my sister kinda fell out of it. We played Perfect Dark on my cousin's N64, and later Halo on his Xbox. We played Age of Empires II, Starcraft, and Diablo on our PCs. (Though I was the only who mostly played Starcraft.) We all owned Gameboys at some point in time. Now, I have a PS3, high end PC, and a PSP, all of which I play often. (Not often enough. =\ ) I have a good friend who plays co-op with me often, games like RE5, Warhawk, and Demon's Souls. But if I hadn't started gaming when I was young, or had influences like my cousin or my brother, I might not be a gamer right now.

And yes, it's best if you just treat girl gamers like other guy gamers. Pretend it doesn't make a difference how it makes her play, because it doesn't. Unless she's bragging and crap, in which case treat her like you'd treat any douchebag acting like an idiot-teamkill. =)

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