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PAX Day 1

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Alright, in hindsight, it probably wasn't such a good idea to let a 6 year old girl play an incredibly immersive virtual reality zombie game. The moment she saw her first zombie, she screamed, took the headset off and started crying. Whoops! Now I know my game isn't suitable for small children.

She wanted to know if I was going to make a game about unicorns for little girls, and wanted to know if she could make a game. I gave it some serious thought, because I feel it's really important to include little girls in gaming culture, and what a great way to do that by introducing games to them at a young age. Gaming is sadly... disproportionately male dominated.

I've had a lot of women try out my game as well. They really like it! It's got me reconsidering some aspects of my game design and narrative. I want the gender of the main character to be something you can choose. If you choose male, then the early part of the game narrative has you on a romantic date with your wife, who then dies tragically, and then you spend the rest of your days trying to save her by bringing her back. A part of the male centered narrative would have you kissing your wife and giving her hugs while out on a summer day picnic. If you choose female, then the genders are switched. You are on a date with your husband, who you can hug and kiss, and then he dies tragically, and you spend the next few years trying to bring him back to life.

What I think is interesting is that it forces the narrative to be gender neutral (and invisible about that!) and also giving people a choice on what role they want to play and explore. Maybe it will feel empowering to a lot of people and generate a greater sense of empathy for what the opposite gender feels? I also imagine that a bit of the romance angle isn't just going to be exclusively popular with women, it will be something that men enjoy a lot as well. I just saw a reddit post the other day about a japanese VR game convention, where a lot of the VR game experiences were about romance and relationships.

I also learned a bit about my marketing skills. I'm not that great at pulling people in off the street. I'm a bit too shy and awkward for that. I also did an interview with a small youtube channel. I think I should make sure I remember the name of my game next time, hehe. Also, I should make sure I look at the camera a lot more -- and get more excited, animated and descriptive about my game. But it was good. I think things have turned out well so far.
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Don't sweat it, my 4 years old can kickass at Castlevania Symphony of the Night, and it's a lot more gory than people give it credit for, and some of the monsters (Belzebub for example) can put a zombie to shame, so it's definitely a parent thing!

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