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

Amanda Walker amanda at alfar.com
Wed Sep 14 18:38:40 CEST 2005

On Sep 13, 2005, at 12:13 PM, Sean Howard wrote:

> 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.

Certainly.  However, that doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

> 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.

How so?  I'd think that cultural factors far eclipse innate factors,
myself.  Look at clothing, for example--there's nothing innate about
clothing styles, but if you want to make money selling clothes, you
need to understand the culture(s) of your market(s).  Poodle skirts
for men are not likely to be big sellers (well, not beyond very
small niche markets :-)).  Nothing's innate about native language
(it's all learned), but if you want to sell games in Germany,
availability of a German version will be a factor in how well you

There are many examples of people responding differently to games
where gender is a significant or even dominant factor, from The Sims
to Nick Yee's MMORPG demographic studies.  Whether this difference
is innate or cultural isn't really an interesting question at the
level of making games and engaging gamers.

> 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.

I'm tempted to just say "well, good luck with that" :-).

But instead, I'll ask "if this is the case, why does this question
keep coming up?"

Amanda Walker
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