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The PA Report - Gendered marketing, and the myth of disinterested female gamers



  • EtAxeEtAxe Registered User regular
    Tracey. If you think they are absolutely right about their idea, will you be rushing out to making a bajillion dollars by advertising games to all the many tens of millions of women that the naughty bad Games Companies are denying the chance to play?.

    Cause, you know, it is one of two things. Either the companies are wrong, and just as many women/girls WANT to play as men, and so there is a massive "in" for someone to make a ABSOLUTE fortune promoting games for women . . . or actually most girls can't see why they would want to waste their time playing games in effect, and AS A BUSINESS DECISION, it would be a mistake to "target" women as customers.

    Please show us how convinced you are that it is the former, by investing only a hundredth as much money as the gaming companies do, and making a profit. I will take off my hat and congratulate you.

  • Fixer40000Fixer40000 Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    The most recent scientific studies show that both biology and social influences have an impact on gender.

    Men and women's brains are wired differently. Women in general are better at multitasking, language skills, empathy. Men in general are better at spacial awareness, logical skills, specialising in a single task.

    Simon Baron Cohen ran passive experiments on newly borns that linked Testosterone exposure to the fetus in the womb to correlate to how the brain developed in regards to empathy or mechanical skills.–systemizing_theory
    This was not related to the sex of the subject, a girl exposed to testosterone would develop a "male brain"

    Experiments have been run giving toys to primates. Males would play with mechanical toys, females would play with dolls.

    Or you have the case of David Reimer, a twin boy who was raised as a girl but never identified as one.

    If you're ruling out biology being a contributing cause to gender identity you are ignoring a massive amount of scientific evidence that says otherwise.

    So I would say your intolerance of even considering the effects of biology would be a political one, not a rational one.

    Fixer40000 on
    Have left PA forums.
    If this community believes that hating someone based soley upon their gender is acceptable and understandable, I have no interest in being a part of it.
  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    @Mrthewhite, and I'm saying "so what?" What's the harm with products being marketed towards boys or girls? You say that as if there is some implicit negative connotation to that. Companies market towards the audience where they think they'll get the largest uptake per ad dollar spent. They do some testing or research, figure out which market is receptive to their products, and then throw money at it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It doesn't become a problem UNTIL kids are physically prevented from buying or playing with certain toys. Very very few ads even DISCOURAGE boys or girls from playing with certain toys, they just don't specifically highlight that either gender can play with them and leave it up to the audience to decide. They could show little girls in Transformers ads, or boys in Barbie ads, but those audiences are less likely to buy the products, so the customers they might gain by doing so would not be worth the money spent.

    @Jackdawgin, Why not? Why not have Barbie Horse and Neopets? Girls seem to like them, at least well enough that they make sequels, so what reason is there not to make them? You make products for the audiences that are available. If there is an audience for Barbie Horse, then are you saying they just shouldn't make them? "Sorry little girl, I know you like to play with the horsies, but horsies are too girly, you're setting back The Cause. You need to play with something respectably gender neutral, like Tetris." That's where I think the political correctness goes to far, when we're talking about restricting people's options, not broadening them.

    I don't think they should necessarily set out to make "games for girls" in those terms, but they should definitely set out to make "games that have very pink color schemes and involve ponies and rainbows and pretty bows," if there is a market for that, and if that market happens to be 90% little girls? That's fine, they deserve games too. If those same girls also want to buy Pokemon, and Mario 3D, and Call of Duty? So much the better, but it's not the industry's job to determine which games someone is allowed to play, only to make the products available.

    @Mousclicker, Legos are marketed at everyone. That's a canard that's brought up far too often. I have a little niece who plays with those pink girly legos, and also plays with the regular kind. If the pink girly ones can convince more girls to try out Legos, while the space shooter Legos convince more boys to play with Legos, then so much the better for everyone. Lego is happy to make Legos for anyone who wants to buy them. What do you presume they would benefit from deliberately ignoring half their audience, as you imagine they do? I really don't get this idea that toy companies are so devoted to their agenda of maintaining the oppressive patriarchy by conditioning our children, that they deliberately sacrifice millions of dollars by summarily abandoning potentially lucrative markets. I mean, that's "lizard people" talk.

  • mouseclickermouseclicker Registered User new member
    @Fixer4000: There is a greater difference in individual brain wiring than there is between male and female. Studies showing men are better are things like spacial awareness and woman better at multitasking ignore the way that children are raised and overplay the biological differences. Yes, there are biological differences, but attributing all differences or even most differences to biology is inaccurate and just straight up lazy, just as it was when we attributed to differences between races to biology. It's pop psychology, like claiming we're left brained or right brained. More insidiously, it's a method of maintaining the male power structure that benefits a disproportionate segment of society.

    That's all I'm going to say on the subject. I really believe women's/gender studies courses should required throughout schooling because it's very exhausting trying to convince people gender is a social construct that has no attributes we don't assign to it.

    @OHONI: Your comments about Lego marketing make it clear you didn't read the Polygon article.

  • BenevolentCowBenevolentCow Registered User regular
    @mouseclicker 90% of societies across the world have the same gender split. Males are aggressive and women look after the babies. Saying it is societal is misleading when every other society (some with 10 000 years of separation) evolved along the same lines. Even looking at our primate relatives the gender split is the same.

    Yes it is a bell curve which means that some males fall within female norms and vice versa, but the women's/gender studies are the psuedosciences in this case. Because we now live in a technical society that both (or all) genders can prosper equally doesn't mean that you can just hand wave away historical evidence that gender differentiation exists.

  • MachinesMachines Registered User regular
    You're contradicting yourself in that post. You can't just acknowledge biological differences then claim that gender has no innate attributes. It's one or the other.

  • GunganGungan Registered User regular

    "...gave birth to twin boys - Bruce and Brian. Six months later a bungled circumcision left Bruce without a penis."


    How very unfortunate...

  • tetracycloidetetracycloide Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    @machines That makes no sense. His entire point is that gender is a social construct which is completely separate from the biological differences between the sexes and that most people lazily conflate the two. Not only can you do both and not contradict he was doing exactly that.

    tetracycloide on
  • luketheobscureluketheobscure Registered User new member
    This just made me realize that I do this to my own kids. When my son was barely 5 I was shoving an XBox controller in his hands and playing through Lego Star Wars.

    My daughter is 6 now, and she's allowed to play Mario with us (sometimes) and I get her a Disney Princess game every once in awhile.

    The fact is, I'm sure she would LOVE to play Lego Star Wars with me. I was just too much of an idiot to realize it.

    I've got enough awareness that I encourage her to be whatever she wants to be–Doctor, Astronaut, Great Military Commander or whatever– but apparently not enough to let her be a gamer if she wants to.


  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    @mousclicker, I read the Polygon article in full, I just completely disagree that what the author considers "a problem" actually IS a problem. If a company chooses to market to one gender over another, it's because their studies have shown that one gender is significantly more likely to buy their product than another, and therefore money spent courting the other gender would be a waste of resources. That doesn't mean that they are alienating that other gender, they are welcome to play if they want to, but it does mean that they've chosen to make a pragmatic, reality-driven decision on how to spend their limited marketing budget, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    Their quite reasonable goal is to make as much money back as possible for every ad dollar spent, NOT to ensure than an absolutely equal number of males and females are playing their product, regardless of the relative number of males and females actually WANT to play their product.

  • xaoxao Registered User regular

    And why do you think that one gender is more likely to buy a specific product than the other? Is there a y-linked trait for Transformers?

  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    @Xao, it doesn't really matter why. That's for cognitive development specialists to get into, if they care to do so, it's no business of you, me, the toy store, or the toy maker. It's no great victory for society if an equal number of boys and girls each pay with GI Joes and Barbies. If more boys want to play with GI Joes and more girls want to play with Barbies then that's fine, that's their choice to make and let them make it. It's only ever a problem when a girl WANTS to play with a GI Joe or a boy wants to play with a Barbie and they are prevented from doing so, but that almost never happens these days, and NEVER at the direction of the people making or selling the products. If kids don't WANT to play with a certain toy, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  • luketheobscureluketheobscure Registered User new member
    @Ohoni, I'm not going to wade into the rest of the discussion, but I do want to point out one assumption you make that's incorrect:

    "If a company chooses to market to one gender over another, it's because their studies have shown that one gender is significantly more likely to buy their product than another"

    This is not necessarily the case. I used to work in marketing, and many times studies are conducted in such a way to affirm a creative directors already made opinions. Other times, studies are ignored entirely if it interferes with a creative director or marketing managers vision of what the product or campaign should be. Lastly, if there's already a bias that a certain product won't appeal to a specific group, no one will waste money studying to see if their bias is correct.

    That's all. :D

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    @LUKETHEOBSCURE Your anecdotal evidence is both useless, and I would think mostly generally wrong.
    Your story gives us the impression that companies aren't made to make as much money as possible with the least risk, and aren't actively pursuing that.
    Though I will agree that no one will care if the study results were fudged or not if the company's games are still making them money.

    I will say that I don't understand all the talk of this big "problem" in the industry where women aren't treated well enough by publishers, aren't targeted enough by games, or somehow excluded from gaming culture.
    If there aren't companies making games for women, then women need to go out there and form their own companies to make those games. People complaining that it isn't happening aren't accomplishing anything.
    Furthermore, the idea that publishers should just "start making games for women too" is idiotic.
    We've already seen how the industry has slowly tried to broaden their focus more and more with each new wave of games made. If we haven't already hit the point where the "target audience" is so wide that no one enjoys the game, we're certainly close.
    Games need to become MORE focused on their demographics, and we just need more games made for different demographics. Don't try to market CoD to 12 year old girls, don't try and market Starcraft to 10 year old kids, and don't try to market puzzle games to 20 year old guys. Homogenization of the industry will kill everything good about video games.

    hextopia on
  • luketheobscureluketheobscure Registered User new member
    edited December 2013

    I offer @Hextopias response as a great example of how bias affects how we perceive new information. When given evidence that conflicted with their already set views, hextopia was quick to dismiss it as anecdotal, despite not having any direct evidence to the contrary.

    Thank you @Hextopia for illustrating my point perfectly, and don't worry, we all do it, all the time!

    luketheobscure on
  • CosmicMuffetCosmicMuffet Registered User regular
    @Hextopia Yeah! Don't market women to 20 year old guys. 20 year old guys are too busy liking guy stuff to like something girly like a woman. It's like... pssh. You like chicks? What are you? Gay?

    The problem with society is all the faggy guys who like chicks.

    Almost every comment is the dumbest comment I've seen. Until the next one.

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    @LUKETHEOBSCURE Are you stupid? Your "Evidence" is the definition of anecdotal. Let me google it for you in case that's too hard:
    Anecdotal evidence is an informal account of evidence in the form of an anecdote. The term is often used in contrast to scientific evidence, as evidence that cannot be investigated using the scientific method. The problem with arguing based on anecdotal evidence is that anecdotal evidence is not necessarily typical; only statistical evidence can determine how typical something is. Misuse of anecdotal evidence is an informal fallacy.

    Your story has no verifiable or reproducible evidence, it IS anecdotal. You've given no evidence as to anything. I'll even go a step further and give you "evidence" as to why video game companies are interested in money and nothing else:

    See that? It's a game publisher's stock price. This mean's it's a publicly traded company, and as such is accountable to share holders to make them money. Granted, all companies aren't publicly traded, but most large companies in this industry are. If that's not enough, here's the definition of the term company for you too:

    A company is an association or collection of individuals, people or "warm-bodies" or else contrived "legal persons" (or a mixture of both). Company members share a common purpose and unite in order to focus their various talents and organize their collectively available skills or resources to achieve specific, declared goals.

    In the case of these video game companies, they're organized to make and sell games, for the purpose of making money, in case that isn't clear. They have no expressed agenda concerning society's issues, or the politics surrounding gender roles.

    As for @COSMICMUFFET, I like how you've taken to insulting me and skewing my words to make my point of view seem less credible. Marketing SHOULD be focused, games SHOULD be focused. The idea that everything should be homogenized because we don't want to exclude someone is just going to hurt the quality of games produced.
    Some of the best games made every year are those marketed and designed for niche audiences. Look at Dwarf Fortress, Crusader Kings, ARMA, DCS, etc. All these games are made and marketed(if even marketed) with a very specific audience in mind, and they do what they aim to do very well because of that.

    The idea that making all games "pleasing to everyone" is just moronic. It's the same as asking for your food to be a flavorless, odorless, lukewarm pudding. It certainly won't offend anyone's tastes, but who wants to eat it? We like our spicy foods spicy, and our cheesy foods cheesy. There's nothing wrong with having more types of games, but don't try and force all games to be made for everyone. We don't want tapioca pudding.

    hextopia on
  • iamnamelessiamnameless Registered User regular
    @LUKETHEOBSCURE: Sorry to tell you this, but evidence that starts with "I used to work for this one company..." is anecdotal BY DEFINITION. It doesn't mean that your story didn't happen, it just means that your story is just ONE story that doesn't really prove anything.

  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    @luketheobscure, maybe that's so, but if so that'd be malpractice on the part of the marketing team's part, because their goal is to move units, and if they stand as equal chance of moving units for boys as for girls then they should certainly target both. It just seems to me that with all the money going into these things, situations like that are the exception, not the norm. For it to be anything otherwise would make a monkey house of the whole industry. Often "cross typical" marketing has been attempted, like targeting dolls for boys, or action figures for girls, but these rarely take hold.


    I offer @luketheobscure's response to @hextopia as a perfect example of how to alienate your audience, and lose any possibility of convincing them you have anything worthwhile to say. If any of you ever has the goal of convincing someone that you might possibly be right, this would be a textbook example of how to fail at that completely.

    Thank you @luketheobscure, for illustrating that technique perfectly, and don't worry, plenty of people do it, I could be doing it right now!

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Yes, LuketheObscure is offering anecdotal evidence, but so are you. Unless you have a case study somewhere that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that companies don't make poor choices, chase money that doesn't exist, and poorly invest time and resources?

    Your position seems to be that companies are too smart and agile to be biased and make bad decisions, yet the sheer number of video game enterprises that do fail or that have a short-life seem to directly contradict your position.

    Ultimately, what actually matters here is not how you or joe somebody thinks the video game industry *ought* to be run. What matters is that women are talking about how they don't like a lot of marketing, and men are ignoring them--as they've done for a long time.

    Instead of just saying, "Oh hey everything is ok, who cares what those women think", I'd really hope some of the boy-men commenting here could actually hear the message. A recent study in Britain showed that "sex sells" isn't true for women;

    It's time to grow up and acknowledge that half the world doesn't see the world the way you do; that women do have opinions, thoughts, and views that contradict your own, and that they aren't necessarily wrong.

    I was going to say the other day, reading these comments, if I were Ben--I'd quit. I'd never write again. The narrow-minded male-centric point of view that is figuratively screamed on some of these comments sections is depressing and so incredibly old-boy I can't believe it exists. How many women are there commenting on these stories?

    Before you give me "anecdotal evidence" about the demographics, just go look at the polygon comments--or the PA forum--it is full of women! Women aren't synonymous with the Wompus--they exist, they play video games, and hopefully they are sick of this nonsense, which is why they are posting elsewhere.

    The actual comments here are a cesspool; I can't imagine many women would want to be here.

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    @STREEVER, If you'd taken the time to read both my posts, you'll see the following:

    I never gave any anecdotal evidence. I gave facts, and then extrapolated a bit on those facts. I even gave you the definition of anecdotal evidence. So you've either not read my comments thoroughly, or you don't know what an anecdote is.

    I never stated that all companies everywhere always make good choices, don't chase money that doesn't exist, or poorly invest time and resources. I stated that companies are designed and formed for the purpose of making money, and to think an ENTIRE INDUSTRY is willfully ignoring the ability to make more money out of some male dominated ego-trip that women can't play too is just idiotic. We're talking about the entire industry here, not on a company to company basis. Do companies make mistakes? Yes. Do they sometimes overlook potential revenue? Yes. As I stated previously, I'm certain there is a population of women out there who would enjoy games made to their tastes, and I'm not trying to stop those games from being made. What I don't want is games that fit MY tastes homogenized to fit EVERYONE's tastes. Does that make sense?

    No one has said we don't care what women think, that's what YOU have said. Take your oppressive patriarchy agenda and shove it. I'm tired of hearing about how everything bad happening in the industry is because of patriarchy this, and insensitive men that. As I said earlier, if you think this giant demographic of women is not only being ignored, but not exploited for monetary gains right now, take the initiative and capitalize on it.

    As for your comments about demographic anecdotal evidence, I'll take the moment to say your example is anecdotal, and common on the internet. People with like backgrounds, thought processes, and interests gather together. I could tell you about how there is a large population of transgender gamers who want games to be made and marketed to their tastes, and give you sites where they post, but all it proves is that some portion of the market is that, not that a large or significant portion is.
    Now, you could have just pointed to the ESA's study on gender demographics to show that a large number of women play games, which is an easy one to find.

    My personal opinion is that most women aren't interested in playing the same kind of games or playing those games the same way as I am. I don't think that it's some sort of problem, I think we just need different products marketed different ways to us. Just like the given example in that story of shampoos and deodorants.
    Men don't want a deodorant that smells like flowers, women don't want a shampoo that smells musky.
    They do however, both want to be clean.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    I read your comments completely, start to finish. I always read everything I respond to, and typically review the definition of several words in the dictionary. I'm not being facetious; I did that for you.

    You are incorrect, however; you have no actual marketing study or scientific data establishing the (many) opinions you're pushing as facts. Your entire argument rests on your gut intuition about what women want, how sick you are of hearing about male privilege, and the asinine assertion that companies only make good decisions based on good evidence.

    What you are doing is pretty typical internet bullying. You have no actual data to support your incredibly biased and ignorant point of view, so you are concocting elaborate logical routines to shut up any one who points out the inconvenient lack of data in your posting.

    If you want to continue shouting your ignorance to the crowd (yes, please keep proving that you don't understand what sexism is by incorrectly defining it) you are free to do so, for as long as this medium persists.

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    @STREEVER, I haven't pushed any opinion as fact, I've actually been fairly careful to seperate my opinions from the facts I've presented, as I just said in my last post: ("I gave facts, and then extrapolated a bit on those facts.", with the extrapolation being my opinion.)

    I don't understand your assertion that my argument is based on "my gut intution about what women want" seeing as what I've said is I don't want games I like changed to fit everyone's tastes. I want new games made for those other demographics so we can each have what we like. I haven't tried to intuit what anyone else wants. You're putting words in my mouth.

    I haven't made an assertion that companies ONLY make good decisions based on good evidence. I'll even point that out for you again from my previous post:

    "I never stated that all companies everywhere always make good choices, don't chase money that doesn't exist, or poorly invest time and resources. I stated that companies are designed and formed for the purpose of making money, and to think an ENTIRE INDUSTRY is willfully ignoring the ability to make more money out of some male dominated ego-trip that women can't play too is just idiotic... Do companies make mistakes? Yes. Do they sometimes overlook potential revenue? Yes."

    I actually said exactly the opposite of that. I am however sick of hearing about "male privilege", but my argument isn't hinged on that. It's just my opinion on what gaming media has been reporting on lately.

    You can give whatever negative label or name you want to what I'm doing, they mean nothing to me, but are bad form in any debate or argument. My "incredibly biased and ignorant" point of view is that we need more games for more individual demographics, not one game for everyone. I would like to hear you explain yourself for that comment, as it looks like baseless name calling to me. Calling breaking apart your arguments piece by piece and examining them logically an "elaborate logical routine to shut up any one..." is a nice way of saying they don't have any logic backing up their point to begin with. My opinion on the industry not completely overlooking women currently is only backed by the facts of what companies do and how they operate.

    I base my opinion on the matter on the idea that one of two scenarios must exist:
    A) Women are a huge demographic that hasn't been tapped yet, and the first company to market will make a killing
    B) Women are a demographic which is already being exploited, but there still exists a small, vocal demographic of women who feel they aren't being marketed to.
    Scenario B is much more likely than scenario A, and I say again; if you believe there is a large market out there yearning for these products, be the first to make them. Take the risk and gamble on it, because it seems like companies aren't meeting their needs.

    And lastly, I haven't even talked about sexism or defined it. I'll say it again. You are attempting to push an agenda I haven't even talked about here, stay on target. Stop putting words in my mouth, stop attempting to slander me, and post something with either a logical conclusion, data, or some show of your opinion and its reasoning.

  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    I read your comments completely, start to finish. I always read everything I respond to, and typically review the definition of several words in the dictionary. I'm not being facetious; I did that for you.

    You are incorrect, however; you have no actual marketing study or scientific data establishing the (many) opinions you're pushing as facts. Your entire argument rests on your gut intuition about what marketers intend, how sick you are of hearing about reasonably established gender distinctions, and the asinine assertion that companies only make good decisions based on social activism.

    What you are doing is pretty typical internet bullying. You have no actual data to support your incredibly biased and ignorant point of view, so you are concocting elaborate logical routines to shut up any one who points out the inconvenient lack of data in your posting.

    If you want to continue shouting your ignorance to the crowd (yes, please keep proving that you don't understand what sexism is by incorrectly defining it) you are free to do so, for as long as this medium persists.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    I'm not slandering you; you're defining yourself quite well.

    Seriously, why don't you ask a few women you know to review our correspondence here? Ask them if there isn't anything that offends them in what you are writing, and in your insistence that a few women who wrote an article should stop complaining.

    Being tired of hearing about your privilege is ultimately something you can control. Don't read the article if you don't like it.

    Sure, you can demand that people who DON'T have privilege stop talking about privilege, but don't cry slander when someone calls you on that bull. No one cares that you have a hard time with women talking about the lack of privilege and respect they have compared to men, except perhaps your local misandrists.

    If you are genuinely confused, I'm happy to expand, and explain what sexism is. You've described sexism in your posts but failed to recognize that it is sexism. That makes it clear that you don't actually know what you're talking about; you further compound the issue by using a battery of logical fallacies to "prove" opinions and biases you hold.

    Sexism is a SYSTEM that defines norms for genders. It isn't one guy thinking girls are wusses--that is a symptom of the SYSTEMIC sexism that defines norms. Marketing is both a symptom and a cause of systemic sexism--it is part of the cycle.

    In the face of women who are asking for better marketing, you claim that their request is irrelevant. They aren't asking for your game to be changed--that is a straw man you invented. It isn't present in the article. The complaint is purely that the marketing doesn't ever show women.

    A lot of women play video games--including shooters--they aren't mythological. Some of those women are speaking out, and saying, hey--market to us too.

    Your insistence that women only will want to play Candy Crush Saga is, indeed, sexism. It isn't founded on a single fact or shred of data. It is just what you *think*. You further conflate the fallacy you are pushing by presenting a false argument; you posited that either companies are doing smart marketing in niches or they are evil and anti-woman. That is a typical false-choice fallacy, and one you can only posit because you don't understand what systemic sexism is. (Also I imagine because you are completely ignorant as the sheer number of video game developers that have failed despite having launched successful titles.)

    There really isn't a response that would be valid from you. As I said, you don't understand what sexism is; ideally, you'd go read about it and do some independent research from a position besides the default "pro male" view point you hold.

    You are part of the problem. You are part of why 1 in 5 women will be targeted with rape. You are part of why women will be paid less for the same work this year. You are part of why a woman will be beaten by her husband this year.

    So am I. You can either grow up and realize that you're part of the problem, or you can maintain your infantile whine that women stop speaking up.

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    I almost thought you were a rational human being until you let loose the floodgates with that last paragraph.
    Your neo-feminist rhetoric and misandrist viewpoint are clear for any rational person to see.
    It may come as some sort of shock to you, but I'm not a middle class white male who grew up with any sort of privileges. I grew up with a single mother who was barely able to provide for my sister and I. The only reason I made anything of myself after leaving home at 17 was that I about killed myself when I OD'd on heroin, and joined the Air Force to try and make something of myself. I'm now married with a child on the way, and video games have been the only thing throughout my life that brought me happiness during the low points. That's why I defend what I like so passionately, and I'm sorry if it offends you.

    To hear privileged middle class white women complain about how they're being discriminated against because a marketer isn't targeting them, or how tough it is to be a woman is infuriating. THAT is privilege. When you're starving to death, or being stoned to death for being raped, or having your face burned off with acid for looking at a man that isn't your husband, or watching your rapist walk free because of a loophole in the law when the evidence was clear, THAT is sexism. THAT is a problem.
    Whining about what inconveniences you, or how everything doesn't revolve around you and should, and how everything is someone else's fault is PRIVILEGE. Most of these internet feminist warriors have never experienced what real hardship feels like, and won't go out of their way to do something to help those who really need it either.

    As for your misandrist comments about myself, I have a wife, sister, and many female friends who all play games, and they all agree with me that people like YOU make them ashamed to be female gamers. They don't want any special new marketing targeting them, they don't want special treatment, they're perfectly happy playing the games they like, and have no feeling of being discriminated against, but that's anecdotal evidence and isn't worth anything.

    I haven't touched on sexism in my posts, you've tried to put it there, because you're seeing sexism in everything that isn't what you agree with. I'm not going to argue with you over what is and isn't sexism, because you've quite clearly already got a wide, convenient definition you're sticking to.

    No one has said women who play shooters are a myth. You said that, again putting words in someone else's mouth. You can't make a valid argument without twisting words to make them.

    In fact, every post you've written is filled with baseless accusations and cramming entire paragraphs down my mouth. I haven't written or even implied half the things you write. Furthermore, the idea that women only want to play candy crush (What's wrong with candy crush by the way? Outside it having being good at stealing money from you, it's a fine little time waster) is some completely absurd stereotypical argument that only you've been pushing.

    And that last paragraph. Wow. First: 1 in 5 women being "targeted?" with rape has nothing to do with the video game industry. Women are paid more per hour worked in most jobs, that myth was debunked long ago. And domestic violence is far from a male on female crime. In fact, it's actually about 50/50, with more female on male domestic violence going unreported than male on female.

    No one's telling women not to speak up about REAL issues. I just don't want to hear complaining about how everyone else should fix YOUR problem for you. If you think you're not being marketed to, but still enjoy the same games, then shut up and enjoy the games. There is no problem. If you're not being marketed to and don't enjoy the games, shut up and make the games or fund those who will. If you're being marketed to, but don't enjoy the games, ignore the marketing, and make the games or fund those who will.

  • ScumeScume Registered User regular
    Streever's posts are just embarrassing, when you remove the strawmen arguments and the ad hominum and the gish gallop there's almost nothing left except a baseless insistence that you are wrong. They're basically a walking manifestation of the worst way to try to argue on the internet.

    To quote Nietzsche:
    "Some people throw a bit of their personality after their bad arguments, as if that might straighten their paths and turn them into right and good arguments - just as a man in a bowling alley, after he has let go of the ball, still tries to direct it with gestures. "

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    The social sciences generally actually are comfortable saying "variation within significantly exceeds variation between the sexes". This men are from venus women are from mars bullshit mostly comes from pop-psych hustlers who want to reaffirm the things you already believe for $20 hardcover.

    The idea that there is secret non-PC information about the real state of women and men that the damned feminists don't want you to know is conspiracy theorizing, not argumentation. That one case study you remember hearing about somewhere about how women can multitask and see more colors turned out to not reach significance in a controlled lab.

    I mean christ, let's try to keep the level of the room above "misandrist". Pretty sure Kotaku commenters don't even pull that shit.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • xaoxao Registered User regular

    So you don't have a basis for your beliefs? You don't know why you believe something? That doesn't seem like a good basis for getting someone else to put stock in what you have to say.

    It's actually a pretty important question too. Since you don't know why there might be a gender discrepancy in toy consumption, let's posit that it's due to social pressure, including marketing. Can you understand why it might be disturbing to consider the possibility that children's lifestyles are being molded by marketing pressure? Why it's not a good thing for females to be discouraged from participating in elements of society?

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    @XAO, I'm with you up until you say that anyone is being discouraged from participating. Not being encouraged is not the same as being discouraged. Now, maybe at the family level young girls are being discouraged from playing video games, and that would be I guess a bad thing? but that's neither my business nor my concern what other parents decide to teach their children.

  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    @Xao, I really don't think it does matter. If a girl buys a barbie rather than a GI Joe, the world keeps on spinning. So long as she make the choice that makes her happy, I don't think it's your job or mine to tell her she chose wrong. It's quite possible that marketing shapes which toys people prefer, but their goal is to tell the message that gets them the most sales, not to tell the message that best molds society to fit someone's ideal vision. Let marketers market, buy the products that appeal to you, don't buy the products that don't. Let cash sort them out.

  • RogerGLednemRogerGLednem Registered User regular

    Let the invisible hand of the free market decide everything? Unless you are a full-blown libertarian, you must admit that there are limits to what the invisible hand can do.

    I think most people who see a problem are concerned about the status quo, not blaming marketers for marketing decisions. You might not see a problem in little Maida feeling like she is being forced to by princesses instead of superheroes (not realizing that she could just walk into the superhero aisle - societal pressure is pretty strong), but I do. I think there are a myriad of harms in perpetuating gender normativity, but most boil down to stigmatizing people who don't fit the mold.

    I don't think the solution to the 'problem' is mixing toy store aisles together, nor do I think the government should regulate marketers. But I'm willing to discuss possible approaches to make society more accepting of outsiders. Video games have the same 'problem' as toys. Whether or not marketers are right about the metrics or creating a biased feedback loop, most games are made for and marketed to white males. Girls who might really enjoy playing a female soldier in Operation Desert Storm either don't have the opportunity, or are pushed away by today's gendered stigma.

  • hextopiahextopia Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    First, no one wants to be a female soldier in Desert Storm, (Unless you really like being hit on constantly and spending 12 hours out of your day basking in the Kuwaiti heat doing nothing).
    Moving on; I don't really see the problem with most games being made for and marketed to white males, when most of the people making those games are white males. That in fact, seems like what one would expect to happen. This isn't the post-civil war south where you have rights dependent on your skin tone. No one is being prevented from doing what they like. Like I've said before, there is nothing wrong with more diversity in the market, both in types of games, and target demographics those games are aimed at, but to insist that current developers make their games differently is an entirely different thing. Those developers aren't standing at the counter in Wal-mart grabbing copies of the latest console FPS out of some college girl's hands, and they're not chasing down parents who walk out with Xboxes for their little girls. Societal pressure will always be there to do or be certain things, and this has nothing to do with anyone in the gaming industry's responsibilities to humanity.

    If anything, this would be a perfect time to start a campaign to inform girls and women that video games are something they should play more often? not be afraid to play or be seen playing? Maybe start a marketing campaign to change how the public perceives playing video games? I guess the problem there is it doesn't have a convenient enemy to point fingers at and blame. Personal responsibility isn't a valued quality these days.

    I also wanted to add that society stigmatizing outsiders is something that's been happening in every culture and group since the dawn of human civilization, and is also seen in the animal kingdom. We stigmatize those that don't fit in, and I don't think that will ever change. Those that don't fit in either find a new society to become a part of, or conform to the existing society.
    I don't think ultimate acceptance by everyone of everything is either desirable or attainable.

    hextopia on
  • xanthianxanthian Registered User regular
    This reminds me of an article by TheMarySue.

    For the TLDR Crowd: 'Devs, don't treat women any differently. But here's a laundry list of things you have to change because we want you to treat women differently.'

    When games like Bayonetta will actually sell more copies to women, or more copies total, despite the fact they're in a 'male' genre, then maybe fiddling with shit like gender balance or empowerment in game will actually be a sales-positive move. Until that point, it's a crusade of political correctness and no business decision should be placed on it in the slightest.

    So far, as near as I can determine, the gender of the protagonist *is* market-neutral (yay for configurable genders and/or sole/selectable heroines), but having a woman anywhere near the main lens will draw the ire and gaze of any feminist, gender-aware journalist, and yes, even the ESRB (or are we forgetting the reviews about Tomb Raider and Lara's Hair). It just seems like a really bad idea, precisely because of the behaviour of the people who claim they're 'furthering representation'.

    Furthermore, putting on the 'equality' goggles for a second -- If I, as a Joe Average male gamer, can play Terraria and FTL 'despite' outdated graphics, or roll a female toon in Wow because of (voice acting, character model, armor graphics, whatever), it's pretty hard to read articles discussing how destructive in-game body image and character gender can be to an impressionable mind or how important character graphic customisation is to a female demographic, and *not* make assumptions about female gamers being highly sensitive about trivial shit and disinterested in core gameplay mechanics.

    The implications from that point on should be quite blatantly obvious.

    And if you think I'm making this shit up:

  • xaoxao Registered User regular

    That's a pretty shallow dismissal. After all, if we systematically repress all left-handed people and deny them basic human rights, the world keeps on spinning. That's not a valid reason to accept discrimination. I agree that, safety concerns aside, it's not our job to tell any child that they've chosen an incorrect toy. My point is that it's not ANYONE's job to tell a child what's a correct or incorrect toy for their gender, including marketers.

    As far as optimizing sales, gender biased marketing will only obtain a local maximum within the social circumstances that encourage such marketing. If you want to lay out a case otherwise, I'm happy to listen but you'll need some compelling explanation for why males are intrinsically more likely to play with a Transformer doll over a Ken doll.

  • Fixer40000Fixer40000 Registered User regular
    Guess this story will be hanging here a little while longer until PAR closes up, so I'll give a few parting shots with some thoughts I had in the meantime.

    The part about Myst's playerbase having and "overwhelmingly female player base". From the article.

    The unspoken premise of the article is essentially that M/F demographic video games should be a 50/50 split if not for marketing the game for the male demographic. So how did male Myst gamers become a minority when the platform was male dominated, and there wasn't any "female focused marketing" for Myst?

    Why is it that a higher number of male gamers playing action games/shooters/sports/racing a social issue we need to correct and a higher number of female gamers playing puzzle/social/RPG games not a problem?

    Have left PA forums.
    If this community believes that hating someone based soley upon their gender is acceptable and understandable, I have no interest in being a part of it.
  • RogerGLednemRogerGLednem Registered User regular

    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Offering ways to reduce stigma, like an outreach campaign for girls. That's a possible solution to the problem as I see it. I know that women didn't see active combat during Desert Storm, but I was thinking more along the lines of a female soldier caught up in a surprise attack where there wasn't supposed to be, heroically leading a few men and women on a successful operation that had to be covered up by the military afterwards (to explain why we hadn't heard about it). That would be kick-ass.

    Anyway, as I was saying, I'm not trying to blame marketers, and most of the people here aren't trying to blame marketers. They recognize that marketing is part of the cause of the problem, but not necessarily that marketers are at fault. Play with ideas, think about solutions. Deny there is a problem at all - all of these are valid ways to look at the gender imbalance in the gaming industry (for at least a particular subset of games).

    Animals stigmatize? Yes, and animals murder, and rape, and so do humans. But we DO something about murder and rape, and we can DO something about stigma, too. I obviously don't believe that society should be equally accepting of everything - that's patently ridiculous.

  • OhoniOhoni Registered User regular
    @RogerGLednem, I'm no libertarian and I am highly skeptical of the invisible hand and it's shenanigans, but I also have faith in the consumer. So long as a product is not hazardous, I don't care who buys it. Now if Barbies were highly toxic, and yet were marketed heavily towards girls only, I might find that a sexism problem in need of a solution. But if the problem is that they are too pink? I'm sorry, I'm not bothered. Let them eat cake.

    It little Maida is interested i superheroes, it's her parents' job to let her know that's ok and get her some. I know plenty of parents who would happily provide superhero figures to their daughters.I had stuffed animals and some dolls as a kid. It's not a commercial's job to raise any kids, and any parents that let them are likely doing far worse than allowing their little girls to fantasize about getting a Barbie.

    @Xao, it's not discrimination. It's just not. Nothing is telling anyone that they can't buy any toy that they want. Is having a GI Joe commercial that features two white boys discriminating against girls? Of course not, no more than it's discriminating against black boys, Asian, boys, Latino boys, adults who collect toys, or anyone else they couldn't reasonably fit in frame. You don't have to be featured in an ad to be eligible to buy a product, and if that weren't true then they would have ads that looked like football bleachers, so packed with people to make sure that every possibly combination of race, gender, hair color, eye color, etc. is covered. Instead, they aim for the fattest part of the audience, the plurality that contains the largest number of likely customers, and hope they hit as many of those as possible, and the more people from outside of that focus, the better.

    Marketers make no attempt to tell customers what toy isn't for them. No customer is discouraged from buying any toy. All marketers ever do is encourage, but since each pitch costs money, they encourage selectively, only those customer blocks that they feel are worth the potential return on their investment. That most definitely leaves some people out, but it's most definitely fine. They are under no obligation to make people feel included, their only obligation is to sell as much of their product as possible. If those groups would like to receive equal advertising time, they need to earn it by buying equal amounts of the product. Who is supposed to pay to produce broad market advertising that does not result in equivalent sales? Perhaps some rights advocacy organization should foot the bill. Instead of complaining that Hasbro isn't running GI Joe ads that features girls, perhaps Jezebel or somebody should just produce their own GI Joe ads featuring girls, and pay for them to be aired during prime childrens' programming. I can't see Hasbro objecting, free marketing is free marketing, and Nickelodeon would be happy to take their money.

    Again though, I literally do not see this as a problem. It's like you're handing me an apple and saying "it's too sweet," and I take a bite and it tastes fine to me. I don't think the world is in any way a worse place if a child chooses one toy over another, even if their choice "reinforced existing stereotypes," or if it conflicts with those stereotypes, for that matter. I think that the little girl in that youtube clip would be a far happier child if the person holding the camera spent less time abusing her to get page views, and instead calmly took her over to the superhero aisle and asked her what she'd like to buy.

  • likalarukulikalaruku Registered User regular
    A small but nice step in the right direction I've seen are commercials aimed at gamers that only have adult gamers in them, & at least one of them is a woman.

  • xaoxao Registered User regular
    edited December 2013

    And yet it is discrimination. It just is. We treat two segments of society in different ways. Having A GI Joe commercial aimed at boys isn't discrimination. Having essentially ALL GI Joe, Transformer, etc ads aimed at boys is, by definition, discrimination. The question is "is it warranted discrimination". Thus far, you've offered no evidence that there's any reason a female would inherently prefer a Barbie doll to a Transformer doll.
    Marketers make no attempt to tell customers what toy isn't for them. No customer is discouraged from buying any toy.

    This is absolutely false. If I hold a party and I invite everyone from the PAR forum but you, you understand that you're being excluded. If I do that every single day, you get the message: it isn't for you. You seem to have an inverted understanding of the relationships between audiences and marketing. Audiences don't 'earn' marketing, the whole point of marketing is to 'earn' an audience!

    xao on
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