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Women, The Future Of Gaming

by Ernice Gilbert on August 9th, 2010, under Article, Women In Gaming

There’s something taking place underneath the radar that no one seems to be paying attention to. Something so radical, that it’ll change the gaming industry, and how we perceive it, forever.

It’ll force developers to think differently. Cause them to broaden their perspective and open up their minds to new ways of thinking, and in the process getting rid of an old taboo that has been for too long. The guys are going no where mind you, we’re here to stay, but be prepared to live in the same house with……….

Women, the future of gaming.

I remember the days when a girl who played would be looked at as “strange”, or “weird”. “Tomboy” is the word used to explain the girls back in the day who dared to play Atari, NES, Sega Genesis and the rest. Games have been considered a man’s past time from its inception, not by those who make the games mind you, but rather, general perception.

The notion permeated through societies from east to west, and has since become a stubborn misconception to break. But change is definitely happening. Change so radical that the industry would be wise to start making decisions that would allow the transition to be even smoother, because ever since Nintendo released the Wii, women have been easing their way in.

They start with the fun titles, the exercise-oriented games like Wii Fit and gradually, with reservations, move towards more solid experiences like Super Mario Galaxy and Wii Sports Resort.

Nintendo opened up the door and the women came rushing in.

Thing is, it wouldn’t be such a big deal if the motion control craze remained a trend only occurring over at Nintendo, but now, with the introduction of Sony’s PlayStation MOVE and Microsoft Kinect, both motion control gaming peripherals, the door has been kicked off its hinges.

I know of women who can’t wait for Metroid: Other M and Golden Eye Wii. This didn’t happen overnight, though, but like I said earlier, it gradually takes hold on them that gaming is more than meets the eye.

Now imagine what’s set to happen when November arrives ushering in a new age of motion control gaming with MOVE and Kinect. For Kinect, games like Kinectimals will surely lure women in, (The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout (THQ)) will pull them in as they continue to look for ways to stay in shape, or get in shape altogether.

For MOVE, there are so many titles that will catch the attention of women that I’ll just link you to them. Overtime, mirroring what the Wii was able to accomplish, Kinect and MOVE will initiate this inevitable revolution. This time, though, it’ll be much grander.

Much more so.

See, the PS3 and Xbox 360 have been considered as hardcore gaming machines, and, for the most part, rightfully so. On the 360, Gears of War, Halo, Fable, Forza and many more titles have been dominated by the hardcore. On the PS3, even more: God of War, Gran Turismo, Killzone, Resistance, Uncharted, Demon’s Souls, The Last Guardian, White Knight Chronicles amongst others. And just in case you missed it, those are just the exclusives.

The list’s even longer when the multiplats are added.

Recently, In an attempt to learn more about how the growing number of social games resonate with women, Q Interactive and Engage Expo surveyed 700 women to see how they really feel.

The researchers found that about 54 percent of those surveyed play social games every day, but only 42 percent of respondents consider themselves “gamers.” Just 7 percent of women say that they’re “obsessed” with games.

Q Interactive also attempted to determine how much gaming women felt was socially acceptable. That report showed 67 percent of female respondents believe playing games between one hour and five hours per week is acceptable, while 26 percent contend that gaming more than six hours a week is just fine.

The researchers found that women still struggle with the social acceptance of gaming. Approximately 16 percent of respondents “hide or sometimes hide” their gaming habits. Over two-thirds of women said that there are stigmas attached to gaming, including the notion that games are addictive, make you neglectful of other areas of your life, and are a waste of time.

Out of all the women surveyed, just 7 percent say they play games at work. A whopping 93 percent say they play primarily at home.

Now picture the women who joined the boys club being coaxed by the consoles motion control offerings, and gradually, they graduate to a higher, more hardcore levels of gaming. Picture them being the first at midnight release parties, even forming all girls gaming clubs that outpace anything the guys have ever formed.

Picture them, for a moment, leading online discussions in forums and on comments section across gaming’s web, and overtime shaping game development with the sheer power afforded because of their vast numbers.

Developers would have to create more female protagonists, it’s the old taboo I spoke of in my intro. Lara Croft can’t do it alone. No longer will females be viewed as the weaker vessels in every game, but rather, as the strong and virtuous creatures they are.

In most games, developers paint them without clothing, and mostly stupid; a shrewd assertion to activate the hormones of men, which, they think, equals sales.

Virtual reality is become literal. Everything is changing.

The only question is, are you ready?

But hey, it’s only a win-win situation right fellas? This space really use some ladies.

14 Comments

  1. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 6:13 am

    i know heaps of girls who love gaming.
    my cuz for crying out loud thrashed me in GH world tour today, im so embarrassed!
    beaten by a girl, ill never live this down!
    gone are the days where games were only for the hardcore, and boys.

  2. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 6:30 am

    True, and they’re welcome addition to this gaming thing…..

  3. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 9:17 am

    More women gaming equals more people gaming which is wonderful. However, when it comes to the opposite sex corporations and even women themselves usually go overboard.
    I am already burned out on the Frag girls, dolls or whatever they called. I am tired of reading articles about girl gamers where boobs are popping all over the place or they are licking a controller or some other peripheral.

    I already see a slew of aspiring models, singers and or actresses trying to launch their careers by being “girl gamers.” I see XBLA becoming a virtual hook up center and a gang of Dateline specials on some adult mope showing up with his Xbox 360 and a bottle of wine at the home of what he thought was a 13 years old gamer name BarbieXOXO…

  4. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 9:25 am

    “I already see a slew of aspiring models, singers and or actresses trying to launch their careers by being “girl gamers.” I see XBLA becoming a virtual hook up center and a gang of Dateline specials on some adult mope showing up with his Xbox 360 and a bottle of wine at the home of what he thought was a 13 years old gamer name BarbieXOXO…”

    Some situation. Anyway, this article doesn’t talk about girl gamers with boobs, it’s more their gradually entrance boosted by the Wii, and in November with MOVE and Kinect.

  5. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 9:38 am

    oh dear lord! XBLA as a dating place……….. GOD HELP US!

  6. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 9:46 am

    lololol. What a place. But you must admit, the service is better than PSN.

  7. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 12:36 pm

    The boob reference was not pertaining to this article just the articles; ads and spots that decide to take that path. As I stated more women gaming means more gamers, which is a great thing.
    Yet with so many dweebs and douche bags calling the shots in the boardroom these days and the imaginations or lack thereof teenage males it is not hard too imagine some of the things I said happening if it is not happening already.

  8. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 1:16 pm

    True, that’s why I choose my friends. We should start a Games Thirst clan.

  9. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 6:24 pm

    A Games Thirst Clan would be nice with you and the gaming encyclopedia Nick leading the charge…. Gamers of the world unite…. Hack The Planet…

  10. Tue, 10th Aug 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Indeed. Nick’s a gaming Encyclopedia and then some. I can see him leading the pack now, telling us when to pause and when to take action. lol! We should do it seriously.

  11. Wed, 11th Aug 2010 at 9:10 am

    all units ATAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

  12. Wed, 11th Aug 2010 at 9:19 am

    Aye Aye, Sir!

  13. Wed, 11th Aug 2010 at 10:44 am

    Lol

  14. Wed, 11th Aug 2010 at 11:20 am

    You in?

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