|Girls get "female wrapper" around titles "really designed for men"|
|Posted: 22.08.2011 13:51 by Simon Priest||Comments: 1|
Silicon Sisters, an iOS developer, believes the industry still fails to understand what female gamers want, and there's only ever been a "fairly superficial offering".
Looking for the female equivalent of the "visceral thrill of shooting" males get is "non-obvious," and they hope it doesn't take 30 years to achieve high quality.
"I think there are different levels to what you can offer," said Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, co-founder of Vancouver-based developer Silicon Sisters Interactive. They created an iOS title called School 26, which was aimed at young teenage girls.
"What we've seen is a fairly superficial offering where, in the absence of truly understanding what women want in terms of game mechanics and connection, what we're getting is a female wrapper around a game that's really designed for men."
"But while that works to some degree it's not going to, in my estimation, really build the gaming community, and really contribute to that aspirational goal of finding out what it is that women connect with when they game," she continued.
Gershkovitch and her business partner conducted 6 months of intensive research into the videogames industry and what makes male and female gamers tick.
"The bibliography on that is probably 20 pages long. There are an enormous number of academic studies that cover tiny slices of female play in all kinds of different ways. We compiled all of that together and saw certain trends emerge," explained Gershkovitch.
"It took 30 years to really perfect the three things that males seem to really love, which are shooting, and driving, and sports. And those are absolutely kick-ass games now, and you really have to sit back and go, 'What is the equivalent for girls? And please God, don't let it take us 30 years to get to as high a quality level as that.'"
It's certainly not a conundrum that will be solved overnight anytime soon.
"When you look at the visceral thrill of shooting and what it gives men, looking for the equivalent of that in women is non-obvious, and I believe it's going to be more subtle," said Kirsten Forbes. Not all male gamers enjoy shooting, driving and sports games.
It seems both genders are equally guilty of stereotyping but what's the solution?