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["Girl Games"] Tell me what games girls and women play before I go ballistic on EB

SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' CanuckFord Nation's Finest Crack DenRegistered User regular
edited March 2010 in Games and Technology
So I don't know about the States, but in Canada, the EB Games have started to put up "Girl Games" sections containing pretty much what you'd expect. A few decent games (albeit not ones I personally enjoy) like Cooking Mama, and a bunch of shit like Pretty Pony Princess Rainbows and Imagine: You Barefoot and Pregnant Foreverz. Now, as a lifelong female gamer, my visceral response to these sections was to want to rip the sign down and stomp it to pieces. However, as a social scientist-type, I'm interested in collecting some actual information about the kinds of games that women and girls are picking up these days.
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I'm not posting this in D&D for a reason. I don't want to hear people's opinions about what they think women might play. I don't care what you think. :) I want actual observations, be it from game store employees (I'd love to hear from you folks) or people who have female relatives and friends who play games. Of course the other PA women are welcome to post their own experiences and that of the other women they know, though I suspect many of us aren't the target demographic for the "girl games" section.

Let's keep it to Games that Might Be Sold in a Game Store because I'm focused on answering the same question EB is trying to answer: how can games be successfully be marketed to women and girls in a brick and mortar store?
funny-girl-games.jpg

Some interesting questions that I hope to be enlightened about:

1. Is there a difference between the games that adults buy for little girls and the ones that the girls themselves pick out? What games do little girls tend to pick out for themselves?

2. Which "girl games" have you known a girl or woman to enjoy playing, and which have been quickly thrown by the wayside?

3. Do you know girls or women who are specifically attracted to "girl games" and play them to the exclusion of most other kinds of games? Have they given you a reason why? Do you know girls or women who refuse to touch "girl games", and if so, why?

All right, everyone. Select your pistol, then select your horse.
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Posts

  • Ninsei CowboyNinsei Cowboy Registered User
    edited March 2010
    1. Oddly enough, most of the women I know tend to enjoy Nintendo games almost exclusively. I do have a 7 year old sister though who loves her DS and greatly enjoys Disney Princess games and all. However, these games are purchased for her and I don't know that she's ever had the chance to pick out games on her own. She'll play pretty much anything on her DS, though.

    2. I seem to be blessed by an abundance of female friends who love the Zelda series. None of the handheld games, though; just the console ones. Cart racers are pretty popular with women I know, too.

    3. I know of no women who enjoy those stereotypical girl games.

    Spoiler:
  • KitsurubamiKitsurubami Winnipeg, MBRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    a bunch of shit like Pretty Pony Princess Rainbows and Imagine: You Barefoot and Pregnant Foreverz.

    Bwahaha.

    Anyway, I think a good way to market towards girls is to create strong female protagonists that aren't blatantly exploitative. Think of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (beyond the storyline regarding her child, she was a fairly androgynous character).

    There haven't been too many games that have done this well, but there are a few. Beyond Good and Evil is a great example.

    I've heard The Longest Journey is very good, if you like adventure games. I haven't played it yet, though it is sitting on my computer as we speak.

    I can't think of too many at the moment, but they do exist. Just so long as they aren't X-Blades or shit smiliar to it that just turns me off of the game completely.

    Also, in response to your first query, I think there's a huge difference between the games adults pick for young girls and the ones they might enjoy. The former would include Pretty Pony Princesses or I'm A Thirteen Year Old Tart - Mall Walking Adventures. The altter might include some decent games, based on the kind of person buying them. Maybe they'd want to get Locke's Quest and grow up to be a civil engineer, or something.

  • Kewop DecamKewop Decam Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Anything Nintendo and especially crap on the Wii.

    Mario Party, Donkey Konga (most music games), Mario Kart

    some of them enjoy soul calibur because you can mash and look awesome.

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Man Style Savvy is so damn good its scary.

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  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I can't explain it, but most of the women I know exclusively play nintendo games. Mostly animal crossing and pokemon. None of them touch "girl games," presumably because those games look like crap, rather than some marketing thing.

    Although I've got a little sister, and I know she used to love Barbie's Horse Adventure when she was little. I know she played other "girl games" back then, too, but I don't remember which ones specifically. So I think for very young girls, before they develop taste, they can be appealing. Girl games, for her at least, were probably an important gateway game.

    Be excellent to each other you stupid cunts.
  • KitsurubamiKitsurubami Winnipeg, MBRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Man Style Savvy is so damn good its scary.

    The World Ends With You turned me into a fashion guru, so maybe I should check this out.

    So, does the gothic lolita dress work best with the conductor's cap, or the super-distressed jeans?

  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Completely anecdotally, but my youngest sister used to play Pokémon, Zelda, Banjo-Kazooie, and things like that. The other sister (still younger) used to play SMW and such on the SNES, but then skipped a couple console generations to purchase an Xbox 360 to play Morrowind.

    Neither spend a great deal of time playing games, and probably wouldn't consider themselves gamers.

  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    through my social networking over the years, ive come into contact with a handful of these "girl gamers", although calling them such seems to evoke distain if not for the person using the term, than to game the term is beign applied to(although I guess you have that covered in op), as most have dealt with mmo or mmo-lite style games and really consider themselves "gamers" and if girl is added as some sort of prefix it is almost always has a negative impact, of either the game being subpar and therefore not for general consumption of "real" gamers or that people are making a comment about relative gaming skill. There isnt alot of universal love for games, and you dont want to hear my theories on tendancies so the list falls down to

    - the sims... it is like crack to them
    - ff iv there is a universal love for it
    - fallout 3

    (survey size is roughly 12 women 16-45)

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    sexy? although i might be doing it wrong

  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I quite honestly don't understand girl gamer habits at all. I will vent my opinion anyway :P.

    First, there's the mass marketed casual games - I understand that. Thos aren't really for "gamers", as we would define them anyway. They're a distraction, a way to pass time. They're generally puzzle games or other simple, easy stuff.

    Then there are the games that we would say are marketed towards "true" gamers. Stuff like RPGs and action games. You can't play FFXII without sitting down and reading some plot. What I don't get is that most girls I know like RPGs and some sims (not driving/flying sims, but The Sims, or Spore). Very, very few seem to like anything else - action games, adventure, and I've yet to see a girl in real life express interest in an RTS.

    Is it just that the current stock of games are aimed at boys, and girls like different stuff? Or is the difference in taste due to culture and expectations? I hope someone knows more than me :P.

    Also, bonus points for referencing my most favourite comic.

    8R7BtLw.png
  • Raoulduke20Raoulduke20 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    So I don't know about the States, but in Canada, the EB Games have started to put up "Girl Games" sections containing pretty much what you'd expect. A few decent games (albeit not ones I personally enjoy) like Cooking Mama, and a bunch of shit like Pretty Pony Princess Rainbows and Imagine: You Barefoot and Pregnant Foreverz. Now, as a lifelong female gamer, my visceral response to these sections was to want to rip the sign down and stomp it to pieces. However, as a social scientist-type, I'm interested in collecting some actual information about the kinds of games that women and girls are picking up these days.

    I'm not posting this in D&D for a reason. I don't want to hear people's opinions about what they think women might play. I don't care what you think. :) I want actual observations, be it from game store employees (I'd love to hear from you folks) or people who have female relatives and friends who play games. Of course the other PA women are welcome to post their own experiences and that of the other women they know, though I suspect many of us aren't the target demographic for the "girl games" section.

    Let's keep it to Games that Might Be Sold in a Game Store because I'm focused on answering the same question EB is trying to answer: how can games be successfully be marketed to women and girls in a brick and mortar store?

    Some interesting questions that I hope to be enlightened about:

    1. Is there a difference between the games that adults buy for little girls and the ones that the girls themselves pick out? What games do little girls tend to pick out for themselves?

    2. Which "girl games" have you known a girl or woman to enjoy playing, and which have been quickly thrown by the wayside?

    3. Do you know girls or women who are specifically attracted to "girl games" and play them to the exclusion of most other kinds of games? Have they given you a reason why? Do you know girls or women who refuse to touch "girl games", and if so, why?

    All right, everyone. Select your pistol, then select your horse.

    My girlfriend has a DS that I bought her for Christmas one year that she loves. She scoffs at the games that seem to be aimed at a female audience, and instead opts for Zelda, Mario, Professor Layton, and other legitimately good games. She has said to me before that she found the types of games aimed at young girls slightly insulting, because to her it's the same "girls play with barbies and makeup" stereotyping that she's always disliked. She's a big fan of Nintendo games in general, and despite never having a Super Nintendo growing up, she will dump hour upon hour into the one that I still have hooked up. Donkey Kong Country is one of her favorites on the snes, but she also gets into a few of the old school role playing games like Chrono Trigger. She also is very good at racing games, even ones that I personally find infuriating. She says they're just easy for her.

    Really, I think it has a lot to do with exposure. She had never played her brothers' Genesis growing up, aside from a few flukes, because they would hog it and not let her play. She had barely sampled what videogames had to offer, so when I introduced her to modern PC games, like TF2, she was pretty blown away. Now I have to take turns with her fairly often when I play because she can't run it on her laptop. It's pretty great being able to share my hobby with her though, even if she's less into it than I am. I brought my N64 out of retirement and have it hooked up now beside my snes. It's like 1996 watching her transition from the 2D versions of the Nintendo franchises into the 3D ones that I take for granted now.

    I do know one woman that likes some of the more stereotypical girl games, but she's a very stereotypical girl in a lot of ways. Even then, though, she tends to just like the ones with horses in them because she used to raise horses.

    signatureih.jpg
  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Wooh, transgenus theory!

    Here in Sweden someone wrote a very interesting little web app: it takes an article and replaced "woman" with "Swede" and "man" with "immigrant".

    Then he ran a bunch of newspaper articles through it. Hilarity ensued.

    It was an excellent illustration of the hidden, subconscious discrimination in society. "Men litter more than women" turned into "Immigrants litter more than Swedes" and so on, yet the original version is seen as perfectly acceptable, but is horribly discriminating after the change - and all that changes were the subjects, thus clearly illustrating this subconscious discrimination.

    I found it completely awesome.

    Then the guy who wrote the Transgenus Engine had police charges filed by one of the newspapers that he used as an example. You'd expect them to try copyright infringement or something... but no, they went with "unlawful computer intrusion". Which is kinda silly since the web app was a proxy that grabbed the page remotely, did the changes and presented it to the requester. Just like Google Translate does.

  • NATIKNATIK Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My little sister (19) loves Crash Bandicoot and when we lived at home she would borrow my PS2 and my old Crash Bandicoot games and play for hours at times.

    My mother loves the old Tomb Raider games and even bought a PS1 and all the old Tomb Raider games so she could play them. She also loves puzzle games as do my Sister, in fact they have had competitions trying to beat each others scores in those games, to the point where they bought two systems and two copies of the same game, sat 2 TVs up next to each other and played together.

    It is however mostly a social thing for them both, they don't play alone, instead they arrange nights were they set up the games with either each other, me or someone else and play it as a social experience.

    Whenever we as a family want to have a nice fun evening together we end up playing either console games or boardgames half the night.

    Beyond that the only games I know my female friends play are the Sims and WoW, I know a few women who are very into either.

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  • RenzoRenzo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My girlfriend will stand in line for any Mario game.

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  • AlegisAlegis Impeckable Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    how can games be successfully be marketed to women and girls in a brick and mortar store?
    Spoiler:

  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My wife is crazy good at platformers like Mario and adventure games like Zelda. So she'll play those mostly. She even plays the original Zelda at least once a year and she has the whole thing memorized. Bomb locations, which locations just make you pay for the door, etc. It's nuts.

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    Backloggery XBox Live: ArcSyn 3DS: 1805-2274-4550 (Jonathan) WiiU NNID: ArcSyn

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  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Alegis wrote: »
    how can games be successfully be marketed to women and girls in a brick and mortar store?
    Spoiler:

    Oh good God.

    What is with those eyes?

    8R7BtLw.png
  • Sharp_Sniper99Sharp_Sniper99 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    I know a couple of girls who LOVE Halo and CoD and treat them very competativly. So the idea that girls only like nintendo games is obviusly a bit wrong, I would say that theyre gaming tastes wouldnt be too much different from the average guy gamer to be fair.

  • Raoulduke20Raoulduke20 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Echo wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Wooh, transgenus theory!

    Here in Sweden someone wrote a very interesting little web app: it takes an article and replaced "woman" with "Swede" and "man" with "immigrant".

    Then he ran a bunch of newspaper articles through it. Hilarity ensued.

    It was an excellent illustration of the hidden, subconscious discrimination in society. "Men litter more than women" turned into "Immigrants litter more than Swedes" and so on, yet the original version is seen as perfectly acceptable, but is horribly discriminating after the change - and all that changes were the subjects, thus clearly illustrating this subconscious discrimination.

    I found it completely awesome.

    Then the guy who wrote the Transgenus Engine had police charges filed by one of the newspapers that he used as an example. You'd expect them to try copyright infringement or something... but no, they went with "unlawful computer intrusion". Which is kinda silly since the web app was a proxy that grabbed the page remotely, did the changes and presented it to the requester. Just like Google Translate does.

    That is awesome and an extremely good idea, shame he had charges pressed against him. I don't think the OP is being very discriminatory though, since she's trying to understand what girls and women play and whether the typical marketing is actually successful. Someone that follows sales should post how many units the top "girl games" have sold in the past year or something. I'm thinking it's parents driving those sales but I wouldn't be too surprised to hear that some young girls love those types of games. I know I wasn't very discriminating with games when I was very young.

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  • SenshiSenshi Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Echo wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Wooh, transgenus theory!

    Here in Sweden someone wrote a very interesting little web app: it takes an article and replaced "woman" with "Swede" and "man" with "immigrant".

    Then he ran a bunch of newspaper articles through it. Hilarity ensued.

    It was an excellent illustration of the hidden, subconscious discrimination in society. "Men litter more than women" turned into "Immigrants litter more than Swedes" and so on, yet the original version is seen as perfectly acceptable, but is horribly discriminating after the change - and all that changes were the subjects, thus clearly illustrating this subconscious discrimination.

    I found it completely awesome.

    Then the guy who wrote the Transgenus Engine had police charges filed by one of the newspapers that he used as an example. You'd expect them to try copyright infringement or something... but no, they went with "unlawful computer intrusion". Which is kinda silly since the web app was a proxy that grabbed the page remotely, did the changes and presented it to the requester. Just like Google Translate does.

    Swedes are incredibly xenophobic, though. Maybe moreso than others, maybe not, but I pick up on it all the time. Naturally there are exceptions, but the way immigrants are treated here speaks for itself.

    ON TOPIC however--the girl gamers in my life play either games on the Wii or the DS. Mario Party, etc. The one girl I know that is an exception to this rule isn't exactly what you would call feminine. She's more of a bro than most of my male friends.

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  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    Alegis wrote: »
    how can games be successfully be marketed to women and girls in a brick and mortar store?
    Spoiler:

    That's not "games for girls". That's "games for 8-year old girls".

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2010
    The prewife is a big Left 4 Dead fan. She beat Dragon Age and Darksiders when I didn't.

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Games women I know play.

    Pokemon
    Final Fantasy anything
    Kingdom Hearts anything
    Mario anything
    Mario Party anything
    Tetris (My mom has played Tetris DS at least an hour a day since it came out)
    World of Warcraft
    Zelda anything

    So RPGs and Mario and Zelda is the basic list of it.

    The big problem here is that marketing is still mainly a male power structure and women are mysterious. I'd say by now they have a good grasp on young girls twelve and under or so with licensed games and pretty princess stuff, but anyone older? No fucking clue. They play a lot of web games for a very long time is about all they've figured out about the market at large and it's really hard to sell web games in a B&M store.

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Anyway the way to market to girls, at least as an industry is to not do so. By having ‘girls games’ setting aside the ridiculous stereotyping and patronisation demonstrated, it otherises them from the industry as a whole. By saying ‘these are for girls’, by definition you’re setting up a dichotomy that everything else isn’t. You think that’s going to engender them to the hobby?

    Offer a wide range of games to varied interests (actually having some female developers would help here), and they’ll choose what they want. Shockingly enough that’ll differ.

  • EndaroEndaro Weyland Consortium Building a Better WorldRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Was this towards the OP? Because while interesting, I don't understand if you're trying to point out a problem with the post. The OP seems to be annoyed with the current marketing towards girls, and is a female gamer herself, rather than a post from some guy trying to understand "those other people".

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  • GilderGilder Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Just to buck the trend of cutesy games and such, the thread on these forums and evidence elsewhere has shown that a lot of women really like Silent Hill. I like to think of it as it being their escape from shovelware crap that companies try to shove down their throats. I'm surprised Silent Hill 3 isn't pushed actually, because it features one of the very few female main characters that isn't made unreasonably sexy (Not even in alternate outfits really) or too macho to even be relatable to as a girl. She's actually just a teenage girl wearing a heavy coat which covers up most of her body that does what she has to to survive, but without being just a male character with a model swap.

  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited March 2010

    1. Is there a difference between the games that adults buy for little girls and the ones that the girls themselves pick out? What games do little girls tend to pick out for themselves?

    2. Which "girl games" have you known a girl or woman to enjoy playing, and which have been quickly thrown by the wayside?

    3. Do you know girls or women who are specifically attracted to "girl games" and play them to the exclusion of most other kinds of games? Have they given you a reason why? Do you know girls or women who refuse to touch "girl games", and if so, why?

    I'm going to answer your questions, and then I'm going to tell you what I think as a "girl" gamer.

    1. Of course there is a difference. There's also a difference between what adults buy boy gamers and what they would purchase for themselves. There is usually a disconnect between what kids want and what parents think they want, it's normal. And the answer is - kids tend to pick the game that everyone else is playing so that they will fit in. Grade school is a time where kids are under enormous amounts of peer pressure to normalize and fit in.

    2. I don't buy the console/hand held versions myself but I will play the free PC versions when I'm bored. Those "girl games" all tend to be light sims/rpg/time management games. The same games that the boys are playing, just with a different skin.

    3. I am looking at that rack of games that was posted and, while I can't see all the titles, I LOVED the fuck out of Cooking Mama, that game is just fun. And Spiro the Dragon? Platformer. The other games, who knows.

    Games I'm currently playing - Borderlands, FF XIII, Hotel Dusk. I also like casual games like the Sims, Mystery Case Files hidden object games, and Bejeweled clones. But I've also been known to play a Beauty Shop/Cake Making game for HOURS. They're time management games and some of them are well done.

    Also - that "Girls would play better games if female characters weren't exploitative." I think that is just silly goose nonsense. I'd rant but this isn't the place for it.

    Tangential subject. My best friend considers herself a feminist. Her good friend leans towards the submissive housewife side. She keeps trying to convince her friend that she's "doing it wrong." We had a huge conversation about that which boiled down to - feminism is about allowing women to make choices for themselves. If a woman chooses to let her man take care of her and make all the decisions that choice needs to be just as accepted as if she chose to be single and have a career. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you have the right to choose her path for her. Linking it in - those games sell so people must be buying them. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean the people buying them are "doing it wrong."

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Endaro wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Was this towards the OP? Because while interesting, I don't understand if you're trying to point out a problem with the post. The OP seems to be annoyed with the current marketing towards girls, and is a female gamer herself, rather than a post from some guy trying to understand "those other people".

    Oh she's a woman, well that changes everything! Just like how I understand half of humanity because I have a penis.

    (that's exactly what she's doing, and the comparison highlights the deeply troublesome social ideas at work in the assumption)
    Gilder wrote: »
    Just to buck the trend of cutesy games and such, the thread on these forums and evidence elsewhere has shown that a lot of women really like Silent Hill. I like to think of it as it being their escape from shovelware crap that companies try to shove down their throats. I'm surprised Silent Hill 3 isn't pushed actually, because it features one of the very few female main characters that isn't made unreasonably sexy (Not even in alternate outfits really) or too macho to even be relatable to as a girl. She's actually just a teenage girl wearing a stylish coat which covers up most of her body that does what she has to to survive, but without being just a male character with a palette swap.

    Same with Resident Evil. Though I don't have the numbers to back me up. at least prior to the release of 4/5. Though if we're talking about making characters unreasonably sexy, Silent Hills the community which dubbed the fan favourite character 'sex god' - you know, the rapist monster.

  • SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Ford Nation's Finest Crack DenRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Is this at me? Because I'll do that as soon as EB Games puts up a sign in its store with horrible racial stereotypes on it that proclaims, "Black Games!" or "Asian Games!" I'm not trying to come up with a generalized idea of what all female gamers want. I'm honestly curious as to whether people know women or girls who enjoy these kinds of games.

    I have my own very strong opinions about "girl games", but I'm a hardcore gamer who has been gaming since the mid-80s. I'm obviously not the intended target audience for the EB displays. If I'm going to write a letter to EB Corporate discussing how they might develop a stronger female customer base without being insulting, I wanted to get a better idea of what the intended target market for their current section (probably girls under 16, but I figured I'd add in adult women as well, because I know some games in the "girl games" category are popular with some adult women, like Cooking Mama and that one Princess Peach DS game) is playing.

    I'm just not inserting too much of my own opinion here because I'm looking for anecdotal evidence on the topic, and not for philosophical debate.

    Want to find me on a gaming service? I'm SwashbucklerXX everywhere.
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  • Raoulduke20Raoulduke20 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    Endaro wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    Replace every incident of girl in your post with a specific 'race'. See how it reads.

    Was this towards the OP? Because while interesting, I don't understand if you're trying to point out a problem with the post. The OP seems to be annoyed with the current marketing towards girls, and is a female gamer herself, rather than a post from some guy trying to understand "those other people".

    Oh she's a woman, well that changes everything! Just like how I understand half of humanity because I have a penis.

    (that's exactly what she's doing, and the comparison highlights the deeply troublesome social ideas at work in the assumption)
    Gilder wrote: »
    Just to buck the trend of cutesy games and such, the thread on these forums and evidence elsewhere has shown that a lot of women really like Silent Hill. I like to think of it as it being their escape from shovelware crap that companies try to shove down their throats. I'm surprised Silent Hill 3 isn't pushed actually, because it features one of the very few female main characters that isn't made unreasonably sexy (Not even in alternate outfits really) or too macho to even be relatable to as a girl. She's actually just a teenage girl wearing a stylish coat which covers up most of her body that does what she has to to survive, but without being just a male character with a palette swap.

    Same with Resident Evil. Though I don't have the numbers to back me up. at least prior to the release of 4/5. Though if we're talking about making characters unreasonably sexy, Silent Hills the community which dubbed the fan favourite character 'sex god' - you know, the rapist monster.

    I still don't understand your point, at all. Are you against the supposition that cultural/social factors might influence a person's taste? If you're just saying we can't talk about race or sex or the dynamics of those stratifications then that's pretty puzzling to me. Race/sex isn't the sole determining factor in what games a person plays, but I find it interesting how companies attempt to market to those specific groups if nothing else. And drawing attention to those patterns and tendencies in marketing and buying is a pretty legitimate goal, imo. This is different than saying all women play Cooking Mama or My Pretty Pony or something, we're not trying to reaffirm stereotypes, just identify them and see if they actually hold true.

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  • aesquireaesquire Registered User
    edited March 2010
    My girlfriend plays "gamer" games.

    Recently she's played Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Half-Minute Hero, Twilight Princess, Okami, and Borderlands (with me). Generally she's a fan of WRPGs (Fallout 3, Morrowind), sci-fi FPSs (she loves the Halo series), open world action games (Grand Theft Auto and the like), puzzle games, and action-adventure games (Zelda, etc.).

    Nothing about her tastes are stereotypically "feminine".

  • FantasyrogueFantasyrogue Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The women I know who play games... Well, they all play the Sims, considering I know them through Sims related sites. Aside from the Sims these women play Harvest Moon, Zelda, Farmville.... and also: Silent Hill (you're right about this one Gilder), Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, L4D, Assassin's Creed, Fallout 3, Heavy Rain, Bioshock, Half Life, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Final Fantasy and probably quite a few more game titles. This is across the group.

    Personally, I will basically play anything except a few specific genres, provided the story is interesting, the gameplay is good (and my kind of gameplay, some game genres do little to nothing for me) and sometimes also if there is plenty of chance for building, customizing, etc. I am especially fond of rpgs. My most recently finished games include Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age.

    I'm going to agree with Elin about point 1. It's not boy games or girl games. It's kid games and parents buying kid games (and that does not even go just for games, the things I'd be gifted that I really didn't want by some relative, ugh).

    I am unsure how to answer point 2 and 3. Are cooking mama and Spyro really "girl games"? I thought they were just.. games... What is a girl game? Specifically those games in the OP? Baby games? Pony Games? Games that are essentially targeted at 8-year old girls? Because then no, no I wouldn't buy them, no I don't know anyone that does. But I'm not the target market for them.

  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Plants vs. Zombies, MySims, Kingdom Hearts, and Burnout Revenge. Stick those games in the section along with some Nintendo stuff and you'll attract the women like moth to a flame.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I still don't understand your point, at all. Are you against the supposition that cultural/social factors might influence a person's taste? If you're just saying we can't talk about race or sex or the dynamics of those stratifications then that's pretty puzzling to me. Race/sex isn't the sole determining factor in what games a person plays, but I find it interesting how companies attempt to market to those specific groups if nothing else. And drawing attention to those patterns and tendencies in marketing and buying is a pretty legitimate goal, imo. This is different than saying all women play Cooking Mama or My Pretty Pony or something, we're not trying to reaffirm stereotypes, just identify them and see if they actually hold true.

    I'm not denying that no, yes our current culture enforces gendered roles upon its constituents. It would be almost impossible to deny that. However, difference within gender is drastically greater then between. I’ve outlined (what I see as) the problem with the current marketing. But I disagree with the idea that this thread is going to do anything but reaffirm stereotypes. I have seen literally dozens of threads on what G&T thinks women want, here’s a spoiler every single one has been ‘Sims/Nintendo/nauseatingly ‘kawii’ games’. Anecdotal evidence is simply too biased to be of any meaningful use. If you’re actually interested there are a wealth of studies out there on what women play.

    All of which is setting aside a ton of unwritten assumptions. For example the language used in the first post. Not ‘what do on aggregate female gamers tend to play’. Rather ‘what do female gamers play’ which serves to exclude everyone who doesn’t fall into this limited criterion. It's a nuanced difference, but an important one.

  • SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Ford Nation's Finest Crack DenRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    As a side note, I've been researching actual data as well as I can along with asking for anecdotal evidence. Apparently Ubisoft's "Imagine" series sold a million copies last year. Since these games are treated with pretty much universal disdain by the gaming community (and particularly by the female gaming community), I have no idea if they're any good or if anybody knows any kids who have played or enjoyed them. That's why I asked some of the questions I did in this thread. Are girls enjoying the Imagine games, or are they discarded grandparent gifts that sit in the corner while Nintendogs gets the DS time?

    Want to find me on a gaming service? I'm SwashbucklerXX everywhere.
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  • EndaroEndaro Weyland Consortium Building a Better WorldRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    I still don't understand your point, at all. Are you against the supposition that cultural/social factors might influence a person's taste? If you're just saying we can't talk about race or sex or the dynamics of those stratifications then that's pretty puzzling to me. Race/sex isn't the sole determining factor in what games a person plays, but I find it interesting how companies attempt to market to those specific groups if nothing else. And drawing attention to those patterns and tendencies in marketing and buying is a pretty legitimate goal, imo. This is different than saying all women play Cooking Mama or My Pretty Pony or something, we're not trying to reaffirm stereotypes, just identify them and see if they actually hold true.

    I'm not denying that no, yes our current culture enforces gendered roles upon its constituents. It would be almost impossible to deny that. However, difference within gender is drastically greater then between. I’ve outlined (what I see as) the problem with the current marketing. But I disagree with the idea that this thread is going to do anything but reaffirm stereotypes. I have seen literally dozens of threads on what G&T thinks women want, here’s a spoiler every single one has been ‘Sims/Nintendo/nauseatingly ‘kawii’ games’. Anecdotal evidence is simply too biased to be of any meaningful use. If you’re actually interested there are a wealth of studies out there on what women play.

    All of which is setting aside a ton of unwritten assumptions. For example the language used in the first post. Not ‘what do on aggregate female gamers tend to play’. Rather ‘what do female gamers play’ which serves to exclude everyone who doesn’t fall into this limited criterion. It's a nuanced difference, but an important one.

    I think I see what you're getting at now. Originally I was under the impression you missed the fact that she was a female, and thought this was the much more common situation of "what does that group that I don't affiliate with do? as it must be some simple quick answer to explain that weird other", rather than the "what does this group that I define myself by seem to prefer, understanding of course that it will be a complex and varied answer". I think the difference was you saw her as looking for a simpler answer, a homogeneous group preference, while I saw her as expecting a diverse answer. Am I catching on?

    Edit: As an aside, I apologize OP for this going in the debate direction you were trying to avoid. For more anecdotal evidence, my GF loves just about anything made by Valve and the Zelda series. My 7 year old half sister, however, is a fan of those Imagine series/Bratz games that filled those displays you despised. She recieves plenty from parents, but also asks for them after copious hours of commercials when watching children television.

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  • SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Ford Nation's Finest Crack DenRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    I still don't understand your point, at all. Are you against the supposition that cultural/social factors might influence a person's taste? If you're just saying we can't talk about race or sex or the dynamics of those stratifications then that's pretty puzzling to me. Race/sex isn't the sole determining factor in what games a person plays, but I find it interesting how companies attempt to market to those specific groups if nothing else. And drawing attention to those patterns and tendencies in marketing and buying is a pretty legitimate goal, imo. This is different than saying all women play Cooking Mama or My Pretty Pony or something, we're not trying to reaffirm stereotypes, just identify them and see if they actually hold true.

    I'm not denying that no, yes our current culture enforces gendered roles upon its constituents. It would be almost impossible to deny that. However, difference within gender is drastically greater then between. I’ve outlined (what I see as) the problem with the current marketing. But I disagree with the idea that this thread is going to do anything but reaffirm stereotypes. I have seen literally dozens of threads on what G&T thinks women want, here’s a spoiler every single one has been ‘Sims/Nintendo/nauseatingly ‘kawii’ games’. Anecdotal evidence is simply too biased to be of any meaningful use. If you’re actually interested there are a wealth of studies out there on what women play.

    All of which is setting aside a ton of unwritten assumptions. For example the language used in the first post. Not ‘what do on aggregate female gamers tend to play’. Rather ‘what do female gamers play’ which serves to exclude everyone who doesn’t fall into this limited criterion. It's a nuanced difference, but an important one.

    Yes, and I agree with you, but you're not reading my posts or really most of the posts in the thread. I have an extensive women's studies background and am well aware of everything you're saying. The specific questions I asked are trying to get at information I can't obtain from the current studies, but can only find out by asking people who know people. That's why I asked for information on what women and girls that people know are specifically playing, not what people think women and girls might like.

    I expected the wide array of games that have been brought up (not just The Sims or Nintendo but plenty of RPGs and Silent Hill and racing games and etc. etc. etc.). That's awesome and backs up what I already know and what most reasonable researchers have concluded (that women and girls enjoy a broad range of games, and that making quality games that aren't aggressively gendered will take a company far; see: Nintendo). However, I was also hoping to also find somebody, somewhere who knows a woman or girl who has played or been given some of the games that are sitting in EB's "Girl Gamer" section.

    So again, sir or madam, you're preaching to the choir. Now, do you know any women who have played Ubisoft's Imagine series? What did they think about it? :D

    Want to find me on a gaming service? I'm SwashbucklerXX everywhere.
    3DS Friend Code: 3823-8693-5976
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  • Raoulduke20Raoulduke20 Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Leitner wrote: »
    I still don't understand your point, at all. Are you against the supposition that cultural/social factors might influence a person's taste? If you're just saying we can't talk about race or sex or the dynamics of those stratifications then that's pretty puzzling to me. Race/sex isn't the sole determining factor in what games a person plays, but I find it interesting how companies attempt to market to those specific groups if nothing else. And drawing attention to those patterns and tendencies in marketing and buying is a pretty legitimate goal, imo. This is different than saying all women play Cooking Mama or My Pretty Pony or something, we're not trying to reaffirm stereotypes, just identify them and see if they actually hold true.

    I'm not denying that no, yes our current culture enforces gendered roles upon its constituents. It would be almost impossible to deny that. However, difference within gender is drastically greater then between. I’ve outlined (what I see as) the problem with the current marketing. But I disagree with the idea that this thread is going to do anything but reaffirm stereotypes. I have seen literally dozens of threads on what G&T thinks women want, here’s a spoiler every single one has been ‘Sims/Nintendo/nauseatingly ‘kawii’ games’. Anecdotal evidence is simply too biased to be of any meaningful use. If you’re actually interested there are a wealth of studies out there on what women play.

    All of which is setting aside a ton of unwritten assumptions. For example the language used in the first post. Not ‘what do on aggregate female gamers tend to play’. Rather ‘what do female gamers play’ which serves to exclude everyone who doesn’t fall into this limited criterion. It's a nuanced difference, but an important one.

    I see what you're saying now and you do have a good point. It's tricky to keep your language as controlled as a topic like this necessitates so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. As for this thread going somewhere useful, I think that depends on how we approach it and what type posts we make. I don't feel like hunting down the stats, but if someone would link to sales figures or studies on female gaming habits then I would read it for sure. I agree that anecdotal evidence alone will likely just keep bringing up the same games but hopefully I don't think it's impossible that we could have some interesting conversations still. Even this semantic discussion is kind of interesting to me.

    I believe my cousin's daughter has a few of the imagine games but I've never seen her play any of them, just her mario kart. I can ask my cousin what her opinion of them is, though, and whether she wanted them or was gifted them. The fact that middle school is such a normalizing time, as someone else pointed out, is probably a large part of why those young girl games seem to all be from the same cloth.

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Fair enough.

    Well I would put good money that your assumptions are correct in that the highly stereotypical games are far more likely to be bought by relatives, or on their own. Whereas if they have relatives who play they're more likely to make atypical choices. My little sister for example pretty much plays what me (or my little bro) were playing, so 'masculine' things with guns and/or space marines.

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