There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

October 15, 2009 -

Videogame marketers still don’t know how to target girl gamers and continue to resort to stereotypes argues an article on Jezebel, which picks apart a recent Wall Street Journal article covering the same topic.

The WSJ article mentioned games like Charm Girls Club, Littlest Pet Shop, Just Dance and Wii Fit, along with a lilac-colored PSP Hannah Montana pack-in, inspiring the Jezebel author to respond:

Some of us like pink, some of us don't. Some of us have all the latest tech, some of us don't. Some of us prefer computer games, some of us don't. Getting the picture? We're all different.

The article details the gaming preferences of a variety of women, and offers up three “fairly obvious” points for videogame marketers to consider: Women gamers are not a monolith, switch up your advertising and when rethinking marketing, start internally.

Citing a Will Wright comment that the reason The Sims did so well with women is that 40% of the game’s development team was female, the author urges:

If you want to attract more women, involve more women in the process of creating games. Hire more women at your organization. Reach out to women who already identify as gamers.


Comments

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Is it "No Shit Sherlock" month or something?

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Funny, I remember have readed about Cortana´s designer in Halo games was a woman.

They will look up and shout "Give ROFLCOPTERS to us"... and I´ll whisper "NO". The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Which has little adds very little to the conversation.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

If you says so.

They will look up and shout "Give ROFLCOPTERS to us"... and I´ll whisper "NO". The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

You provided a single and totally unverified example of a woman in the industry, then cast it as somehow disproving the entire article.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

My company has no problem hiring women, but there aren't that many women in the industry to be hired. Come on girls, let's see those portfolios!

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Woman designer: *shows you many male designs with bishonen style that make look Cloud Strife like Arnold Schwarzenegger*

You: Mmmm, thank you, miss. We call you later... NEXT!!!!

They will look up and shout "Give ROFLCOPTERS to us"... and I´ll whisper "NO". The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Awwww you can generalize...

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

For comedy sake´s...

They will look up and shout "Give ROFLCOPTERS to us"... and I´ll whisper "NO". The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Man that is comedy.

That's almost as funny as telling a female job applicant that she should be in the kitchen, not coding.

 

Ha Ha Ha

 

 

And people seem surprised that the industry can be such an uncomfortable work environment for women.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

By all means, let's cater and change the workplace so that women feel more comfortable at work. You know, instead of treating them the same as everyone else, because they deserve better than that.

Or you know, they could just suck it up and realize that sexist idiots are the minority and they don't have to put up with their Sh-*unprofessional behavior* in the slightest and report the jerk.

"

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Have you ever worked in a male dominated engineering or technical sector?

Women are typically not judged by the same standards as men.

A man who aggressively seeks out responsibility and advancement is seen as someone who should be promoted.

A woman who aggressively seeks out responsibility and advancement is seen as confrontational, a bulldog, unfeminine, or uncooperative.

I worked as an intern in the IT department of a company where my mother worked in the test engineering department. We had different last names. My mother is an aggressive woman and fairly assertive. She has held a supervisor position for the last ten years.

She was passed over for a promotion to a department management position by a man with less work experience and did not have an MBA which my mother had.

My manager was completely flabbergasted by the choice

Comments made in front of me by fellow employee's behind closed doors were incredibly sexist and demeaning.

Sexism is not dead in the work place, especially not in male dominated feilds.

Most women would be quite happy to be judge to the same standards as men based on their competence.

The games industry is no exception.

 

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

People are making unprofessional comments behind an associate's back? My goodness, that never happens.

Some asshat with less experience gets a promotion over someone else who deserved it? That never occurs either.

Face facts, Scope, the world ain't fair. Suck ups or people ill-suited for their position get promotions all the time. Is it sexist? Depends on the situation, really. It could be, or it could be part of the 'good ol' boy' syndrome.

This isn't going to change. Not now, not ever. It isn't about the job or field either, that is life in general. It ain't fair, it isn't ever going to be fair, and people will always be assholes. No amount of sensitivity training or PC-pushing is going to fix that.

"

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

You're right, it won't change.

 

Because of people like you.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

If a man is passed over for promotion it's because he wasn't good enough, but if a women is passed over it MUST be due to sexism, naturally. /sarcasm.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Institutional sexism and racism are dead! /sarcasm

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

In the art areas of my company there aren't any problems. In fact, the Texture Lead is a woman and the men who work under her take her seriously.

I suspect that you can judge how sexist a company is likely to be by their game characters. I imagine the game company that made Uncharted is probably standard, but the company that made X-Blades or Wet is likely to be packed with some jackholes.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

Ah.. Will Wright stating the blindly obvious.... yet most development houses and marketers seem so dead set against the idea.

There is a significant attitude that 'men know women'.. (actually, the inverse is also true, but less of a problem in this specific case) and thus you do not need actual women around.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

The real problem is that men think they know what kinds of games women will like, but they just don't.  It would probably help if developers and marketers would hire more women, but unless those women have actual influence, games that women want to play are still not going to get made.

Unfortunately, if a developer or a marketer has a lot of women employees, it probably means they have a lot of receptionists or other low-level jobs that those women are filling.  That's not going to change until real change happens in the way men are brought up to think about women.  I reckon we're about 50 years away from that - and that's probably too optimistic.  It'll probably be 2100 before women get fully integrated into the gaming world.

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

I hear EA's working on a 'Barefoot and Pregnant' simulator are thinking of introducing peripherals that let women game all the way from the kitchen.

In all seriousness, if a girl is a gamer she will like the stuff that is already being churned out already (hence she is a gamer). There doesn't really need to be some kind of differential in games being made to appeal to one sex or the other. Personally, I would just like it if women were represented realistically in terms of character designs. That blind woman from KOTOR 2 is a good example of a well done female character, on the other end of the spectrum we take a gander at Team Ninja's stuff.

"

Re: There’s More to Girl Gamers Than Pink and Sparkles

The problem is, the games industry thinks they can make games for girls.

The second problem is that the women presented... are shit characters typically.

 
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Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
 

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