[MUD-Dev] games gender bias (Re: Affecting the world)

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Mon Oct 6 00:16:46 CEST 1997

Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:
>Note that this study was after the negative behaviour. It did not say
>anything  about the increased attention of the males  for the females
>in those studies where the ratio was something like 95-5 and how this
>was perceived (and handled)  by the females.  Also it was pointed out
>that the situation was more or less identical  in those studies  that
>were strongly female dominated.

Maybe so, but I suspect that those 5% female (or male) in those
studies have a lot of selfconfidence, which helps regarding negative
behaviour from the others.  I still think it is unhealthy (and less
interesting) with less than 25% of any gender in an organization (from
my own experience in boy scout groups, school and army). I believe
balance between genders creates a more vibrant environment with more
variety in general.  As women are in minority on the net one should
try to address their interests when creating virtual worlds, simply
because the men will come anyway.  I do agree that to obtain the same
"attraction level" with genderneurtral activities is the best
solution, but I'm not totally convinced that that will be enough in
the long term.  I figured one could get the last slice of the female
games market by announcing that the product has been carefully
designed for (and preferably by) women.  However, I guess one first
has to ESTABLISH that market as it is next to nonexisting.  I believe
that will happen when computers stop being a "boy-thing", which I hope
mandatory computer classes in school will take care of real soon.  I'm
not sure what the current status of the computer is among kids of
today?  Profecy of the century: the day will come when most women do
more with computers than wordprocessing and email.

I'm still trying to figure out how one should design a good
singleplayer game for average girls/women. What are your favourite
games? (I'm not saying you are average!) If Creatures had been more
playable then I guess that theme would have constituted a good
gamecomponent for a mud, "take care of your pet, breed new puppies"
type of gameplay (for both genders).  Another activity which I assume
would be more popular with females is "design your own cloths for your

>> Hmm..  Not really.  Those two are the most used successful recepies I
>> believe. (+ the platform (mario) style thing, but I suspect that one isn't
>> biased towards one specific gender.)
>How many males play that kind of games? Does it really matter? ;)

In commercial productions, yes!  With huge upfront expenses you want
that 90% of the market if you can get it.  I guess only about 1 out of
10 games break even and that the top 10 take most of the
profit. *shrug*

>> >(1) there's a well known phrase decency disallows me to use.
>> Being an ignorant indecent norwegian: I don't have a clue... :(
>Well, it's related to what I'm told is a popular game of boys that
>is called 'who has the biggest'...

Your game may be popular in Holland, but I've never heard of that one,
the biggest what?  Gun?


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