You know, I’m not much of a gamer, but I have plenty of female friends that play with their boyfriends, so I think I have a pretty good idea of what women like — and it isn’t big guns and characters that look like Barbie.
Funny enough, you’d think video game companies would know this too. After all, 38 percent of all gamers are female, while 42 percent of online gaming is done by women and girls. But apparently they don’t. At least they act like they don’t. I was trolling Jezebel yesterday when I saw this article from The Wall Street Journal about how video game manufacturers are still puzzled about how to reach their female demo. Really? No clue, huh? Well, we here at UChic thought we’d offer up a few hints on how to get more of us girls into the game.
1. Hire More Women Game Developers
Video game development is a male-dominated field, and really, what better way to figure out what women like then to have ACTUAL women gamers working on you next product rollout? It’s obvious from all this animae and cuddly animal schtick that’s flooding the market that the male developers think every woman wants to play games meant for twelve-year olds. Newsflash: We don’t.
2. No T&A Allowed
This whole Laura Croft body type is not only sexist, it’s a turn-off to women who want to play, but don’t want to deal with the sexualized aspects many games seem to insert when the main character is female. Can’t you make a normal-looking person? If we have to see one more jiggly volleyball game, we might just have to run out of Best Buy screaming.
3. Create Cool Female Leads
Anita Blake. Mercy Thomspon. Sookie Stackhouse. Three book series that contain kick-ass characters. HBO made a TV show, Anita’s getting her own cable series, and now both Mercy and Ms. Blake have their own graphic novels. Make her strong, make her funny, make her sexy, but for the love of all things Wii, DON’T turn her into a pin-up girl. Plenty of us ladies like action/sci-fi/fantasy games, but our options are kind of limited when it comes to ones that don’t assume we’re a fifteen-year-old boy living out his own PG-13 fanatsy.
4. Stop Making Games That Are For Guys or Girls Only!
Is it really that hard to come up with something that will appeal to everyone? Look at Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Both have a “something for everyone” element that makes it fun for both sexes. These are the kind of games that get girls that don’t usually play into the action. Isn’t that what you want? To expand your market? So why then are you so intent on rolling out new versions of these two for MALE bands? The Beatles. U2. Van Halen. How about the Black Eyed Peas? Or maybe a battle of the bands with No Doubt and Fall Out Boy going head-to-head?
It all seems pretty logical once you get your head back IN the game and out of your….well, you get the picture.