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May 11, 2005

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» Nolan Bushnell feeding fantasy may be the key to the mainstream from Guardian Unlimited: Gamesblog
Gotta love Nolan Bushnell. He's the clever guy who brought Pong to our arcades, and then Pac Man (and Missile Command, Pitfall, Combat and Breakout) to our living rooms. Arguably the father of the home computer entertainment phenomenon in... [Read More]

Comments

SharD

Not sure about Aleks' pac-skillz though, she'll struggle to keep pac alive in that situation!

Rob

"Maxis had a preponderance of ladies when it was making The Sims, and look what happened - big bucks for Maxis."

Wow...that's a pretty facile analysis.

SharD

But none-the-less relevant.

I've certainly found that the idea space for game design becomes broader when there are both sexes involved in the project.

Alice

It's not just my analysis either:

"Finally, we see a value in constructing groups that include both male and female participants. At the present time, games are played by 90 percent of American boys and about 40 percent of American girls. There are real gender gaps amongst game players and even greater ones in terms of the number of women employed within the games industries. Those companies – (Maxis - the Sims) stands out - which have hired a significant number of women have been more successful in creating games with a crossover appeal - that is, games which interest both men and women. At the present time, game design remains a largely intuitive process with most people designing games they think will be fun and with what they think is fun being defined by their own childhood play experiences. Including women in the workforce creates a counterforce, which allows other kinds of innovations to occur as these women add their own play experience to the discussion."

http://www.educationarcade.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=printpage&artid=54

Seb Potter

I can only comment from experience, so rather than generalise, I'll stick with specifics.

I've met quite a number of development teams and have known a number of development studios over the years. Teams such as the male dominated studios in Sierra Europe (where the only female employees were in marketing and admin) through to less male-dominated teams such as SCI and Climax.

I've only met one professional games developer who was female.

From experience working with dev teams in France, the male domination of the field basically came from men hiring more men, on the sole basis that their selection criteria were:

1. Must be a hardcore gamer.
2. Must have been a harcore gamer for many years.
3. Must be a hardcore programming geek.
4. Interest in the same games as the interviewer.

(Again, I'm not generalising here, this is my specific experience of how a few particular teams went about the hiring process.)

Female gamers and developers most often don't fit this profile. The hardcore female gamers that I know maintain a far more balanced life than in comparison to the male hardcore gamers.

The problem is, a lot of people that I know in game development still think that to develop a game, you have to fit that description.

Elf

I agree to what was written in the last comment. And even more think about how many women (%) are involved in IT industry? And how many you can see playing in computer clubs! That is the answer.

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