Games for Girls

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Games for Girls

There's more to otome games than their good-looking men and romance storylines.

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Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

My god, you know me so well! Have you been reading my diary?

OT: I hate to be That Guy, but why is it that when setting out to design a game for women they went straight to "romancing hot dudes"? Clearly it's a big seller so there's a significant market for that sort of thing, but...eh. The implication that anything with guns and violence gets designated as a boy game and anything with kissing and all the other gross girly stuff is a girl game is a bit troubling. Yeah, I know you said that these games bridge genres from strategy and action and whatnot, but the article seemed to suggest that the romance is an integral part of the game and a reason for their popularity.

Then again, I'm not a female gamer, so what I'm doing here is pretty much talking out of my arse. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition. You can keep your girly games, as they've probably got cooties anyway.

SonicWaffle:

Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

My god, you know me so well! Have you been reading my diary?

OT: I hate to be That Guy, but why is it that when setting out to design a game for women they went straight to "romancing hot dudes"? Clearly it's a big seller so there's a significant market for that sort of thing, but...eh. The implication that anything with guns and violence gets designated as a boy game and anything with kissing and all the other gross girly stuff is a girl game is a bit troubling. Yeah, I know you said that these games bridge genres from strategy and action and whatnot, but the article seemed to suggest that the romance is an integral part of the game and a reason for their popularity.

Then again, I'm not a female gamer, so what I'm doing here is pretty much talking out of my arse. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition. You can keep your girly games, as they've probably got cooties anyway.

I can say about the same thing. To me this seemed like a article that was trying to be positive...yet was inherently negative. Now given, I know precisely nothing about the actual Genre, but the way the Author describes it, it sounds to em as if you play a Girl who is supposed to be doing something important, like saving the world, but is more preoccupied with who she wants to screw.

Is this really what women want? Because, to me, this sounds really, really sexist.

Hrmm.. Wut?
I know enough girls who -loathe- such type of games.
They rather play something what they discribe as fun like MW3, BF3, Skyrim, Mass Effect & Checkers.

Who says girls need to have girly type of games. That era is long since gone and we should be glad that the bounderies of guy & girl gaming are dissapearing. Let's embrace the other gender and be happy about it |3

SonicWaffle:
OT: I hate to be That Guy, but why is it that when setting out to design a game for women they went straight to "romancing hot dudes"?

Not only that, but you use that "romancing [of] hot dudes" to compel them to "earn their loyalty or assistance in combat or political matters", presumably because you're weak and ineffectual and need a man to do anything serious, while you get to sit back and help bathe the high school boxing club. I mean wtf.
I'm not a girl and I wouldn't call myself some radical feminist or anything (though I do believe in equal rights and all that), but what the hell are they teaching their young girls with these games?!

Then again, I'm not a female gamer, so what I'm doing here is pretty much talking out of my arse. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition. You can keep your girly games, as they've probably got cooties anyway.

^

I think the problem here is a misleading title - sure, otome games are "for girls", but the unfortunate implication is that they're the only "games for girls" worth talking about. They're just one genre, and they are what they are. Sure, women want more than just games about "catch the guy", just like men want more than just games about "catch the girl".

Can they be sexist? Oh, heck, yes. Very often. So can a lot of other games, a lot of other genres, and a lot of other artistic creations in other media too. A lot of them are mindless prattle, as Sturgeon's Revelation would imply, and some of them are interesting. Some of the Western ones in particular have some pretty solid writing. (Winter Wolves is a developer worth getting a shout-out in this article; I'd add a mention for Tycoon Games too.)

SonicWaffle:

Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

My god, you know me so well! Have you been reading my diary?

OT: I hate to be That Guy, but why is it that when setting out to design a game for women they went straight to "romancing hot dudes"? Clearly it's a big seller so there's a significant market for that sort of thing, but...eh. The implication that anything with guns and violence gets designated as a boy game and anything with kissing and all the other gross girly stuff is a girl game is a bit troubling. Yeah, I know you said that these games bridge genres from strategy and action and whatnot, but the article seemed to suggest that the romance is an integral part of the game and a reason for their popularity.

Then again, I'm not a female gamer, so what I'm doing here is pretty much talking out of my arse. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition. You can keep your girly games, as they've probably got cooties anyway.

Actually, in Japan there's also a huge market for this type of game among men as well. The shear number of visual novels, RPGs, etc. that have come to incorporate romantic options or made them the main focus of the game should be more than proof of that. Several series were mentioned in this very article. It should also be noted that Sengoku Basara (mentioned briefly in the article), while it contains elements intended to appeal to men, was designed primarily to appeal to women (it's creator said as much in an interview which I can't be bothered to find right now. I think it was on ANN). The article was discussing a type of game defined by its romantic elements, not claiming that all games intended to appeal to women must do so in that way.

I'm sorry, but your conclusion in this case appears to be erroneous, having been made without a more comprehensive understanding of the situation.

Also, yes, most of these games are really sexist and feature incredibly useless and boring heroines in order to highlight the male characters. It's pretty much the reverse of those stupid harem anime where the main character is a useless boring guy so that the audience can more easily insert themselves into his position and it has the same problems. Honestly, as far as I've seen, recent Japanese media aimed at women is for the most part even more sexist than recent Japanese media aimed at men (and that takes some doing).

Ruwrak:
Hrmm.. Wut?
I know enough girls who -loathe- such type of games.
They rather play something what they discribe as fun like MW3, BF3, Skyrim, Mass Effect & Checkers.

Who says girls need to have girly type of games. That era is long since gone and we should be glad that the bounderies of guy & girl gaming are dissapearing. Let's embrace the other gender and be happy about it |3

Who says girls need to have girly type of games?

Well, not the author, who acknowledges fanbases of other games right in the article. So who exactly are you arguing against?

Big_H:
I'm not a girl and I wouldn't call myself some radical feminist or anything (though I do believe in equal rights and all that), but what the hell are they teaching their young girls with these games?!

The exact same thing that the entire fricking wall of bodice rippers at the local library does.

Sabrestar:
They're just one genre, and they are what they are. Sure, women want more than just games about "catch the guy", just like men want more than just games about "catch the girl".

Whoa whoa whoa. Sometimes we like to catch the guy too! Anders and I had such a forbidden love, though admittedly that all went to shit when he turned out to be a terrorist. Still, it was sweet for a time!

OtherSideofSky:
I'm sorry, but your conclusion in this case appears to be erroneous, having been made without a more comprehensive understanding of the situation.

Well, I think that's the nicest way I've ever been told I was wrong and that I ought to shut up :-P

As far as my understanding goes, it's practically none. I was not even peripherally aware of such games until I read this article. However, I was commenting on the article rather than the whole genre of games, and the author seems (to me) to be saying "these are girly games for ladies" and emphasising that romance plays a much heavier role in them than traditionally male-oriented games. Hence my comment.

I don't know if I'm getting the right impression but to me it rather sounds like a very shallow Bioware game (note: I freaking love Bioware).

Instead of getting a large(r) variety of companions from various walks of life you get only hot men who are all likely bad-ass in one way or another.
Instead of being able to take care of business yourself and your companions assisting you it seems the other way around.
Instead of combat you get erm... nothing?

Maybe it's because I'm not the intended audience but to me this seems like a step back from the companion-focused games we have in the West (not sure how popular Bioware is in the East) rather then the step forward the article is trying to make it seem.

Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

live/life typo?

I think people are missing something here.

These games target teenage girls.
You know ... the ones who make things like Twilight popular.

Totally different than making something for women in general.

Levethian:

Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

live/life typo?

Indeed, nice catch! Fixed.

Well, personally I prefer games WITHOUT a storyline and gameplay that revolves around romance. Sure, the main character can have a romantic interest in someone. It's only natural and all that.

But if romance is the main, possibly only, selling point, I stear clear. Way clear.

I guess that just depends on what kind of woman is playing the game. If the game's a fantasy setting with male hotties for support characters then you can't really expect to attract the most hardcore gamer woman, because i imagine they'd rather not be seen playing stuff like that.

I can see how it would appeal to quite another demographic though, but how exactly you'd get girls from outside the medium to get sucked in through these sorts of games is something i can't quite figure out.

Will be interesting to see how these "maiden" games develop as they start sweeping across the world. Maybe one day we'll see a female character dressed as a sheep sliding blocks around in a nightmare in order to escape whatever manifestation Atlus would happen to have in mind.

SonicWaffle:

Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

Then again, I'm not a female gamer, so what I'm doing here is pretty much talking out of my arse. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition. You can keep your girly games, as they've probably got cooties anyway.

I would buy Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition... and I have a vagina!

Kapri:

SonicWaffle:

Heidi Kemps:
Here's the situation: You're a stereotypical teenage girl with a live consisting of stereotypical teenage girl activities, like going to school, shopping, and obsessively checking celebrity Twitter accounts.

Then again, I'm not a female gamer, so what I'm doing here is pretty much talking out of my arse. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to playing Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition. You can keep your girly games, as they've probably got cooties anyway.

I would buy Gunstab Smashkillathon 3000: Deathfuck Edition... and I have a vagina!

The sort of person I envisioned when thinking up that name most likely would have a vagina.

In a jar under their bed.

Zachary Amaranth:

Ruwrak:
Hrmm.. Wut?
I know enough girls who -loathe- such type of games.
They rather play something what they discribe as fun like MW3, BF3, Skyrim, Mass Effect & Checkers.

Who says girls need to have girly type of games? That era is long since gone and we should be glad that the bounderies of guy & girl gaming are dissapearing. Let's embrace the other gender and be happy about it |3

Who says girls need to have girly type of games?

Well, not the author, who acknowledges fanbases of other games right in the article. So who exactly are you arguing against?

No need to sharpen your swords there >.>

Allow me to elaborate.
I'm not arguing for or against the author, I would have directed something at the author if I was. No I was making a remark on the general (old) notion that girls only like to play casual things like bejeweled or facebook games. After that statement I was giving my own experience with girls that game. It's not so much related to the article, I agree, but it is an experience about gaming girls.

Ruwrak:

No need to sharpen your swords there >.>

Allow me to elaborate.
I'm not arguing for or against the author, I would have directed something at the author if I was. No I was making a remark on the general (old) notion that girls only like to play casual things like bejeweled or facebook games. After that statement I was giving my own experience with girls that game. It's not so much related to the article, I agree, but it is an experience about gaming girls.

You mean the general argument nobody is making?

cynicalsaint1:
I think people are missing something here.

These games target teenage girls.
You know ... the ones who make things like Twilight popular.

Totally different than making something for women in general.

Fair point, but it comes back to the old nature vs. nurture argument; do teenage girls like these things because they actually enjoy them, or because we expect them to?

If we're shoving romance games at teenage girls and saying "You're a girl, this is what you like!", how many will feel comfortable admitting they'd actually rather play Forza or CoD?

Hagi:
I don't know if I'm getting the right impression but to me it rather sounds like a very shallow Bioware game (note: I freaking love Bioware).

Instead of getting a large(r) variety of companions from various walks of life you get only hot men who are all likely bad-ass in one way or another.
Instead of being able to take care of business yourself and your companions assisting you it seems the other way around.
Instead of combat you get erm... nothing?

Maybe it's because I'm not the intended audience but to me this seems like a step back from the companion-focused games we have in the West (not sure how popular Bioware is in the East) rather then the step forward the article is trying to make it seem.

I was thinking of a Bioware game as well when reading this article--very dumbed down and possibly sexist, but I haven't played any game of this genre to label any that could be discriminatory. But I think some games in Japan could be sexist to the female audience; that one JRPG Graham Stark and Paul Saunders did an Unskippable episode on 11/14/2011 had a *very* creepy combat system where you have to strip your female companions of their clothing to win the battle.

But I think the key thing with a Bioware game, and the Fable series, is the romance part is an optional thing in the game. I experimented around with the companion quests in KoTOR and found it alright, but ignored it in "Dragon Age: Origins" and still had an enjoyable experience in that game. Its also an optional thing in the Fable games, albeit less exciting since there is nothing differentiating your hubby/wife from the NPC #567 in the same freaking town. But this genre seems like it makes the romance feature a forced thing.

I think the "Rune Factory" series has a similar issue, especially the 3rd one on the DS. You can only play as a male character but you have various women you could develop a relationship with. However, to unlock the final dungeon and beat the game, you need to get married to one of the optional girls in the game. Why? So your wife can be kidnapped by the big bad boss at the end and held ransom as a plot-device to invoke danger.

Zachary Amaranth:

You mean the general argument nobody is making?

You're a fast fella arn't you. Also quite hotheaded from the looks of it.
What's your problem? Am I not allowed to share an experience and a point of view on gaming girls? I'd almost think you're picking a fight over something.

By general notion I mean the notion: "Haha girls can't play <game x> because it's a mans game".
Still enough people out there thinking girls don't belong in a game such as MW3 (Or BF is that is your pick).

Heidi Kemps:
Games for Girls

There's more to otome games than their good-looking men and romance storylines.

Read Full Article

For some, it's blindness, but for others it's kid gloves...

You have some developers that just aim at the teenage boy demographic because it's easy, dependable money. They're not going to take the chance on "girl games."

But other developers, the ones that would? I think they're afraid of picking the wrong kind. There is no single type of "girl game," and it seems to a lot of people that a company making one type can easily be branded "sexist" by a group that likes another type. The same isn't as true in a country with a slightly more "uniform" cultural identity within each gender (for better or worse).

In the West, we're afraid to step out of the middle because as soon as we do, either the Left or the Right will accuse us of something. Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, or maybe just plain old pandering. It's part of our culture to think, "If you're not specifically on my team, you're specifically out to get my team." And there are a lot of "teams" to keep track of...

Am I the only one here that likes these sorts of games? ...God dammit I am.

People are getting way to uptight over nothing, whether or not girls like typical triple A titles isn't even an issue here. But these games aren't that bad, they are heavy on character development and I like that stuff. I like these games for the same reason I like Phenix Wright, the writing is enjoyable. There is no need to say that the mere existence of these games holds girls to stereotypes, they exist for who ever does and doesn't want to play them.

So wait. That person on the header is a guy?

You know, adding a romantic sidequest to a story-heavy game does seem to be a great way to attract lots of female gamers. Look at Bioware's games.

SonicWaffle:
...
OT: I hate to be That Guy, but why is it that when setting out to design a game for women they went straight to "romancing hot dudes"?

There's a corresponding genre of games which is mostly about "romancing hot chicks" - The Escapist have covered a few - so I'd think it's something that comes with the territory, more than being some sort of "what-all-women-want" decision. Much like any FPS is inherently going to have gunplay as a focus, an otome game is by definition going to have some dudes and some romance in it.

drisky:
Am I the only one here that likes these sorts of games? ...God dammit I am.

Nah i would play them, too bad i can not play them since i can not read japanese.

Different people like different stuff. It isn't that girls should only play stuff like that , it is more that the games are aimed at girl when they are made. It wouldn't be the first time something aimed at a certain group is liked by a whole different group(see MLP for the most recent example).

People should just play what they like (girls playing shooters or boys playing dress up games)

You know what I love? Men who get into Otome games, instead of Gears of War.

But ugh, I have a hard enough time getting people into jRPGs nowadays.

drisky:
Am I the only one here that likes these sorts of games?

Oh! Me me me!

D Moness:

drisky:
Am I the only one here that likes these sorts of games? ...God dammit I am.

Nah i would play them, too bad i can not play them since i can not read japanese.

Different people like different stuff. It isn't that girls should only play stuff like that , it is more that the games are aimed at girl when they are made. It wouldn't be the first time something aimed at a certain group is liked by a whole different group(see MLP for the most recent example).

People should just play what they like (girls playing shooters or boys playing dress up games)

LilithSlave:
You know what I love? Men who get into Otome games, instead of Gears of War.

But ugh, I have a hard enough time getting people into jRPGs nowadays.

drisky:
Am I the only one here that likes these sorts of games?

Oh! Me me me!

Good, now they are showing up. :D I figured it was a matter of time but until then it was just people talking about how bad these types of games are.

Imperator_DK:

SonicWaffle:
...
OT: I hate to be That Guy, but why is it that when setting out to design a game for women they went straight to "romancing hot dudes"?

There's a corresponding genre of games which is mostly about "romancing hot chicks" - The Escapist have covered a few - so I'd think it's something that comes with the territory, more than being some sort of "what-all-women-want" decision. Much like any FPS is inherently going to have gunplay as a focus, an otome game is by definition going to have some dudes and some romance in it.

What up, you? Past 5K posts I see! I turn my back for five minutes...

OT: Without investigating those links (I'm at work) I do note that all have either "porn" or "hentai" in the article titles. Both of those words bring to mind something less akin to flowery romance and more about filthy screwing. While this article did mention that some of these Games For Girls featured sex I don't recall any of them being referred to as a "porn game"; is the inference that the otome games for men are about fucking but the ones for women are about hearts-and-flowers, or am I reading too much into that?

drisky:
Am I the only one here that likes these sorts of games? ...God dammit I am.

I enjoy this type of game too.

What makes a game female oriented? Could you have a female oriented FPS?

LilithSlave:
You know what I love? Men who get into Otome games, instead of Gears of War.

So you're into guys who enjoy games about hanging around with hunky heroic men rather than...hanging around with hunky heroic men?

Although I suppose your defintion of heroic could be the difference; I always got the feeling Marcus and chums weren't saving the world because it was The Right Thing To Do but because they actually quite enjoyed chainsawing the faces off of weird alien monster.

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