Posted in kids

SXSW07: Getting Girl into Games panel

Getting Girl into Games

there is no single definition for a female gamer
– respect the demographic, not all girls like the same games

women are less resistant to micro transactions

what constitutes good market research
– some research for girls and it
– girls prefer a story
– not as big on competition
– like to be directed – rather than just set in there to explore

games are art, not entire project should come out of market research
– use focus groups for more pr, etc
– research has been used logistically in order to get projects greenlit (situational ethics)
– should be used as another ind of conversation with your gamer for changes,etc
– shouldn’t be used to determine the games to make
– shouldn’t be used as a roadmap
– shirking violet – can’t show girls violence theory
– they don’t like violence for violence sake, it’s just boring to them

question regarding is there a fundamental aspect of gaming that appeals to women
– no, just as not one for japanese
– it’s a market, not a genre
– barbie opened up the market, but it’s just one genre
– doom and halo are good games, not because their fist person shooter

halo is genre busting
– third person perspective
– fairly simple to learn to play
– storyline is basic but good
– cooperative play aspect

how can we take into account female in game design
– make the interface design big
– women have less patience with bad ui due to multi-task
– make multiple game play choices
– consistency and saving is important, less about preening and boasting, but rather progress and differentiation
– need to not stereotype
– RPGrs are paperdolls – dressing up your characters
– taking down the barriers
– tutorials – males are exploratory learners, females modeling or imitative learning
– don’t stick a nickel in the baby and shake to see how it works”
– its not about making game about kitties or guns
– think of it as a way to invite more people into your audience – girls, casual gamers, etc
– Need to keep hiring females
– pushing the fact that adding gamer to your identity is ok
– avoid any sense that you are being talked down to
– avoid behind the veil, special areas females are very sensitive to that

the market needs to explore girl gamers because the market needs to expand
– Nintendo Wii is a great solution to bridging the gap
– need to get the casual gamers, etc now to expand the market, not just the hard core games
– mobile market is an opportunity as well

how has mobile changed the market
– more access, not just targeted at one demo
– women love the smaller game format – phone, handheld, etc
– even when gba players were 40% of market, no female skus made it into stores
– downloading helps as it removes the misogyny from middle man (salesperson)

question about girls choosing male avatars
– women char are usually over-sexualized, but trend is that usually females play female characters
– but the fact that sometimes there is not a girl characters to choose from

question about how to inspire team of all men to work on girl project
– make sure males do not treat the assignment as a low echelon assignment
– if they give you crap work, don’t keep them on
– get them in focus groups and have them watch the kids play games
– have them find a personal connection (daughter, sister, etc)
– make them respect the gamer

question- thoughts on frag dolls
– dangerous territory – the way that men raise the profile of women in games to make them sexy
– pms clan – huge network, not put together as a marketing

question of can’t we just let the larger cultural trend of girls being more involved in trad male areas (sports, engineering)
– yes and no – still not able to sell female titles, stlll need for push
– the word “casual” is pejorative – gateway drug, play until you get to the “real” game

get your demos up
make sure the marketing takes into account women too



Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

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