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Games Entertainment

Game Designers Lack An X Chromosome 80

heartless_ writes "GamerGod is running a response to a recent Chris Crawford article discussing Women and Gaming. The problem with identifying winning game elements lies not in the efforts of the game makers themselves; they can only work with what they have. It lies in the fact that most game developers lack one thing - the elusive extra X chromosome. As a result, we have men trying to decide what women most want to play." We linked to Crawford's piece when it was originally run.
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Game Designers Lack An X Chromosome

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  • Err... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jon Chatow ( 25684 ) * <> on Friday December 02, 2005 @08:01PM (#14170445) Homepage
    [...] elusive extra X chromosome [...]

    Extra? Extra?! I think someone failed genetics.


  • You know... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BigZaphod ( 12942 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @08:14PM (#14170563) Homepage
    There's nothing stopping a group of women from getting together and starting their own indy game company and making the kind of stuff they want to play. Female programmers do, in fact, exist. The other elements of games (such as art/sound/music) are often already created by women or with the help of women, so, really, where's the problem here? If the market isn't fulfilling your desires then START YOUR OWN COMPANY! Plenty of guys have done it. Girls can too.
    • Yes. And we female game designers ARE out making our own games and not writing these stupid articles. In fact, we're being ignored by the MEN who write these stupid articles, because they just want to make up some hand-wringing about the poor oppressed women so they sound all supportive and PC. They don't give a damn about what women ACTUALLY want or what women ARE actually doing. - Insanely girly game designer.
      • I, for one, have never wasted my time writing about opressed women. I am far to busy being actively involved in actually opressing them!

        (I kid, I kid . . . Kinda).
      • How do you feel about this article in light of the fact that it was written by a woman? Near the end there's a sentence that reads: "Throughout history, we've had men telling __us__ what to think, how to look, and where to work." Usage of the word "us" seems to indicate that the author is a woman and she's trying to play the victim card throughout.

        Side issue, but do you have a website for your work as a "insanely girly game designer" anywhere? You could consider adding it to your slashdot sig or profile t
        • I didn't even read TFA in this case, being fed up with all the girls-in-gaming crap that gets posted here. :)

          Still, it wasn't an original article, it was a response to an article that *was* written by a man being silly. Most articles about women in gaming are not written by women, and have been known to twist women's words to fit their preconceived notions (the Hot Coffee incident that was reported on slashdot, where the article author blatantly lied about what the woman whose name he used said.)

          As for

          • Re:You know... (Score:3, Informative)

            by BigZaphod ( 12942 )
            Slashdot might not be your target audience directly, but depending upon the product I bet there's people here with daughters or sisters that are. That's how word spreads and how marketing works. Plus, your comments here will be crawled by Google and the like eventually and the more links to your site there are the better your search engine rankings. Just something to consider. :-)
    • I suspect that most game development houses today would be more than happy to hire women for jobs in programming and level design, and not just art, music, and business-related departments. The problem is that there are so few women pursuing such a career. I've TA'd computer science courses before that had a grand total of zero women in them (while one of my lab coworkers TA's classes in the biology department where there were more women than men enrolled).

    • I'm sure a lot of them do - I mean, come on, MS Game Labs is really starting to take off! :)

      No, seriously, though - I'm sure that plenty of girls have started their own independent game companies. It's just that they don't draw the crowd that the bigger, better-known, more "manly" games do like Call of Duty or the Halo series (not that women don't play either of these, just it's not nearly as common to meet a girl who plays them as it is to meet a guy who plays them) or even the more "manly" indie games.

  • You do know that there is a pathology related to having an extra X chromosome, right?
    • Yeah, for most affected people it causes them to bleed for a few days every month or so, and experience some of the following:
      headaches, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, depression, trouble thinking straight, bad memory, uncontrolled binge eating, joint or muscle pains, cramps or pains elsewhere.

  • Nobody, and I do mean nobody, lacks an X chromosome.

    Everybody has at least one, and some people even have two.
    • And of course, you could read the title as a suggestion of plurality. All have at least one, some have two, but of those creating games "an X chromosome" is lacking, and this is the purported (and not entirely unreasonable) mechanism that slow the creation of games that are appealing to the fairer sex.
    • You're right of course, although there is Turner's Syndrome, which occurs in persons having only one X chromosome (45,X) and nothing else; as they're female one could describe that as "missing" the other X. (However it could just as easily be described as missing the Y, in which case they'd be a normal male.) []
  • by artifex2004 ( 766107 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @08:21PM (#14170618) Journal
    When people talk about how maybe there aren't greater numbers of women in engineering and science disciplines because they may think a bit differently, they get censured, lose tenure, and even get fired. But it's okay to say that male programmers can't make videogames that women would like, because they think a bit differently from women?

  • Yes, we've heard it all before. I'm even getting tired of trotting out my usual response - that there ARE styles of games that women play equally or even in the majority, and that there ARE women game designers.

    Guess what?


    They would much rather write their whiny stories about women in gaming than look at the truth. And you keep pandering to it by posting them.

    It's really quite amazing how dead-set people are in trying to make women into second-class citizens and make a story out of
  • This is so factual. See what they did here is took a random sampling of game designers and got their karyotype. The results were that 100% of them had an extra X chromosome. I don't really see how this was accepted without proper editing. Now then, to further ridicule this article... Women and men don't want different things or the same thing! What the majority of people want is driven entirely by their current social status and social goals. Proof of this are girl gamers and even pro girl gamers. And get
  • by SalaciousPucker ( 911419 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:43PM (#14171160)
    The trick to selling games to women is that you have to take your time. The male market is established quickly and fades fast after a game's release. On the other hand, the women's market takes alot longer to get started, but can go on and on, just think of the Sim's. You can rely on simple pictures and video from the internet to bring in the males. Since the female market isn't as easily swayed, it can often take repeated oral prodding from friends before they are ready.
  • Not trying to troll here or anything, but I think women in general are missing the elusive "gaming" chromosome (though it's prolly a gene), and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @10:36PM (#14171412) Journal
    It makes perfect sense. Frankly, it's about time someone pointed this out, even.

    If women want games for women, they should get out there and make some games for women. Demanding men create games suitable for women is simply regressive.
    • Not only is it "regressive," but it probably wouldn't produce any good games.

      Can you imagine the crew at ID or Rockstar Games sitting around trying to figure out what kind of a game would sell to women? It would be like writing to Ask Slashdot for dating tips. (Okay, probably worse, since we know at least one person here is probably married [].)

      If you want to make a product for a certain group of people, having members of that group actually make it will almost always create a superior product (assuming you ca
  • Name the top designers for women's clothing. Are they all women? Name the top women's hair dressers. Are they all women? The idea that men can't design what women want is just not true.
    • So are you saying that we need more openly homosexual game developers? Moving away from the almost under the radar homo eroticism of the PC fps game to openly camp games that revolve around pampering women and telling them how "fabulous" they are?
      • I've played quite a number of online games and there seems to be a HUGE number of homosexuals. I can never pick them out, but my fellow gamers seem to spot them almost instantly and let everybody else know about it too. So I can only assume that there is a market for homosexualy skewed games.
  • It is intresting that this "girl" seems to have made one tiny little flaw in her argument that male game designers don't know what women want. She says at the end of her article that women are in fact the largest group of gamers, just not in the headline grabbing FPS etc but with simple games like cards, you know the free java/flash type games.

    Well who designs these games then? Males by any chance? There just is not going to much of a market for a full priced card game is there now? As for her suggestion o

    • I agree with you, I just wanted to point out:
      Well who designs these games then? Males by any chance? There just is not going to much of a market for a full priced card game is there now?
      Sure there is. Sierra has sold their line of Hoyle's card game for a decade, each at retail and at full price. They were great games as well. And talking of Sierra, they made games that both men and women liked equally well (but then, several of their leading designers were women).
  • Color me DUH!

    Forget games, its hard enough for men to know what women like and want for anything in real life.

    So men game designers can't design games that women like ? No kidding.

    And guess what ? I read Slashdot too, so clearly I am even more unlikely to know...
  • What a bunch of condescending BS. All the article says is that "Men can't develop software for women because they're not women. Therefore they should just replicate already popular software for women, for example, by placing trivia games in WoW."

    Men can develop software for women, even without predecessors to replicate. These aren't games, but: Livejournal [], deadjournal [], and myspace [] were started by Brad, Frank, and Tom, yet their user-bases dramatically skew toward females.

    You don't have to be a female to ma

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