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A Perspective From a Pro Female Gamer 101

Via Kotaku, an article at the SF Gate website about the game industry's interest in female gamers, and said gamers' proficiency with aforementioned games. The Swedish 'Girlz of Destruction' pro gaming group is mentioned (much more legit than, say, calender models with console controllers), as is the 'Couples, Computers and Gaming' event at Ruby Skye in San Francisco. From the article: "Lee compares the rush she gets playing video games to her high school soccer matches, and said some women who don't play unfairly equate games with crime and violence. Lee added she's never fired a real gun in her life. She will return this winter to her student life at UC Berkeley, where she is studying environmental policy. Enderle said game developers are still male-dominated, and if game companies want to get serious about recruiting women to play games, they need to recruit women to help make the games as well."
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A Perspective From a Pro Female Gamer

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  • gimmicks? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:13PM (#16825142) Journal
    I wish we could see some real hardcore female gamers, I've spoke to several frag dolls on Livejournal and most of them come across as your average girl with very little intrest in anything non-mainstream. It's Final fantasy this and Halo that, which basicly makes them seem all the more gimmicky.

    On the other hand I used to know the most awesome sniper on Team fortress classic and we had some fantastic duels on (what was) my home server.

    But seriously, who cares if someone has a penis or a vagina? You shut up and you play, that way everyones happy and men and women are on equal footing.
  • Re:Might as well ask (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rachel Lucid ( 964267 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:16PM (#16825182) Homepage Journal
    As a current CS major... the crop is there, but the skills may be lacking for the next few years while public schooling catches women up with their male peers.

    Going through public school, I was one of the few women who kept pushing the highest-level math classes at school (even if I didn't always have the best grades in Calculus), and I think that a lot of interested female gamers might be thinking that math and other science-y type courses correlates directly to computer science, whereas most of the early CS work deals more in patterns and syntax than anything worth the stress of the other courses.

    Making computer science more appealing in general would do oodles more for getting more women in the system than anything else.
  • The truth: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) * <rayanami@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:35PM (#16825488) Journal
    No self-respecting female plays the sex card when she's losing. The majority of people who claim to be girls are guys who are looking for the competetion to ease off.

    Lame but true.

    You probably play with girls more often than you realize. On the internet, no one knows if you're a dog (or a bitch).
  • by ofcourseyouare ( 965770 ) * on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:25PM (#16826254)
    Why don't most women want to play games involving shooting/ hunting/ fighting? Simple: they don't need them to express their inner feelings, desires and predilections. But a lot of men do.

    In a bit more detail, and please forgive the generalisations for the sake of argument...

    * Our brains are the same as they were 10,000 years ago, when most humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies, where (as is the case with such societies today, on the whole) men tended to do hunting, jobs requiring bursts of strength and a bit of fighting, and women tended to do gathering and child raising. The brains of males and females were to some extent hard-coded to allow individuals to do their respective jobs more effectively.

    * Cut, like the 2001 bone/spaceship shot, to the present day. We still have the same brains with the same hard coding.
    - In modern Western culture, women can still do the things for which nature predisposes them: gathering, child raising, working co-operatively in groups.
    - But men, by contrast, find many of their innate predispositions largely useless. You can hunt for fun, (provided you avoid the Vice President); you can go to the gym and do your feats of strength; you can get into fights in the street and end up in jail; and you can join the army and fight -- but these are choices with many obvious drawbacks.
    - Normal life for most of us is the life of Dilbert. Many of those instinctive aptitudes of men which relate to hunting and fighting are pretty much useless; but the traditional skills of women are as relevant as they ever were, and now carry much greater rewards in the co-operation based modern office.

    * This is why men play games: to enter in the imagination a world where their natural hunting and fighting skills are vital.

    * This is why most women don't play typical console games: they don't need a game to experience childbirth, or child raising, or socialising, or co-operative working. They get that from real life.

    * Lastly: some exceptions that prove the rule...
    - The Sims works as a game for women because, as dolls have done since the year dot, it's a game which dramatises socialising.
    - There are of course huge differences between different individuals of all genders; but I think the generalisations above are valid for most males and most females.
    - Of course men have aptitudes other than hunting and fighting, such as problem solving -- a skill still very useful today in the real world, and of course there are many puzzles that involve solving puzzles. But there are few games where you can play at being, say, a software developer or a chip designer -- because if that's what turns you on, and you're good enough at it, you can just go and do it for real...
  • by badboy_tw2002 ( 524611 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:41PM (#16826464)
    Or a lack of themes other than sex or violence? There are a lot of males in fashion design and film, and they make a lot of products that appeal to women. They manage to come up with shows, products, plot lines, and characters that appeal to women, and yet somehow its impossible to do for games because there aren't enough women engineers? I think the main problem is that a lot of game designers grew up on a particular diet of certain themes in games, and that's what they know and like. It takes a lot of creativity and ingenuity to break the mold, and maybe that's what's really missing.
  • by kria ( 126207 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `eirrac.reyalpelor'> on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @08:35AM (#16836368) Journal
    I know one of the things that convinced me not to try applying to a game company (I'm a female programmer) has to do with the rumored insane hours. I didn't know if it was true (and I still don't, really), but the idea of working long and erratic hours didn't appeal to me, no matter how much I would have loved to work on AI.

    Is that common to women programmers in general? Does it keep many men out of that industry? Again, I have no way of knowing, but there's one data point.

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