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Author Topic: Girls want games!  (Read 3981 times)
Evil Gately
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« on: August 21, 2006, 11:05:38 PM »

Clickage/readage.

Well, it's good to see that (once again), the "industry experts (tm)" have hit the nail right on the head by telling developers if they make games like The Sims, then they too can make as much money as EA...

The general gist of the article (for those of you too lazy to read it!) is that to increase you profitability, you need to increase your user-base, and to increase your user-base, you need to make products that will appeal to the groups who do not currently buy your product. They also make the blatently obvious point that when attempting to make your product more appealing to a potential new sector of the market, you should avoid making said potential buyers feel patronised.

Well, I'm pretty sure that one of the most important factors in any business is marketing. And there are lots of people who are paid lots of money to market all sorts of products to all sorts of people, especially in the entertainment business. So, taking all of this into account, you're telling me it's taken the best part of 30 years for the gaming industry to realise that if they market pink, fluffy games at girls, they won't buy them, but if you try and sell them a virtual soap opera/doll house simulator they'll lap it up?

Jeez.

Mind you, these are the same people who thought if they put the tag-line "Whilst thou get the girl... Or play like one?" on the ads for one of Nintendo's biggest releases it would actually encourage girls to play it!

But, of course, how does the BBC provide visual support for this story, centred on getting more 'female' and less 'girlie' games developed? By plasterng it with a picture from the uber-chick-flick, Titanic, and a nice shot of a lovely, pink PS2.

Well done, BBC!
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Dincrest
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 12:06:04 AM »

I always wonder to what extent market researchers actually interviewed female gamers, or just females in general, and actually, you know, ASK them what they would like to see in video games that would make it appeal to them.  

My product doesn't appeal to martians.  Well, maybe if I talk to some martians, I'll learn why.  

I think most market research has ZERO human factor and all they base their findings on is financial statistics (i.e. sales and box office numbers) and draw conclusions/make assumptions based purely on quantitative numbers.  

Where's the qualitative data?  Where's the human factor?  Who says women want games that harbor around relationships or sweeping storylines?  Just because women enjoy romance in movies like Titanic or The Notebook doesn't necessarily mean they'd want that in their video games.  Excepting the ladies here at RPGfan, the ladies I know in real life would probably be turned off by the love adventures I play because they are rather cumbersome in comparison to fighting or puzzle games which are more intuitive and have fast action where you can just get in and play without needing patience.  

I remember one time a few years back, some friends were meeting us at our dorm suite before we went out to the bars.  A couple of the girls in our circle of friends were over and we were trying to kill time.  So we decided to throw on some Soul Calibur.  The girls (both nongamers) sighed, but we gave them the controllers first and once they selected their characters and started beating each other up with Taki and Sophitia they got into it (trash talking and everything), and we had to pry the controllers out of their hands when the rest of our friends came over so we wouldn't miss the bus into town.  I did try to introduce them to more story oriented games (i.e. FF7, Septerra Core, The Longest Journey, even some love adventures) but they were all like "nah, this is boring.  I like those fighting games."
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CastNuri
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2006, 05:22:06 AM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"

I remember one time a few years back, some friends were meeting us at our dorm suite before we went out to the bars.  A couple of the girls in our circle of friends were over and we were trying to kill time.  So we decided to throw on some Soul Calibur.  The girls (both nongamers) sighed, but we gave them the controllers first and once they selected their characters and started beating each other up with Taki and Sophitia they got into it (trash talking and everything), and we had to pry the controllers out of their hands when the rest of our friends came over so we wouldn't miss the bus into town.  I did try to introduce them to more story oriented games (i.e. FF7, Septerra Core, The Longest Journey, even some love adventures) but they were all like "nah, this is boring.  I like those fighting games."


 Surprisingly enough (at least to me), a lot of girls love beat-em-up games. When my non-gamer friends and I got together for a sleepover last year, everyone was waiting their turn for MK and SC. I don't encourage violence or anything, but it's a great way to keep them busy when you're feeling worn. :P

I don't think that the "industry experts" really understands their customers very well.

o_O
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Dincrest
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2006, 09:33:52 AM »

"industry experts" understand numbers and statistics but not people.  And statistics only tell so much.  And it's quite easy to lie with statistics too.
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daschrier
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2006, 10:39:07 AM »

I've never met a girl that actually likes games....it's more of a niche thing. You aren't going to convert men to enjoying fashion and shoes, just like you're not going to make most women gamers.
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Cauton
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2006, 12:39:47 PM »

Quote from: "daschrier"
I've never met a girl that actually likes games....it's more of a niche thing. You aren't going to convert men to enjoying fashion and shoes, just like you're not going to make most women gamers.


Uh yeah, becase as everyone knows, girls dislike games on a genetical level.

Hell, I think a lot more girls play games than we - or analysts - would believe. Take a look at the MMO market, for an instance. According to the Daedalus project, 15% of the MMO subscriber base is female. I would dare say , though, that the number is significanly higher in popular MMOs such as World of Warcraft. So that's a huge number of females that play MMOs on a regular basis. And if they play MMOs, I bet the chance is big that they would be interested in playing other types of games as well.

At all comes down to the games and their content. Of course girls aren't going to get too excited about the whole "big burly man kills all the monsters and saves the world/girl" thing that so many games have got going. Fuck, even I am tired of that.

So, the market needs to change. But not by producing pink consoles. Dear lord, what kind of marketing moron came up with that idea? "Hey, I know a way to get girls to play - let's color the the Playstation PINK! Girls love pink, and horses, and dolls!"

No, what is needed are games that dare break free of the marine-saves-world mold. More games like Nintendogs, Animal Crossing, etc. Games that appeal to more than the preteen boy audience.
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Leo
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 03:45:24 PM »

Well, Final Fantasy XIII will have a heroine, so perhaps that will attract a large female fanbase. We need more heroines in RPGs, particularly.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 05:54:31 PM »

Gender of protagonist is helpful, but not always necessary.  Some of my female friends adore the Zelda series and Kingdom Hearts, both of which have dudes as protagonists.  

During pre-outing time kill sessions, the ladies dug Smash Bros. and Mario Kart too... but Soul Calibur was usually the most requested time-kill game.  

And I believe love adventures are popular among female gamers in Japan and most of those put you in the shoes of a boy.
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Leo
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 08:17:35 PM »

I think Wii will be attractive to not only female gamers, but all other demographics. As I'm thinking about it now, this could be the first console where I can imagine the adults in my family being interested in video gaming.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2006, 09:57:50 PM »

Puzzle games.  How could I forget that?  Even the ladies I know who aren't into gaming in the slightest adore puzzle games.  My mom loves games like Bust-A-Move, Bejeweled, Tetris, and the like.  My late great-aunt could spend hours playing Tetris.  And why not?  The games are fun, intuitive, and addicting.  

Then again, even the older folks in my family are game junkies; either that or they adore gadgets and to them, game consoles are gadgets.  My great uncle always used to steal his daughters' Game Boys to play on and loves card games on computer.  My dad's no gamer, but he had a Pong machine back in the 70s.  And the one Nintendo game he actually played was Rad Racer.    

Who'd have thunk it, market researchers?  The ladies (at least the cross section I know) can dig Tetris and Tekken.
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Eusis
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2006, 02:43:07 AM »

I waited to reply to this until I read the article, then I see it's basically the same thing I read on 1up. Figures.

Honestly, I think marketting and advertisement firms may very well be insane. Just look at all these bullshit commercials, half the time I remember the commercial more than the actual product, and a lot of them are painfully stupid.

As for the game things, I can't say too much you guys haven't. I remember a similar topic being made, or at least similar issues were touched upon in the past though.
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ZE GRAND MASTER
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2006, 12:40:49 PM »

Quote from: "Miho"
Well, Final Fantasy XIII will have a heroine, so perhaps that will attract a large female fanbase. We need more heroines in RPGs, particularly.


Yeah, but 10-2 had female main characters to appeal to guys, and there seems to be an emphasis on her lack of clothes in the trailers for 13.

If you want an RPG with heroines, play Tales of Symphonia. It has two female characters in typically "manly" roles - a ninja and a lumberjack - and two of the female characters are several times stronger than all the male characters put together. Wild Arms 3 has a female protagonist, who is a better leader than all the whiny teenage boys of most RPGs. And the Fire Emblems have lots of female main characters. If more developers took hints from games like that...
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Lilim
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2006, 01:07:59 PM »

Hmm. As much as I like female protagonists, I'd rather have a group of believable characters regardless of gender. Sort of like FFVI where noone is truly the main character. Of course, this won't likely draw in new blood.

I'm quite divided on this. I've been wanting to comment on it for some time, but I'm finding it hard to put what I feel into some tangible form. On one hand, I think developers will continue to make games that appeal to the popular male bracket, but on the other hand, it'd be nice to see some diversity with /strong/ female leads, sans fan service.

I'll have to agree that if some women don't like games now, I doubt they ever really will. Sure, puzzle games are a sure hit, but those come installed on everything now. Maybe something different. Maybe romance-type games would attract a different market of females?

Maybe a mall-shopping sim? (Ugh. Why am I suggesting this?) I just hate the feeling of being marketed 'down' to. Being a woman, I get weird looks as it is as I ask for my Dead Rising preorder and want to preorder Okami while I'm there. I think maybe gaming will catch on as it becomes more widespread and integrated than it has been in today's society. I certainly hope so.
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CluelessWonder
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2006, 02:50:39 PM »

Mall-shopping sim? I do shop online.  Perhaps if I had a shopping addiction and I didn't want to go broke irl, I'd play it.  Anyways, I'm with you on not caring about the gender.  Though in games that offer a choice, I always pick female.  

I do like being able to change clothes/weapons etc on characters and seeing it represented visually in the game.  Games get a huge plus in my book for having that option.  I don't know if I feel this way because I'm female and I love clothes or I just hate staring at the same damn outfit for ~50hrs.
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ZE GRAND MASTER
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2006, 04:59:31 PM »

I wonder if we'll ever see robot protagonists, so that no-one can complain about gender favouritism? But then,  that would  be politically correct and a PC rpg would make teh universe implode...

Note: I'm joking about this, just so nobody gets any ideas.
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