Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Startling New Opinion!!!!!!

What do this link, this link, and this link have in common?

Someone on GamerGod has an original opinion about how we need more women in the game industry.

We went almost a month before this popped up again. I already had the trifecta, and now we're bumping up against the covetted "quinfecta."

While I happen to agree with the sentiment (that female developers are generally better suited to make content that women will enjoy), the prevailing argument (that games are leaving out 50% of the audience) is still pretty much off-target. It's like saying that the NFL is missing out on 50% of its possible profits by focusing only on men. Marketing is a powerful force; if women were the target audience, then women all over the place would be playing video games. But gaming has become so much a part of the Western male gender identity that the real problem isn't "how to market to women" so much as "how to market to women without alienating the billions-of-dollars-a-year male gamer market."


  • More men than women play games.

  • More men than women buy games.

  • More men than women make games.

  • More men than women identify themselves as gamers.

  • More game companies market to men than women.

  • The game industry pulls in billions of dollars every year.


  • All media must appeal to all people equally.

  • Game companies have an obligation to appeal to you, no matter who you are.

  • Diet Dr. Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper.

Given these facts, I have two questions: 1) If people outside the target demographic for games enjoy gaming, then where is the complaint? What makes them enjoy gaming despite the fact that game developers are all sexist pricks who wouldn't know a real woman if they were one? 2) If those people do not enjoy gaming, why are they accusing the game companies of not serving the demographic? Why don't significant numbers of them come together and create games for a different target audience, rather than trying to change a game that has been played the same way for years? You'll notice I cleverly hid extra questions in within those two main questions. Mwhahaha.

Serving a massive unserved demographic is one way to make craploads of dough. But we're still waiting for someone to come along and make that game that sweeps up all the female gamers and gaming-curious folks. Are we to assume that companies like Microsoft, EA, and Sony, who would all kill their grandmothers to pick up a quarter rolling down the street, haven't done research into the feasibility of courting the female market? I mean, come on. Some press hack writes this article every few weeks; I can't imagine this "hot issue" somehow squeaked by the radars of the Big 3 game companies.

I agree that my company's games would be better if we had female designers and writers. That's a given; diversity of opinion and background only help a project appeal to more people.

But does the industry have to bend over backwards to be all things to all people?

Nah. Though it'd be nice to see the industry bending over backwards.

Because the industry is HOTT.