Female Gamers

Rom commented with a question about female gamers.  You know what?  If I believe most articles on women in gaming, my experience is very untypical.  (Supposedly, women like casual games that they can pick up, play for a few minutes, and walk away from.)  According to my personal experience, though, there are a lot of female gamers out there who don’t play any differently, or buy games differently, from men.  I’ve been in three Warcraft guilds, one all-female, and two that had a healthy mix of male and female gamers.  I’ve played FPS games at lan parties, and know a lot of women who do.  I don’t think the female gamer stereotype really exists, although people sure do try to market to it.

On a Metroblogging Azeroth post, I wrote about  girl gamers and WoW.  I thought that, if there was any difference between women and men who play games, perhaps women like more diversity in game, and more of a sense of inhabiting a persona.  I could enjoy playing a total testosterone-blowout game like Gears of War, but I wouldn’t play it all the time…because I enjoy the illusion of actually inhabiting a world.

Is that the difference, for me?  Perhaps.  I have male friends who are just as addicted to WoW as I am, but they don’t  see their characters as being “people”.  They’re always themselves when they play, whereas my toons have personalities that I sort of inhabit when I play.  Interesting.

Recently on Yudhishthira’s Dice the question was raised:

“Ladies, what RPG covers (or interiors) have you seen that involve a woman in the art that make you say, “I want to play that” or, just as good “I want to play her.” Or that make you feel like it is a game you could like, or be included in by a group of guys you’d never met and whose maturity you didn’t necessarily know?”

This was turned into a meme on the Official Shrub.com blog, which you should check out.  I started playing WoW when the original packaging featured a nelf female.  Had I not already played, I would never have picked the game up based on the Burning Crusade packaging: the snarling male depicted on the cover would have given me the impression that this was a game that I wouldn’t like.  I’ve also never played any of the Tombraider games, because I feel no kinship or attraction to the overblown Lara.  I did, however, buy Dreamfall, at least in part based on the cover.

So what is typical?  I haven’t the faintest.  :)  Any thoughts?



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