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Whirlwind

What Do Women Want in a Game?

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Part of the reason I wouldn''t consider trying to design a game that targets woemn is that I don''t know what they want. Other than the seemingly exceptionally few who like FPS and driving games, I haven''t heard of or seen a lot of women even discussing computer games. On a random guess, the only games I think the majority of women would play on a regular basis are: 1) hearts/other card games 2) The Sims 3) Tetris There may be others, but if I had a clue what women want in a computer game, maybe I would take the time to try to design for their entertainment needs.

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To know what a woman really wants that''s what we all guys want to know


From the women i know that play games, most of them for some strange reason love the 2D mortal combat''s and hate slow paced rpgs O_o

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Also the target age plays a role in deciding what a women wants from Computer Games.
-J.B.-

-Stella Polaris Development Team

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The only game I've ever got a girl interested in (other than Tetris & Hearts/Solitaire/etc) was Black & White, she loved teaching the creature and watching the peeps, but didn't like the whole process-tree, murder-villager, throw-rock-at-bad-guys etc. stuff. In fact about 9 months after she stopped being able to play (various reasons), she asked me if I had kept her creature going on, I had to tell her sadly that all was lost in the process of several reformats

I've known a few girls (online) who played team oriented FPS games.

[edited by - JuNC on November 7, 2003 1:13:07 PM]

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It's kind of a flawed question - You're trying to lump more than 50% of the worlds population into a single target market.

There's no single set of things that all women universally want in games, any more than there are for men. Just making a game about ponies and shoe shopping and using lots of pink isn't going to attract women any more than a game about beer and tv will attract men.

Different women like different things from games. Some women like FPS games like Quake. Some women prefer strategy games like Age of Empires. Some women probably aren't interested in games as anything more than a passing distraction to fill in time when they've got nothing better to do - and are perfectly content with the games that come with windows or simple flash games on the web.

There's no single answer to the question. If you can break down 'women' into slightly more sensibly sized target markets, and identify which of those target markets are a)unsatisfied with the current gamut of games and b)potential players of games, provided their requirements are met. There's no point targetting a group of people who are never going to be interested in spending money on computer games. (or at least not if you plan on making money there isn't)

[edited by - Sandman on November 7, 2003 1:23:04 PM]

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women play the sims, cute japaneese games, card games, tetris and myst-clones.

i think.

and some play Quake III.

/Apoztel

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I can''t recall the exact demographics, but men ages 30-34 with middle to high level incomes make up the bulk of computer game buyers/players. Women of equal age made up a small minority of game players. The sad thing about such surveys are that the possibility exists that women who do play games don''t like to take surveys. So the numbers might be skewed.

My fiance'' rocks in the fact that she loves racing games and Unreal Championship. I probably could get her to play fighting games. She falls into that small minority of women.

Every article I''ve read about women and computer games indicate that the industry isn''t meeting their needs. If the industry has an idea about what these ''needs'' are, I sure haven''t found a good source to find out about it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
http://www.igda.org/committees/women.php

They do quite a lot. Have a mailing list. Check it out.

Also, I agree. Don''t lump women into a single target market.

Looking at some girl gaming websites, their polls suggest that their taste in games is just as varied as their male counterparts. Fighting games ranked 3rd on one list.


It is not so much the type of game that should change. It is the way a game is currently presented that should be changed. In general (not stereotyped but trends, keep in mind), you want your interfaces to make sense. You want information readily available about choices. For instance, Diablo 2 had different branches you could choose for the tech tree. Girls appreciate knowing that their choices won''t be bad, and if they have to make a choice without information about what a "good choice" is, it will not be a choice they will try to make again and the game is thrown out.

This is a very very simplified situation from what I learned from the Women in Game Development people. Learn more from them.

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Time for pseudo-psych post #912837.

What do women want?

Well, what does everyone want, regardless of gender?
1 - Food
2 - Sleep
3 - Money
4 - Power\Respect
5 - Sex
6 - Friendshp\Love\Emotional support

1-2 don''t apply to games as far as I can tell.

- Online gambling has the allure of striking it rich. #3

- RTS and shooter games give a sense of power.
When played in an online commnity, skill generates respect. So that''s #4.

- Everquest/etc, create virtual social interactions. #6.

So that covers everything but #5. I''ve heard that there are erotic games but I know nothing about them; I''ve never actually run into one. That said, games like Tomb Raider do use sex appeal in marketing. Stereotypically, male sexual fantasies are tied more closely to #4; for females it''s #6. How true these stereotypes are is anyone''s guess.

Fantasies relating to money/power/esteem are pretty universal though, I think.

From my personal experience, though, I can make the following generalization:
- Men think about things.
- Women think about people.

It certainly not this simple, and it certainly isn''t true of everyone, but I think it''s a decent generalization.

So I think that the psychological need that you''ll be most effective tapping into to attract women is #6. That said, the ideal game taps into more than just one, but as many as possible.

There''s another issue too though, which isn''t really inherently gender-specific, but has cultural roots: Since gaming is more prevalent among males, an issue is "targeting non-gamers." Non-games are typically drawn to games with simple learning-curves and immediate positive feedback. Famous examples: Snood, DX-Ball, Icy Tower.

So, to put it all together, make a simple game that satisfies psychological needs. Ideally base the game around interacting with other human players.

My two cents. Feel free to disagree.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Women also like non-violent strategy games. I was in the beta tests for the games from Sierra''s citybuilding series, back when I was in high-school, and more than half the testers were women.

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