April 10, 2007

Gender & Videogames

Gender and Videogames

Introduction

Gender and videogames has for a long time been an issue. However as the linked article below from the BBC suggests players of online games are frequently women. It does seem as though the demographic profile of gaming is changing. As computer gaming has been around for a couple of decades now the market is shifting. There are now generations of older gamers who want something different out of their games from the 14 year old lads stuck in the attic. Lets see what is going on. 

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
"With online games, 54% of players are women."

Women in Games Conference


Women in Games at the University of Wales, Newport later this month wants to encourage more girls to consider a career in developing games. This is the latest in a series of annual conferences and is getting to grips with a range of gender issues in relation to gaming. 


Women in Games Programme 

Aims of Women in Games

1. Give a voice to women in the games industry.
2. Analyse and monitor the role of women in the games industry.
3. Provide networking opportunities, especially for women developing and researching games.
4. Support and encourage students, researchers and developers to explore and redress the game industry's
    gender imbalance.
5. Disseminate research into games (past, present and future), especially (but not exclusively) with reference
    to the experience of women playing, developing and responding to games and game culture.
6. Disseminate information on the latest technologies and the best design and development practices.

Some Facts & Figures taken from the stories in the Webliography






Games Women Play

  • Role-playing games - Final Fantasy
  • Narrative adventures - Legend of Zelda
  • Easy to pick up driving sims - Colin MacRae Rally
  • Puzzle adventures - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Quick-fire arcade puzzlers - Tetris
  • Life simulations - The Sims
Source: Elspa white paper on women in gaming







Women in the UK make up just over a quarter of the total number of gamers. This compares to 39% in the US and 69% in South Korea.

The typical female gamer in the UK is 30 to 35-years-old, plays around seven hours a week and spends £170 (250 euros) a year on games, Ms Krotoski found.

Think about how this quotation below relates to the need for media institutions to keep investing. Also think about the notion of institutions "Desperately Seeking Audience":

The 15 to 24-year-old male market is saturated so it is interested in exploring different populations in order to reach a mass market," she told BBC News Online. (My emphasis)

What does the following comment say about gender relationships in society? why might women have less time to play games? 

There are differences, however, in the types of games that women like playing, and this is partly due to having less leisure time.

Women gamers constitute a big market 

The Sims, which is published by EA, is arguably the world's most successful game - with more than 40 million copies sold  (says David Gardner, chief operating officer for EA's worldwide studios, who was speaking to a conference in Edinburgh.)




Webliography

Women in Games International 

http://www.womeningamesinternational.org/

Women taking on the gaming world

All women gamers, please stand up

Games industry is 'failing women'

Girl gamers who shoot first, love later

Women gear up for gaming invasion

Girl gamers strike at the boysm

Women take a shine to video games

Frag Doll site 



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