From a female’s point of view, a lot of what has been written is very sexist. When I play a game it is not because it has pink, ponies, nurturing characters and babies in it.
It is because something has caught my eye, whither it be graphics, pre/reviews, theme, or story line. To say the girls aren''t able to play games that aren''t specifically created for us as good as males, due to psychological differences perpetuates the myth that girls always crave the sensitive non-violent path of pacifism. I mean yes there are some psychological differences but there is a danger in going into major stereotyping. We like to shoot things too.
One reason I would guess that many females don''t play games, is not because we don''t have interest, time or reflexes (females have just as good reaction time as men, sometimes better
), but more likely that it is not advertised enough to us, or rather improperly advertised. You wouldn''t necessarily need a female character to draw a female audience, but you do need something more then just guns, tanks, and boobs over and over again. Its the initial imagery. Take for instance magazines, or commercials for computer or video games, typically they feature a bimbo on the front with guns, tight outfit ect. That’s if, there is a female figure on the cover at all. Many games with female characters look like the girls are from porno''s, lol. This is bound right off the bat, to alienate at least some of us or bring into mind that computer games are for men''s enjoyment. Just an initial observation
That is not to say we won''t play these games, but maybe more to the point that we bore of seeing the same type of game & image over and over again. Or that a potential player wont give the game a second thought because of first impression. I''ve noticed one game come out, then someone else will create a similar one, and then a third company will make another...the only variation being graphics or slight twists. The thrill of seeing big jugs doesn''t translate to girls like it does to guys.
You wont see adds like that in magazines targeting a girl audience. If you pick up a magazine that’s aimed towards girls, like say for instance your sisters copy of Sassy, you won''t see any adds for games or computer junk inside besides a copy of Cosmopolitan Make Over. That’s it. Now I suspect that if casually Game Advertisements were thrown into these magazines, that were pleasing or at least presented in a less male-esque manner, ie.boobie free or boobie controlled (without changing the game itself, just the presentation or packaging if you prefer) you might see a peek in female interest.
I don''t honestly believe that girls won''t play games which feature a male character, simply because its male, but more likely because of the perception that they won''t have any interest in playing. Or the game is just crap or because they just don’t know about the games existance. Don''t make a game just for girls, or pandering to us, make one that is enjoyable to everyone, like a good movie or book. I''d also bet why girls play solitaire, sims, and puzzles is because they can be drawn into them easier, without being confronted by a dude firing guns at Amazon space chicks in leather thongs, with no plot to back it up.
I used to go over to my cousins house who was practically glued to his Nintendo playing fighting games, and while he''d ask if I wanted to take up the second controller, he''d automatically pick Mario cart racing or something with the least violence for us to play, unless I insisted on trying out something like Mortal Kombat. And I still remember his little cry of surprise when yes, I was in fact able to do a combo. *gasp* My uncle introduced me to adventure games, and since then I''ve gone on to blowing things up gleefully, puzzles, sims, ect. If it weren''t for him, I doubt I would have played anything because I wasn''t aware of games beyond games like FreeCell, and Solitares existence. Because I wasn''t made aware of it.
But I bet the best way to draw a wider audience is to write a solid, imaginative story. If you can do that, with a wide variety of even NCP''s who don''t pandered to over done stereotypes, it''ll get played by both boys and girls.
(and yes I was being sexist myself
The ideal character would be some sort of genderless creature, but hey as a last resort why not put hello kitty on duke nuke''ems guns and a nice handbag.