[MUD-Dev] DGN: Reasons for play [was: Emergent Behaviorsspawnedfrom...]

Sean Howard squidi at squidi.net
Tue Sep 13 18:13:20 CEST 2005

"Amanda Walker" <amanda at alfar.com> wrote:
> On Sep 1, 2005, at 6:49 PM, Sean Howard wrote:

>> You are complaining about cultures, not gender.

> I'm not complaining about either--I'm noting that gender has
> cultural markers, and that people pay attention to them.

Complaining may have been too strong. Yes, gender does have cultural
markers - but those markers are different today compared to twenty
years ago, compared to the 1920s, compared to the 1820s. I can only
assume that the physical make up of gender has not changed in such a
statistically insignificant amount of time, so therefore, whatever
you were talking about is not something innate to gender itself.

If this is indeed the case, as I'm positive it is, then including
gender itself in the discussion is little more than misdirection
towards the true goings on. There are a lot of factors that decide
what subculture you end up in. You aren't going to be in the math
club if you aren't very smart, you aren't going to play soccer if
you are fat, you aren't going to vote Republican if you grew up
poor, and you aren't going to go on church picnics if you don't
believe in a higher power. Gender is no more important to marketing
than whether you listen to your iPod, and as far as why people play
games and should play games, is even less important.

Bold Statement: Gender has no purpose in any discussion about
videogames, except for discussions about why this is the case. Girls
play for the exact same reason boys play, and marketing to girls is
no different than marketing to boys.

>> [...] Marketing is about selling ice to eskimos - you can't trust
>> it to be indicative of what people really are or really want.

> True.  But if you're trying to sell ice, it pays to know what
> people who are looking for ice expect, and what the cultural
> labels for "ice" are in your target market.  A flame job on your
> truck may not be the best choice ;-).

I think you missed my point. It's not that you CAN sell ice to
eskimos, but that just because you can doesn't mean that an eskimo
buying ice is in any way indicative of what it means to be an
eskimo. You can make ANYBODY buy ANYTHING, so there's really nothing
we can take away from successful marketing other than manipulation.

- Sean Howard
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