(As we all know) Women are not new to gaming.

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Tippy:

I once knew a woman who became a great warrior and fought bravely on the battlefield, eventually leading her people to victory.

Therefore ALL women must be equally great warriors as men, the Romans should've had 50% of their legionnaires as women and 50% of the soldiers who died in WW1 and WW2 were women.

Oh wait.

What I'm saying is that there's really no point in rambling about "that 1 girl" you knew. This thread isn't whether women CAN be ferocious competetive gamers, obviously they can. They can also be murderous criminals.
This thread is discussing WHAT PERCENTAGE of murdering criminals are women. WHAT PERCENTAGE of women are ferocious competetive gamers. Understand? Something like this relies on statistics, not personal stories. And the answer is, the percentage of female gamers (especially competetive ones) is small. Please go into your local Starcraft LAN tournament, or even your local gaming cafe, let me know how many girls you find ("oh but they don't like showing themselves!" is not an excuse). The concept "alpha-male" has a solid reason behind it, because men are basically vulgar and angry and rude in the name of competition, we thrive on it. Women in general don't.

If we're really playing the personal stories game, in my 6 years of playing World of Warcraft I have come across ~2 girls who could hold their own under the pressure of Arena PvP. The overwhelming majority have been purely PvE or "achievement whores" and are quick to back out of any PvP situation because they just don't like the pressure. There's a story for you.

theblindedhunter:

Point being, girls are very capable of aggression and a competitive attitude, and while one could perhaps argue that on the whole they are less so, I think you could just as reasonably suggest in response that they only aren't because of a certain expectation for them to not be so, and that they are still taking time to enter some parts of gaming (particularly the ones that are more vitriolic toward them).

Underlined to emphasize that you said very little that I didn't just mention.
To make my point clearer, because I don't always do that right, I'll freely admit: 1) generalities and statistics have a all-too-great tendency to be used very poorly at times, and nearly every mention deserves a reminder that statistics are meaningless to individual cases, among other things; and 2) judging by the trends we are seeing in situations like the military and a growing acceptance of females displaying traditionally masculine traits, and going by the part where there isn't a great deal of evidence to suggest that females are somehow locked into thinking this or that way because of their tits, women are not just capable of aggression and competition but are capable in equal numbers and at equal levels.

Twilight_guy:
Um... okay. so we are supposed to discuss... I have no idea.

-SNIPPITY SNIP-

There isn't really a discussion here as far as I see it. You might be upset and posting this here to try and educate some people, but this isn't really a topic of discussion. Some people don't know this stuff, but just posting this all here, as if to educate us is not why this forum is here. Not to mention that it kind of assumes we are all ignorant, when that's not necessarily the case. Um... I don't know what else to say... ugh... Don't do drugs!

We should probably redirect this thread into something like how gender affects gaming experiences or memories or something. Do we have your permission OP? Unless you can frame the discussion in a way that makes it easier to talk about 'cause like this wise dog says "I have no idea what I'm doing."

Controlled derail FTW?

Twilight_guy:
Um... okay. so we are supposed to discuss... I have no idea.
image

There isn't really a discussion here as far as I see it. You might be upset and posting this here to try and educate some people, but this isn't really a topic of discussion. Some people don't know this stuff, but just posting this all here, as if to educate us is not why this forum is here. Not to mention that it kind of assumes we are all ignorant, when that's not necessarily the case. Um... I don't know what else to say... ugh... Don't do drugs!

Overusedname:
I acknowledge we all know women aren't new to this hobby. Or most of us know that. I also acknowledge you're all obscenely talented, beautiful and/or handsome people. Because you are. But I think our ratios of the gaming population are a bit...obscured. This is also in response to recent sexist video posted on these nifty little forums.

I don't think I can just quote myself and make a post, so here's some more text.

There's already a discussion going on and lots of female gamers noting how pissed they are at the situation.

I dunno lol. I'm a guy with some cool women in his life who likes equality and was upset by an icky sexist thing on my favorite internet place. So I responded in a way that would be seen. I tried to make it clear that I acknowledge most of us know this. Sorry if it wasn't clear enough and came across wrong. I didn't mean to offend.

I guess we could just drop the gender discussion period, but this is the only place I've ever seen with some people who talk about it rationally.

Actually, most people here handle it well. In my experience.

T0ad 0f Truth:

We should probably redirect this thread into something like how gender affects gaming experiences or memories or something. Do we have your permission OP? Unless you can frame the discussion in a way that makes it easier to talk about 'cause like this wise dog says "I have no idea what I'm doing."

Controlled derail FTW?

Fuggin' do it, bro. I'll also edit the post and title.

Who cares . If women want to play videogames or not it's up to them.

In other news , there is a shortage in male cheerleaders . THE RAGE!

SecretNegative:

No one except insecure trolls on 4chan and youtube are actually having a problem with this, who are you actually aiming this to? There aren't a whole lot of people on the escapist having a problem with women.

It's called not falling asleep at the gates while the 4chan and Youtube barbarians howl just outside clanking their axes...

OpticalJunction:

Yes, there are plenty of girl gamers. No, they don't publicize it to random folks online much because a lot of gamers are juvenile idiots, and they don't want to be harassed.

This raises a question though; maybe that's why it's percieved as a sudden "invasion"? That we're now trying to take over what was supposed to be a "male" subculture?

We might have subtled ourselves all the way into being irrelevant...

Uh... yeah. I grew up with a sister that played the same games as me. I work at a store that sells video games and it's funny when people ask if a game is a 'good game for a girl.' I just shrug and tell them "my sister grew up playing the same games as me, so I don't know what a 'girl game' is." The female employees are more annoyed by this than I am.

T0ad 0f Truth:

Mario Sunshine was so she'd get better at controls. I didn't think that one through as well as I should've. Super Mario 64 would have been better lol.

That's a plan. Maybe hold off on Majora for now. It's incredibly hard and cryptic at places, yes.

Tippy:
My theory is that a large percentge of women may PLAY games, but they're not as interested in MAKING them - yet they demand equal and fair representation. They demand that male developers cater to their tastes, their wants and needs. This is of course, purely a theory and I'm yet to find actual statistics to back it up (I'm still looking, help me!).

I have a lot of problems with this. First of all, whether you intended to or not, you have made a lot of very bad implications here. The first of which being that you address "women" as some sort of collective group with homogeneous feelings about games and shared desires for what they want them to be. I think you can see how flawed that is in practice. Second, you have implied that somehow "women" as a collective group have some sort of obligation to participate in the creation of games. I don't care who or what you are talking about--you should never hold it against any gender for doing anything statistics say they don't want to do. That's like saying a lot of women have to be babysitters because men won't pick up the slack (and that because of that, clearly men are lazy bastards who have no right to complain about what sort of child-care is available for their baby).

Third, you have implied that women are necessary to make games that appeal to women, or at the very least do not repel them. And if that is how you feel then I'm afraid Joss Whedon would like a word with you.

Fourth, you have implied that games are purely a creative industry and that market trends have absolutely no say in what is created (in other words, "games that appeal to women don't get made because there aren't any women around to make them"). Which, as the advent of casual games has proven, is not the case at all. Do you think that before casual games hit it big, nobody wanted to make quirky short games that could be played in smaller increments of time than full-length games? Of course not, that's just absurd. That's like arguing nobody wanted to capture a portrait quickly and easily before photography was invented.

But casual gaming platforms gave those ideas a feasible place to go, and their boom in the market gave them demand, which brought in investments for all of those ideas to be brought to life.

So clearly market trends have quite a bit to do with the kinds of games that we see. Meaning if there is a higher demand for games that appeal to women, it is perfectly reasonable to expect the market to compensate and fulfill that demand. While games are a creative medium, they are also a business, which means they are subject to supply and demand. Meaning if women are demanding games, it would be rather idiotic from a business standpoint for everybody to just ignore them and not divvy up a supply. There may not be a lot of men who know how to attract women, but if there is enough of a demand the market will seek them out.

And fifth, you are implying that games that appeal to women are so different from games that appeal to men there can be almost no overlap. Since there are a good number of women who have played and enjoyed games just as they are for a few decades now, I think it's safe to say that is also an inaccurate assumption. Last I checked, the things most women take umbrage with in male-centered games (or rather, what makes a game male-centered rather than gender-neutral) is the exclusion of females where there could easily be some, and the appearances of these females favoring how men like to see them (sexually) rather than how women like to see themselves (effectively illustrated here).

The first is easily solved, and the thing is you technically you don't even need women to fix this. Look at Team Fortress 2. I have logged over 600 hours in that game and I have never once been bothered by the all male cast. Their dynamic is so great and their characters are so fun and well-characterized that it doesn't feel like anything is missing. The game plays like a Saturday Morning Cartoon, but with blood and swearing. The female element isn't there for the same it isn't there for a lot of cartoons--it's just not necessary, because that's not where your focus is.

I don't play a lot of games that could serve as an example to the contrary, but I have played some CoD and Halo, and I will tell you from my experience I felt very detached. In TF2 I've got those fun characters to project myself through and draw pathos from, but in those games you're sort of expected to roleplay through your avatar. But in CoD you're always white guy number 2023409302984, so there's little for me to identify with there. And in Halo I guess you can have what they call "customization," but if all I've got to identify with is a suit of armor or a suit of armor with two lumps on the front, identification is difficult under any circumstances (though that may have more to do with the armor in general rather than the lack of gender distinction).

Anyway, my point is the genders are missing in those games, but because there isn't anything to shift that focus of roleplaying to I feel left out. So, just throwing in some female models for multiplayer would be nice. And as for games with actual stories and character, I think it is perfectly possible to carry a good gender-neutral story without a female--just look at The Hobbit. While inclusion of well-characterized females is always appreciated, having a story that appeals to both men and women comes down to good writing more than anything else. Pixar also lacks movies with female leads, but their stories transcend gender. They don't write stories about genders--they just write stories, and damn good ones. Or, they could not go the gender-neutral route and actually throw some worthwhile females in there. And how successful that is ultimately comes down to writing and storytelling, just as with the all-male stories.

As for the other one about the appearance of females in games, that one is very easily remedied. Design armor to be practical, not sexual. As shown in that tumblr I put up earlier, it isn't hard to make armor for females that doesn't look like Ivy from Soul Calibur. Well, it might be hard for certain artists, but again it's all about fulfilling the market's demands and tracking down those people who do have a knack for it. Or, just design one set of armor and give it to both genders. Skyrim is a perfect example of this strategy.

I know I am drawing a lot of conclusions from just a bit of text, and I apologize in advance for any conclusions that are wrong. But these are logical fallacies I see in these discussions very often and I am hoping this clears up any you or any others may have fallen prey to. Neither you nor anyone else is to blame about the current state of affairs with women and video games. The only thing anyone can do wrong at this point is assign blame to anyone over any perfectly natural market trends, and to vilify anyone's desire for change in the market. Because it's changes in the market which brought video games into being, and it's changes in the market that have kept them moving forward ever since. To say that change is bad now is just absurd, and goes against the very principle that brought games to life in the first place.

Remember when we use to play as a robot rabbit who saves aliens? Or a frog dodging traffic? Those were the days, no one gave a fuck about gender.

The "why aren't there more women making games?" question is a good one, one that probably deserves its own thread. Unlike the perceived gender imbalance in online games (which exists, it just isn't as severe as many think), there is a very real imbalance on dev teams.

I mean, I remember my Photoshop classes being at least half female. But the Maya class had only three, four if you count the one who dropped after day one. That was about ten percent of the class. I later went onto a smaller school for videogame design. No women at all.

I think it's a stretch to say that has anything to do with talent, given the fantastic graphic artists out there who have two X chromosomes. I'm guessing that it just has something to do with a "boys club" atmosphere in the industry. But honestly, just guessing.

I'm currently working for a game company that does have a decent number of women (okay, three out of a team of ten). But it's a casual game (don't boo! It's not like Farmville) so take that for what it's worth.

Mouse One:

I think it's a stretch to say that has anything to do with talent, given the fantastic graphic artists out there who have two X chromosomes. I'm guessing that it just has something to do with a "boys club" atmosphere in the industry. But honestly, just guessing.

In my experience, the old (young?) boy's club theory makes a lot of sense.

It's still true that women in the same position make less money, and get hired less often.

Most of the best artists I know are all women.

Well I've been playing games since I was old enough to hold a controller pretty. Granted I'm only 20 so I can hardly claim to have been here at gaming's inception but it has been a part of me for most of my life.

As a kid did I feel peer pressured to liking one thing but not another? Yes I did though not so much when I was very young. My mother isn't into particularly girly things and gamed a little herself (mostly Doom if she had a bad day at work) so I never had pressure from that. When I was in primary school I didn't really have this issue either. I hung out with a group of both guys and girls and we spent most of our time mock fighting and pretending to be Pokémon trainers. I didn't even know this was supposed to be weird. Intermediate changed that through. My friends either left the country or went to different schools, genders became more separated and I was very shy around people I didn't know so had trouble making friends and got bullied a bit. I ended up hanging out with a bunch of girls who while nice had very little in common with me. They often sat around talking about tv or their latest "crush" and I mostly just stayed quiet or tried to go along with it a bit (despite the fact that I don't watch tv much and have never had crush.) since I didn't have the courage to approach the people who were doing things I wanted to do and didn't want to offend them. This is also when I started to game online so I became aware of the negative reaction female gamers get. I also wanted to get into comics too but was too embarrassed to buy them or even look at them in a store if other people are around (I still do this, it's a bad habit). This got better about mid way through high school though when I again found people I could relate too and now that I'm in uni gaming seems to be the norm. I don't really hide the gaming now though I don't usually bring it up with people I don't know and I avoid cons. I won't use a mic when gaming online for obvious reasons.

The whole "girls are only into gaming now for male attention" things pisses me off for so many reason. Yeah there are a lot more girls into gaming than there use to be. There are also a lot more GUYS into gaming that there use to be but of the course the new female gamers must be following the men right? Rather than there being more girls into gaming now for the same reason as there is more guys. Do you really think most girls game just so they can get insults hurled at them, be accused of being an attention whore and be grilled about their own hobby because people think their fakes? Sure that is attention but its not what most would consider good attention.
Gaming is a much bigger industry now, the tech has improved, it's marketed more, is more easily accessible and isn't so much of niche hobby. Yeah there are a few girls who after attention (though I feel the need to point out fact that them being attention seeking doesn't mean they are not gamers though some might not be) they are the ones who get noticed the most because they are the ones drawing attention to themselves. You could be meeting girls all the time in online games but unless they tell you they are female you wouldn't know and you don't know who is playing the single player games.

If all girls are into gaming for attention then why is there a push to get the fact that girls gaming is not uncommon acknowledged? If it's considered normal you lose the "special snowflake" status and so lose the attention.
It also seems incredibly arrogant to think this way. Not everything in woman's life revolves around getting the attention of men. I also think this line of reasoning is why some guys don't seem to get why many girls might not like the scantily clad, posing provocatively female characters. "But she's hot! This makes her a female power fantasy right?" not necessarily, the height of every woman's ambition is not to give guys boners.

*rant over*

Tippy:
So far I remain convinced that the overwhelming majority of game developers are male (I hypothesize atleast 80-90%), and therefore they are in their full right to develop games from their perceptions and concepts.

Actually, if you do any research at all, you'd find that about 45% of PC gamers and a third of console gamers are women.

EDIT

*re-reads comment*

Developers. Whoops! My bad. Ignore my douchebaggery there. Misread your entire comment.

I don't think anyone has or ever had a problem with women gaming, although I do believe people might be overestimating their numbers, I saw a statistic somewhere that I can't seem to find of a popular shooter (I believe it was Call of Duty or Battlefield) where females are still in the single percentiles.

I also remember the Mass Effect stats, and even though Bioware generally tries to cater to women especially (with different avatars and voice-sets etc.) apparently only 18% of the playerbase has played as a female shepard: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/18-Percent-Gamers-Play-Female-Shepard-Mass-Effect-33611.html
(there's likely also bleedover though e.g. males playing female because they like Jennifer Hale or the other way around, but I think it might be about accurate, maybe a bit less)

I think the problem people have is feminists entering "gaming" and trying to make a big deal out of it and creating all these controversies over all these things, also trying to manipulate game design to cater to their goals and force their beliefs on the larger population...

I mean, I barely have ever seen much controversy over such issues before, people could accept something like Dead or Alive Volleyball or Bloodrayne and the likes in the past to exist alongside every other game. Over the last two years, but increasingly so this year there have been more and more headlines like this:
http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/violence-against-women-controversy-has-altered-god-of-war-development/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/13/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games-vs-the-internet/
http://kotaku.com/5917899/hitman-director-says-controversial-trailer-wasnt-supposed-to-be-sexist
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2012/aug/14/borderlands-2-girlfriend-mode
http://kotaku.com/5918193/tomb-raider-creators-are-no-longer-referring-to-games-attempted-rape-scene-as-an-attempted-rape-scene
http://insertcredit.com/2012/05/17/the-boundaries-of-humor-an-interview-with-john-cadice-creator-of-tentacle-bento/
http://www.examiner.com/article/ryan-perez-fired-from-destructoid-after-maliciously-tweeting-felicia-day
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18922629
http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/06/513794/
http://bitmob.com/articles/misog-apologists-and-gaming
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-12-07-skullgirls-sexism-complaints-are-misplaced-and-shallow-chivalry
http://bitmob.com/articles/the-casual-misogyny-of-quantic-dreams-kara
http://kotaku.com/5918084/aisha-tyler-rants-ive-been-a-gamer-since-before-you-could-read
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/08/real-problem-sexist-video-game-hiring-strategy/55391/
http://www.eurasiareview.com/27062012-hindus-upset-at-online-video-game-using-kali-and-other-gods-as-combat-tools/
http://www.edge-online.com/news/out-there-batman-super-duper-sexist
http://www.1up.com/news/dead-island-feminist-whore-skill-apology

I'm sure I forgot some, but most of those are only from the last 3-4 months, some might be appropriate, some I regard as outright retarded, the point is I believe people can only take so much whining and "controversy" till they are getting rather annoyed by it.
You'd think some gaming sites are feminist blogs by now, on RPS for instance every other News Post like the Trailer for one of the new GamesCom games "Remember Me" sparking comments like this immediately: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/08/14/remember-me-pc-trailer/
"Ah, I see they are still going for the old "if she doesn't have tight clothing, cleavage, long nails and doesn't swing her butt while walking then she's not female"."

It's not only Gaming though, with the likes of Twitter and Social Media things seem to quickly escalate and make mountains out of molehills, this was a rather fun watch regarding that: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-july-16-2012/louis-c-k-

Mouse One:
The "why aren't there more women making games?" question is a good one, one that probably deserves its own thread. Unlike the perceived gender imbalance in online games (which exists, it just isn't as severe as many think), there is a very real imbalance on dev teams.

A lot of dev teams seem indeed to still look more like this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1964352341/shadowrun-online/posts/287985

image

^ That is generally what I was talking about. Now they all seem like a bunch of guys being guys, and can they really be blamed if they neglect to develop female characters as extensively as their male counterparts, or go a little over the edge in sexualizing/objectivising females?

No, just because they're all men doesn't mean they can go doing whatever they like e.g. being outright discriminatory with sensitive topics like rape. That's called a dick move. But people absolutely have to agree that the majority of developers being male plays a PART in why video gaming can be so unrepresentative of women.

image

image

I dare a bunch of female developers to come up with Dead Or Alive: Beach Volleyball Men's Edition. Lets put aside the fact that such a game would most likely make a loss due to an utter lack of sales, even though in theory 42% of gamers are female and would love watching men playing volleyball in shorts (and therefore the game should be a hit, right?).

I dare female experts of Starcraft, Halo, etc to show up to tournaments en-masse - 42% of gamers are female, and they dislike it when we label them "casuals"? THEN PROVE IT BY SHOWING UP, show the world that women DO game a lot even at the hardcore levels.

I see jack-all girls at MLG circuits, I see jack-all girls at GotFrag tourneys, or Tt ESports, or SK Gaming. This "42%" number just isn't being FELT, for now it's just a number floating in the air.

Dexter111:
I think the problem people have is feminists entering "gaming" and trying to make a big deal out of it and creating all these controversies over all these things, also trying to manipulate game design to cater to their goals and force their beliefs on the larger population...

This is definitely another part of the equation. Even though feminists may/may not care about gaming as a whole (their goal is to empower females, not improve gaming), they are still good at bringing out the megaphones, causing a commotion, drawing attention and summoning the media.
Female gamers were alright with most games, and the ones which wrongly depicted them as sexual objects pissed them off - but not enough to outright start protesting and rioting against game developers. But when they see a group of feminists rallying against the notion, of course they will join along to make themselves heard via the feminists. If I was a female I would join along as well.

For now, "42%" is just a statistic and nothing more. I would like to see it change, I want at least 2 people in each of these photos to be girls:

image

image

image

image

image

I know the above look like a bunch of handpicked pictures, but ideally I should be struggling to find such pictures if females truly cared about gaming as much as they claim to.

Phasmal:
It does bother me when people act like gaming is something I picked up a few minutes ago and try to explain it to me (I get these type of guys talk to me in game shops- I always considered myself to look like a geeky girl but apparently not).

In fairness, employees at game stores seem to love doing this regardless of gender. I had the dude at Blockbuster the other day trying to explain that new crime game (something dogs? Street Dogs maybe?) to me, being all "Have you heard of GTA?". Dude, just because I'm renting Amazing Spiderman - shut up, it's for research purposes! - doesn't mean I've never played video games before.

On the other hand, they can be pretty cool too. One of the girls at the local Game, back when we had a local Game, nearly got in trouble for holding up the queue because we were having an intense conversation about the fucking Riddler and how much we hated his stupid fucking trophy puzzles. Actually, all the people there were pretty cool - I had a lengthly Ryu vs Ken discussion with a beardy man once, and a different guy let us leave the midnight launch of Skyrim with one of those promotional horned hats they gave away to employees, although in that case it may just have been because we were clearly drunk and pretty unlikely to give the hat back if he asked...

Overusedname:

The reaction the Escapist had to the linked thread has given me a lot of hope; almost everyone was repulsed by the video's implications.

Don't advertise that thread. It doesn't deserve it, it certainly doesn't deserve a structured response. Nothing of any importance or interest was discussed in it.

Tippy:

Female gamers were alright with most games, and the ones which wrongly depicted them as sexual objects pissed them off - but not enough to outright start protesting and rioting against game developers. But when they see a group of feminists rallying against the notion, of course they will join along to make themselves heard via the feminists. If I was a female I would join along as well.

Isn't the fact that it's a continual annoyance that shows no sign of stopping on its own a perfectly valid reason to protest it?

Moonlight Butterfly:
*Kicks and punches her way through a wall*

SUP

Been playing since I was 3 in 1984, I get really angry with some boys telling me that I'm invading their hobby. So please don't do that. Also I have been called 'lesbian' and suchlike from guys for liking games (mostly in school). So it's no wonder some girls kept it a secret.

I spent Ł345 on games last month (I fully accept I have a problem.)

Water Tribe out.

image

That post was so boss, it cured me of my imaginary cancer.

OT: Not sure what to discuss here. HEY GAMER WOMEN! DO WHAT THIS ONE DID! IT WAS AWESOME!

Elate:
My only problem is booth babes and their ilk, girl gamers are fine, aside from sometimes being the worst fucking fan boys (Oh irony) why would I ever even think they were new? But booth babes? Please, they probably don't even know the genre of a game they're promoting, just eye candy, I find it offensive.

That and girls that are all "OH I'M A GAMER" and then I'm like "Oh cool.. what do you play?" and they respond with something like "I PLAY ZELDA ON MY WII."... THAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GAMER, THAT MEANS YOU'VE PLAYED A FRACTION OF GAMES.

-Long exhale.- But that includes male "gamers" who only play CoD on their 360 with brofriends, they aren't gamers in my eyes either.

I'm a *girl* and I played Zelda on the wii. In fact I've played and defeated every Zelda game to date, including that bastard of a game, "adventures of Link".

I should not have to defend myself just because I really like effeminate men in tight pants (pointy!! POINTY!!)

Though the first game I ever beat was "Rodland" on the amiga 500, ahh I miss joysticks

I guess I see you point about some girls who assume the 'gamer' identity just from a bit of dabbing in the shadows, but if they enjoyed it, does it really matter that they gaming experience doesn't meet your own? At the end of the day, it is something to start on. There is a big difference between growing up with games and discovering them later in life. No-one becomes a gamer overnight

Hoping to make things more clear, I think the problems are with things like this (or they are at least the statements I take the most issue with):

Tippy:
Now they all seem like a bunch of guys being guys, and can they really be blamed if they neglect to develop female characters as extensively as their male counterparts, or go a little over the edge in sexualizing/objectivising females?

No, just because they're all men doesn't mean they can go doing whatever they like e.g. being outright discriminatory with sensitive topics like rape. That's called a dick move. But people absolutely have to agree that the majority of developers being male plays a PART in why video gaming can be so unrepresentative of women.

Yes, the male majority absolutely plays a part in women being poorly represented in some games - but why should that be okay that they do that? The point of a lot of the discussion about it is that these male developers should have the wherewithal to try making good female characters instead of just throwing them in as eye candy or a damsel in distress. It is understandable if they do, in some cases more than others, but it isn't okay that they do. Every game developer and designer should be held to a higher standard than that.

I know the above look like a bunch of handpicked pictures, but ideally I should be struggling to find such pictures if females truly cared about gaming as much as they claim to.

This is just plain offensive. Women have to prove to you their claims of being interested in games and gaming? This is the thing that most makes the community feel like a boy's club. "Hey girls, I guess you can come into our clubhouse, but first you have to prove to us boys, the leaders of gaming, that you like it how we think you should!" Its ridiculous. Why the hell can't girls just be accepted to enjoy gaming like everyone else without them having to meet this criterion? Since there are few women jobs in game development, all the opinions and feelings of women playing games everywhere are invalidated? Or better yet they just don't exist because they are just claims?
(And I haven't even started on what it suggests to say that women are only "claiming" these things - do they have some reason to lie? Would you say it is to get attention?)

SonicWaffle:

Phasmal:
It does bother me when people act like gaming is something I picked up a few minutes ago and try to explain it to me (I get these type of guys talk to me in game shops- I always considered myself to look like a geeky girl but apparently not).

In fairness, employees at game stores seem to love doing this regardless of gender. I had the dude at Blockbuster the other day trying to explain that new crime game (something dogs? Street Dogs maybe?) to me, being all "Have you heard of GTA?". Dude, just because I'm renting Amazing Spiderman - shut up, it's for research purposes! - doesn't mean I've never played video games before.

On the other hand, they can be pretty cool too. One of the girls at the local Game, back when we had a local Game, nearly got in trouble for holding up the queue because we were having an intense conversation about the fucking Riddler and how much we hated his stupid fucking trophy puzzles. Actually, all the people there were pretty cool - I had a lengthly Ryu vs Ken discussion with a beardy man once, and a different guy let us leave the midnight launch of Skyrim with one of those promotional horned hats they gave away to employees, although in that case it may just have been because we were clearly drunk and pretty unlikely to give the hat back if he asked...

Oh, sorry, I thought it was clear from what I wrote but... dude didn't work there. He was just some guy in the shop.
I usually love chatting with the employees though, we usually can have a good chat. Sadly, we moved recently and the nearest shop that does games to us is a movie shop and the people in there don't give a toss about games. =(

bluepilot:
Though the first game I ever beat was "Rodland" on the amiga 500, ahh I miss joysticks

Oh God, I remember Rodland, I played that too. And Rainbow Islands. And New Zealand Story. And Bubble Bobble. And...

I got into gaming back in 1985(ish) when my junior school wheeled a BBC Micro into my classroom with Granny's Garden and The Wizards Revenge on it. I was 7 years old, and that was the first time I fell in love. In fact, I had to be physically prised off that Micro at the end of the day because I wanted to carry on and finish the games. Then Christmas '89 my parents bought me and my younger brother the Amiga 500 Batman Pack, and I never looked back.

I went to an all girl secondary school, but no-one else really played games. Didn't stop me doing it. Hell, I also went to ballet classes every night, so it's not like I was even your typical gaming nerd. I loved that Amiga and the games it had - Cannon Fodder, Speedball II, XCom, Ultima, Zool. Since then my collection has only increased, to the point where I think I might have more hardware and software than my local GAME store. I've even turned one of my spare bedrooms into a dedicated games room. OK, there's a second PS3 in my bedroom in case I can't be bothered to get up. Sue me.

It wasn't until I was older that I realised games were seen more as a boys thing. I went into IT as a career, and tudied computer programming at GCSE, A Level and Degree. As I went through school there were gradually less and less women doing the courses I was. I ended up going into the Web rather than games development, but if I'd known how to get a foot in that door, I'd have given it a shot.

Still, I walked into GAME the other day in my N7 tee, and had a couple of people sneak over to me and tell me it was brilliant. Had a reasonably long discussion with one of them over our Shep builds (I favour the FemShep Paragon Infiltrator, in case you're interested).

Tippy:

I know the above look like a bunch of handpicked pictures, but ideally I should be struggling to find such pictures if females truly cared about gaming as much as they claim to.

Old boys club.

Basic rules of economy in a patriarchy.

Which this industry still is. Women don't feel welcome due to the blatant hate and supposed 'ulterior motives' several adult men accuse them of.

What exactly makes them feel welcome enough to pursue a career in it? They already get harassed in their hobby, why not get harassed at work?

Obviously there are plenty of gaming communities and workplaces that aren't like that, but can you blame women for not feeling welcome?

Tippy:
^ That is generally what I was talking about. Now they all se
em like a bunch of guys being guys, and can they really be blamed if they neglect to develop female characters as extensively as their male counterparts, or go a little over the edge in sexualizing/objectivising females?

No, just because they're all men doesn't mean they can go doing whatever they like

No. Having freedom of speech means they can go doing whatever they like. Wanna write a novel about a pedophile? You can do it as long as you're not inciting criminal behavior.

For something's sake, they have to neglect female characterization if they are born with a penis. If I tried to write female dialogue for anything, it would be the blandest grey-slurry shit ever seen because I would try to play it safe and not try to step on anyone's toes.

And for crying out loud, we have magazines (some aimed at men, others at women), we have the whole film industry and shit where it's all about sex - people seem to have gotten tired of arguing about those things because nobody actually cares anymore, so we have to bully the new kid on the block (the one with some mental issues or something) called "Gaming".

And about the objectification - the last thing I want to share sex with are inanimate objects. The whole concept of "objectification" of women probably makes sense to people who are used to their hands and their Jengas/Fleshlights. Not to me.

bluepilot:
I guess I see you point about some girls who assume the 'gamer' identity just from a bit of dabbing in the shadows, but if they enjoyed it, does it really matter that they gaming experience doesn't meet your own? At the end of the day, it is something to start on. There is a big difference between growing up with games and discovering them later in life. No-one becomes a gamer overnight

I already said I hate the term "gamer".

People don't become audiophiles for listening to whatever is on the radio. People don't become cinephiles for watching whatever is on TV.

My problem with the term "gamer" is that we have to draw a line. If we're going by the "experience" argument, the I have to be forced to admit that 5 seconds are enough to build an experience. Then I will give up and admit that the term "gamer" applies to 90% of the >30 population in first world countries, making the use of such a term useless.

Tippy:

I know the above look like a bunch of handpicked pictures, but ideally I should be struggling to find such pictures if females truly cared about gaming as much as they claim to.

Are you seriously saying to me that I don't care about gaming.

Really

I guess I'm totally imagining my massive games collection and the fact it's been my major hobby for 26 years. Thanks for telling me I must have been delusional all that time! -.-

One of the problems I have is that I'm kind of stuck in the north of England, there are loads of cons I would love to go to but they are unfortunately way down south or in America. I can forget getting a job in gaming here too (more likely to get a job in farming...) Although I have been praised for my gaming reviews from people already in the industry.

The first review I wrote had a dev comment on it and he thanked me for pointing out a feature that they could implement.

The sign I put on the clubhouse door clearly read, "NO GIRLS ALLOWED!"

Who the fuck tore it down? Now there be bitches everywhere.

Oh...

Wait...

Hmmm....

Some of them are pretty good it turns out...

I don't get it, why didn't we want them in our community again?

Tippy:

Moonlight Butterfly:
Do you see how ridiculous it is that men might watch my little pony to impress women? That's how ridiculous is it when someone says 'Women play games to impress men'

You've got it completely backwards. Women watch My Little Pony to impress men (or atleast, that is far more likely) because the MLP fanbase is already overwhelmingly male. Most women just don't find the show as amazing as men make it out to be, MLP:FiM has become a "man" thing (along with being a little-girls show).

'Scuse me love, I have some female Bronies who'd like a word with the both of you.

No one I know is watching that show to impress anyone else; we just like it and we like the community (and some like to sexually fantasise about the ponies, but let's not talk about them)

I have yet to meet a Brony who's been watching the show just to impress someone else, please feel free to introduce me to some so I can love and tolerate them ;D

OT: When my raiding teams in WoW found out their top DPSer was female, via hearing my voice on teamspeak/vent, some were confused, some were amazed, some suddenly became a lot nicer and more polite, some became jackasses. The ones I really like said 'hey, nice DPS' and got straight back to tactics.

Fappy:
The sign I put on the clubhouse door clearly read, "NO GIRLS ALLOWED!"

Who the fuck tore it down? Now there be bitches everywhere.

Oh...

Wait...

Hmmm....

Some of them are pretty good it turns out...

I don't get it, why didn't we want them in our community again?

Because they are icky and have cooties!

To be honest that isn't really shocking at all I mean I say "Girls don't play videogames" or "Girls suck at videogames" but I am pretty sure at this point its a big joke with say that one shut-in that doesn't realize it is a joke yet but hey whatcha going to do.
There was a girl on the ventrilo I frequent at one point.. Things often went in the gutter but it was still some of the most fun I have had online.
Of course there are things like "Frag Dolls" which just make me laugh every time I see anything related to them.

Snowbell:

Tippy:

Moonlight Butterfly:
Do you see how ridiculous it is that men might watch my little pony to impress women? That's how ridiculous is it when someone says 'Women play games to impress men'

You've got it completely backwards. Women watch My Little Pony to impress men (or atleast, that is far more likely) because the MLP fanbase is already overwhelmingly male. Most women just don't find the show as amazing as men make it out to be, MLP:FiM has become a "man" thing (along with being a little-girls show).

'Scuse me love, I have some female Bronies who'd like a word with the both of you.

No one I know is watching that show to impress anyone else; we just like it and we like the community (and some like to sexually fantasise about the ponies, but let's not talk about them)

I have yet to meet a Brony who's been watching the show just to impress someone else, please feel free to introduce me to some so I can love and tolerate them ;D

OT: When my raiding teams in WoW found out their top DPSer was female, via hearing my voice on teamspeak/vent, some were confused, some were amazed, some suddenly became a lot nicer and more polite, some became jackasses. The ones I really like said 'hey, nice DPS' and got straight back to tactics.

One of the best Rogues on my old WoW server was a girl. She got a lot of shit for it XD

Fappy:
One of the best Rogues on my old WoW server was a girl. She got a lot of shit for it XD

Most of the guilds I knew of on my server had female guild leaders, mine included. And a lot of great tanks I knew were female, but although we were good we did get a lot of the same comments such as 'tits or gtfo' or 'you here to make your party sandwhiches?' which annoyed the hell out of me.

See, this is yet another reason why I'd rather be counted as a guy; I've been gaming since I was allowed my first handheld at 9 and soon demmanded an xbox and gamecube so I could play me some real games. My gender keeps holding other people's judgement of me at a funny angle, and if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and be a positive role model. I've never touched Angry Birds in my life, and I'll punch anyone who says I'm a casual or doing it for attention just because I'm female. And you can hit me back because I'm totally one of the dudes.

I'll say what I said in the thread about that ridiculous video; I play video games because I LOVE playing video games, and always will!

Tippy:
^ That is generally what I was talking about. Now they all seem like a bunch of guys being guys, and can they really be blamed if they neglect to develop female characters as extensively as their male counterparts, or go a little over the edge in sexualizing/objectivising females?

After that long post I made out for you, I almost feel a bit insulted you didn't address a single point I made :-\

Also, I think it's odd that you make a huge deal about women not being in competitive gaming, and totally brush off the fact that women are now 42% of the gaming industry's customer base. Last I checked, most games made are made for people who just play games. Developers don't take into account who is competing in game tournaments when deciding what game they should work on next. So to say that the lack of women in competitive gaming has or should have ANY sort of bearing on what games are made and whether or not they should appeal to women (or at least be gender-neutral, as I explained in detail in my previous post) is just ludicrous.

From what I'm reading it basically comes down to this:

Dem wominz tuk yer jewb!

Ryotknife:
yes, women have been playing games for as long as men.

Although the 40% statistic feels a bit wierd to me. I think it just involves what is a gamer. If we are talking about phone or facebook games, then i would say that number FEELS (key word) low as nearly every woman i know plays games to SOME extent.

That said, if we are talking about games like Left for Dead, MMOs, or such 40% FEELS a bit high.

But like i said, i think the "weirdness" has to do with what i consider a gamer. I feel that my motivation behind the defintion is more based upon my age than my gender.

Umm yeah if 40% of the players of MMOs were girls I would be shocked. I would be shocked. That would imply a huge change in the demographic of people who play MMOs.

I played MMOs for a few years of my life, and it was a very very safe assumption to make that everyone you encountered was a guy. I actually chose a female avatar because there was no penalty for chosing a female, and you could increase your charisma this way, because more people will look at a female character and pay attention to it. That is what you need to do before you can manipulate somebody into doing something, is get their attention, or direct their attention to some salient thing. Get their attention focused on something that's under your control. And so a female avatar was better than a male avatar, because you don't get bonuses for having more muscles or anything, your strength doesn't correspond to your muscles, your strength corresponds to a number in a database. So, you _can_ be a female without any penalty, and choosing to be a female is sort of like choosing to specialize life magic, in that from a functional perspective it is a no-brainer, unless you want to roleplay a male or something.

But that's not why I came to the game world. I came to the game world to escape, and to pretend to be somebody who I was not. Somebody else. Somewhere else. Somewhere cool and fun. I wasn't going to tell anybody anything about me personally. I was going to roleplay a character.

You know what is weird about roleplaying a female character is there are lots of guys on the internet who can't keep it in their pants. Like you will get messages from people who want to drink champagne off your belly, or something. People will ask you if you are a girl or a guy, and say that if you don't tell them then they will tell the world that you are/are not a girl/guy and etc. And I think there are guys who go up to someone who they think is a girl and just like blame them for something that is going on in their life. Like their corpse is on a hill somewhere, and you don't care, and they really really want you to care and help them. You are ignoring a shit-ton of incoming information, there is always an influx of information at some pace, it could be 1,000 messages a second or it could be a message every two hours, depending on what's going on in the world, but there's times when you gotta filter through a shit ton of information in a compressed time period just to understand what's going on in the world.

And you never know what people are going to do. Whatever happens, happens...

There were a few women I knew in games. Like I think during the shard of the herald event, one of the people who I coordinated with to defend the shard--one of the people who came to our aid--was Laurianna. She was a real girl. I remember that when I approached her for help, and I really really wanted to recruit her allegiance for help, because they were a pretty good group of people on the server. I don't think they had anybody on the top ten list, but they had quested through places like the Virindi Maze, and so they were reasonably solid. And in terms of honor and keeping one's word and such she was pretty honorable and I figured that she could be trusted. So I really wanted to get her on my side in this conflict, and she was predisposed to help, but there was a little bit of an edge to it, see, because I didn't share secrets with her, because her content exploration crew was far, far behind my content exploration crew, and anyways I spent a lot of time thinking about what to say to her before I disclosed to her that I had these secret portals which could be used to defend the shard and such.

I decided to bond with her by talking to her about Adja. It was a timely sort of thing, Chris L'etoile had just left some messages explaining this one lore-related thing...and that's what one of the functions of lore was in the community, by the way, was to give monarchs with caches of secrets that they couldn't reveal a pretext to talk about something that was harmless. Lore was harmless. Monarchs in that game could make small talk about lore, and I could get her intrigued and involve her in a story line without really establishing a relationship with her and having to share anything important or material. And she knew who Adja was, and I don't remember what else we talked about but she was definitely a woman.

Other people who were women: Sorren and Kadera were two lesbian gamers. Sorren was a total witch. I think in beta she was one person who I approached and asked questions about how to cast spells, and she told me a few things. Kadera was an archer, and they were sworn allegiance in Obsyan's monarchy, and Obsyan was this bum who rolled an unarmed combat character melee guy who was higher level than me towards the beginning of the game until somebody hacked his account and wasted his character. And umm, I don't know too many other people who spent time hanging out in these video game worlds that were girls. It was 1999, albeit, before the advent of facebook and such. You kinda had to be a little bit of a techie to be into games. In Dark Age of Camelot there was a girl who went to Cal Poly, who used to talk to the developers in the same chat room that I did. I met her, she was my dad's patient (my dad is a doctor). Small world. Another girl I remember was Jin Lee, who was friends with Kynn, who was friends with Gargamel, who was friends with Allerion, who was friends with me.

Aside: That Cal Poly girl and I were talking about roleplaying female avatars and I think she kind of felt like I was invading her turf. She was of the opinion that there was something weird about men who use female avatars. I think she thought that maybe it was a type of predation, you know how girls ask themselves silly questions about like whether it's appropriate or ethical to lead someone on and create these complicated ethos with which they use to punish each other and hold each other accountable to standards for such things as reputation impacts and making decisions associated with things like, who am I going to pick on when I'm in a bad mood, and such things? I'm talking about catty bitches, girls can be catty, right? Punishing each other for things based on tiny pretexts, I have 2 sisters and I know about rumors and a few things about the weird batshit that girls do to each other. Anyways, I think that this girl from Cal Poly was of the persuasion that using girl avatars when you are a guy is unethical because it leads guys on to think that you are a woman when in fact you are not, and you should respect these guys intentions towards you enough to be candid and honest with them, or some such insane batshit thing which made me go a huge wtf?

Well, I won't say that Allerion was my friend. I'll say that we liked each other and mutually respected each other. He was there with me during 9/11, he's the one who told me that the planes hit the towers and got me to turn my television on. And I was chatting with him in IRC about strategies or something when I decided to quit gaming.

But on the topic of women and gaming, my brothers used to throw amazing parties in high school during which girls would come around topless on ecstasy while strobe lights are flashing and I would ignore it all so that I could play Asheron's Call, which if you understood how much fun it was, probably was a fair trade off. By the time the Bael'Zharon story arc ended on Asheron's Call, it was no longer a fair trade off. Somebody who led a more balanced life who could have bridged the gap between partying and gaming would have had even more fun, maybe, but maybe not, because such an unbalanced extreme gamer like myself who was escaping a difficult life situation into a fantasy world 100% of the time was more likely to have a disproportionate impact on the world or to become legend, and I don't think there is anything as much fun as becoming legend. Honestly. I've checked it out, it's one of the first things that the proto-indo-europeans were writing about, were concepts like everlasting fame. To be remembered...I remember that for time periods every gesture was tailored to impact somebody in some memorable way. The way Dane Cook talks about knocking over somebody's ice cream cone, and smooshing it into their face.

You don't have to be a jerk to be remembered. Being a jerk is just one thing you can do that will punctuate your actions into a person's consciousness.

I think one of the worst things that happens in games is that guys try to figure out who the girls are and try to have sex with them all the time nonstop. There are just certain guys who won't not do that. It's a substantial subsection of the population. On some level, you can't even tell which guys are trying to do it. But there are lots of guys out there who are trying to fuck you. Like in their minds they're fucking some chimera of a variety of elements which they have appropriated as objects upon which to fixate in order to have sexual fantasies. And if you're a limited public figure, and you draw enough attention to yourself, there is some section of the population which will notice you in a way that you wouldn't ever imagine noticing yourself.

People will notice you in ways that you don't agree with, don't accept, and aren't interested in. People will say things to people about who you are and what you have done, they will make up completely batshit insane stuff, like for example, they will make up places that don't exist and say that you were in one such place and you did something, and this information will circulate throughout the community. It will come at you from different angles, different directions. One day someone will come up to you and tell you that you're an asshole, and you don't even know this person, and by the time you figure out that someone in your allegaince has done something to offend one of their friends or something, there is another person who is blaming you for not helping them recover their corpse. There is a whole world of really desperate guys out there who don't understand the gameplay mechanics who are just wandering around clueless in a world, dreaming. That's what MMORPGs were around the turn of the century.

And it was fucking WEIIIIRD.

I just wish they had better taste in games.

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