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Game programming and women [SOLVED]

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Im a 33 year old male programmer. I have a bachelor degree in computer science, and I have been programming in about 12 years now. I was always facinated by computer games all the way back to those simple consoles you would connect to your black and white television. I dont have a lot of professional experience when it comes to programming. (got my degree not long ago) I have some questions about women and game programmers in general, and Im curious what experiences other programmers have when it comes to women. What do they say about male programmers? How do they look? Is there a speciffic type of woman that is more likely to play games? What is the percenatge of women in your organization? Do they play games, and what games do they prefer? Does gender say anything about what you do best? Are thay all doing the UML part of the programming process? I dont want to come out looking like a stupid macho man, becouse Im not ^^ Female replies is most appreciated. [Edited by - pulpfist on December 20, 2005 1:53:44 PM]

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Well, the ratio for male to female programmers is uneven to say the least, I dont know, about 5 males per female being highly optimistic, I thought this sad fact we all discovered on the very first second of the very first Computer Science class we took in college regardless of country of origin.

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Original post by pulpfist
What do they say about male programmers?
How do they look?
Is there a speciffic type of woman that is more likely to play games?
What is the percenatge of women in your organization?
Do they play games, and what games do they prefer?
Does gender say anything about what you do best?
Are thay all doing the UML part of the programming process?

I dont want to come out looking like a stupid macho man, becouse Im not ^^
Female replies is most appreciated.


I'm not in the programming field (just finished my schooling), but in relation to your questions.

Never heard them say bad things about male programmers, I know one that is dating one.
They vary in looks, like male programmers...
I think even fewer play/make games.
Varies by person, I know good female programmers and programmers who enjoy theory more than programming.
One I know is making the GUI for interacting with semiconductor machines.

Quote:
Original post by Kwizatz
Well, the ratio for male to female programmers is uneven to say the least, I dont know, about 5 males per female being highly optimistic, I thought this sad fact we all discovered on the very first second of the very first Computer Science class we took in college regardless of country of origin.

That is optimistic, especially for my school's department where it is closer to 30 males to one female. My school is 60:40 female to male though. [wow]

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Thats interresting, I remeber something like 30%-40% in our classes as beeing female kind.
Still my impression is that women usually prefer UML and the planning of the software solution.

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Original post by pulpfist
What do they say about male programmers?

Most women hate being treated differently. They usually just want you to treat them like "one of the guys". And why shouldn't you? They treat you the same way.
Quote:
Original post by pulpfist
How do they look?

Why does it matter how someone looks? They're people. Some look good, some look ugly. Some are fat, or skinny, or anything else. Who cares? You're looking at them as co-workers, not love interests.
Quote:
Original post by pulpfist
Is there a speciffic type of woman that is more likely to play games?

Yes. Those who are living are more likely to play games.

Let's reverse the gender: Is there a specific type of male that is more likely to play games?

I didn't think so.
Quote:
Original post by pulpfist
What is the percenatge of women in your organization?

All women in the workplace? Around 30%. Working as programmers? A total of 1, ever.

I think this has more to do with the overall population of women in engineering and science diciplines generally.

There are game companies made up of mostly or completely women programmers, and the Women's Game Conference that this year was days just before (and affiliated with) the Austin Game Conference. The focus was on women-oriented issues, but men were invited too.
Quote:
Original post by pulpfist
Do they play games, and what games do they prefer?

Of course women play games!

Different stats come out every year, but they basically show women are about half of the game market (go figure, they're also about half of the population). Usually it's not the hardcore FPS games, though. Usually it's casual and online games.

I've heard lots of complaints from avid female gamers about how degrading characters like Lara Croft are. Really, how would you feel if the main (almost idolized) character in a popular game for women was an ultra-buff man with, let's just say, body statistics that most men would blush over? Would you really want your girlfriend to play a game where the avitar has the body dimentions and, ahem, certain oversized and glamorized sexual organs, on the box cover?
Quote:
Original post by pulpfist
Does gender say anything about what you do best?

Sounds like another sexist idea.

Gender relates to reproductive systems, and that's about it.

There are some minor cognitive differences between genders, but that's not a big deal for programming.
Quote:
Original post by pulpfist
Are thay all doing the UML part of the programming process?

I've never had a UML part of the programming process. We do system designs, and everyone on the team is involved. Gender is a non-issue.

frob.
[Edit - fix some links and spelling errors]

[Edited by - frob on December 19, 2005 4:11:20 PM]

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I'm just gonna go ahead and say this, men and women are different, and they don't want to be treated the same... I'm a guy, for instance, and don't want to be treated like a woman! however, theres difference between men/women at home, and men/women at work.

Ideally, in the workplace, people are supposed to forget gender. Why? because the workplace is not a bed, or club, or bar, or restaurant, or what have you. not to say that people dont often meet their significant others at work/school. However, it's not the main purpose of these places. To be efficient/productive, it's encouraged that you leave your genitals at home, or at least keep your priority straight. So, to be productive, you don't treat people as a man or woman at work, just treat them like part of the team.

IE, just because the majority of workers in a IT company might be men, doesn't mean you treat all women working there like men. It means you treat female IT workers, like IT workers. Comprendez?

But other than that little knitpick, I see mostly valid points.
Seriously though, if you plan to get yourself a girlfriend (not necessarily to OP, but to anyone reading this), don't treat her like a guy ;o It won't get you far, that I have seen :p

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Most women hate being treated differently. They usually just want you to treat them like "one of the guys". And why shouldn't you? They treat you the same way.

I know this... I guess Im tired of treating "them" like one of the guys.
Quote:

You're looking at them as co-workers, not love interests.

This is true indeed, even though a dead one wouldnt be of much help.
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Yes. Those who are living are more likely to play games.
Let's reverse the gender: Is there a specific type of male that is more likely to play games?
I didn't think so.

I know a lot of guys who frawn upon "geeks" and game players. To tell the truth, some of my best friends is socalled geeks. I dont know much about these things, but I believe a conciderable amount of humor and self-irony is required to play computer games, not to mention admitting that you do so.
Quote:

Would you really want your girlfriend to play a game where the avitar has the body dimentions and, ahem, certain oversized and glamorized sexual organs, on the box cover?

It depends if she is able to coope with it or not...
If my girlfriend was spending most of her time communicating with a guy in real life with those statistics, I would feel like a pulp with two sorry eyes.
Quote:

Sounds like another sexist idea.

This has nothing to do with what I call sex, but I hear you...

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Original post by pulpfist
I know a lot of guys who frawn upon "geeks" and game players. To tell the truth, some of my best friends is socalled geeks. I dont know much about these things, but I believe a conciderable amount of humor and self-irony is required to play computer games, not to mention admitting that you do so.


Doesn't sound like a fun place to live.

You say they can't admit to playing games, women represent under 30% of the college, and some people consider being a 'geek' shameful.

(frob makes a note to never live in Norway.)

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You say they can't admit to playing games

I didnt say that
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women represent under 30% of the college

I didnt say that either, I said 30%-40%, which defenetly does not make this place a worse place to live.
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and some people consider being a 'geek' shameful.

Oh yea...

Quote:

But other than that little knitpick, I see mostly valid points.
Seriously though, if you plan to get yourself a girlfriend (not necessarily to OP, but to anyone reading this), don't treat her like a guy ;o It won't get you far, that I have seen :p

Ive been wondering about this. many times I wish women would treat me like they treat their female friends.

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What do they say about male programmers?
You don't want to know.

How do they look?
Foxy.

Is there a speciffic type of woman that is more likely to play games?
Not that I've seen. Women are a strange breed - they tend to have varied hobbies.

What is the percenatge of women in your organization?
Most of my experience has been with companies with a 75%/25% ratio, which I guess is pretty high.

Do they play games, and what games do they prefer?
... they all play games ...

Does gender say anything about what you do best?
Not a damn thing.

Are thay all doing the UML part of the programming process?
No, most of the women I've worked with either programmed Java, C++ or were general web designers. I've even had the 'pleasure' of pair programming with a female. Ohhh ... they're sharp - watch out for those female Java programmers. ;)

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At my uni there are many girls, and they are pretty smart too. One I worked with for a couple of years (we did our first 3 uni projects togheter) has finished the 3-years degree in 3 years (I'm going to end in a couple of months, but I took 6 years due to many reasons: beside that, here is rare to manage to finish in 3 years, and in order to do that you have to forget everything else and only study, but I had too many interests to simply go 100% of my time studing).
What I noticed, however, is that many of them tend to keep the computer-related world confined in the uni-related activities (at least, this is my impression).
The girl I'm working with for my thesis is russian and...
Quote:

How do they look?
Foxy.

...her nickname is foxy :-)

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Hehe

Well, dont tell me the looks dont matter!

I know that my looks has a huge impact on how hard it is to get to know women initially, and what they think of you. This is regardless of whether I or she is a programmer.
I know Im not ugly, Im pretty much the dark and mystical guy in their eyes.
One thing I always hear from a woman that doesnt know me is that I look somewhat dangerous or angry. (Needless to say, this has nothing to do with reality)

Believe it or not, this is actually the most scientiffic question.
If I knew anything about this, I would know what too look for

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yo maybe you have an anxiety disorder, people used to say that or like id be at the mall and stare at people by accident and theyd say stuff, so eventually i got diagnosed, got some pills, and now idont have that any more! you might wanna consider it, but i donno the whole story. just relating that to personal experience

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I have actually noticed that there are a lot of engineers/programmers who are married to/dating elementary school teachers. I have actually dated a couple myself.

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yo maybe you have an anxiety disorder, people used to say that or like id be at the mall and stare at people by accident and theyd say stuff, so eventually i got diagnosed, got some pills, and now idont have that any more! you might wanna consider it, but i donno the whole story. just relating that to personal experience

You guys are crazy.
I am in total control of myself, even when Im staring.

Its interresting though, I had no idea you could get pillz for that :D

Quote:

I have actually noticed that there are a lot of engineers/programmers who are married to/dating elementary school teachers. I have actually dated a couple myself.

Hmmm, those always scared me...
My second language skills (english) says something about what they put me through as a kid :DDD

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Ha, since I'm a female, I'll try answering these questions.

First, I'm a uni student, majoring in Computer Engineering, which is closely related to Computer Science, so I've taken many CS courses. I was a CS major and always prefer CS to CE, but I thought I could study CS myself so I switched to CE. I do play game and did program a game, though a little crappy. I'm aiming at making another one soon.

What do they say about male programmers?
The majority of my friends are male. And yes, I do WANT them to treat me as one of their male friends. Personally I think male programmers are cool. However,... Do you really want some negative thoughts on them?

How do they look?
Do I look foxy? I don't think so. Hm, pass this, please.

Is there a speciffic type of woman that is more likely to play games?
I play games. My sisters play games. My friends play games.

What is the percenatge of women in your organization?
In my CS courses, there are usually under 5 women, but mostly 2 or 3, and sometimes 1, including me. So not too many.

Do they play games, and what games do they prefer?
I love Final Fantasy series and 2D games in general. I'm not fond of bloody games or 3D games with too many movements and constant change of views. It's because after a while, I feel dizzy, sick, stay on the bed and can't do anything for a whole day. Even Kingdom Hearts have that effect on me (and my sis too). I only watched my friend play Half-Life but couldn't stand it either.

Does gender say anything about what you do best?
Hm, pass this, please. Note: I do better than my male friends and most of the guys in my CS courses. Quite a few times, I top the class. They sometimes ask for my help.

Are thay all doing the UML part of the programming process?
I hate doing UML. It's so boring. I don't like planning and such. Give me a program to do and I'm happy.

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Hey, I'm mid-30s woman and I just had too much coffee and decided maybe I want to be a game programmer. Although when you see my answers, you'll wonder why. I just think it would be fun to do something creative for once. Tired of business programming.

To answer some of your questions:
You: I have a bachelor degree in computer science, and I have been programming in about 12 years now. I was always facinated by computer games all the way back to those simple consoles you would connect to your black and white television.

Me: I have 3 years in CS bachelor's program 12 years ago, the only games I played were a little Ms Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Tetris, and Qbert. They were addicting and I don't have time for them now, also they weren't that fascinating for me.

Q: Is there a speciffic type of woman that is more likely to play games?
A: There must be, because I have no desire to play the games I see advertised. They seem very focused on people younger than me, and mostly for young men.

Q: What is the percenatge of women in your organization?
A: In my dept, 2 out of 10 and it sucks. The more 50/50 male/female you get, the better the work environment.

Q: Do they play games, and what games do they prefer?
A: Not that I know of. Playing a game would be a total waste of time for me. I've got a job and kids and want my free time to be productive. Also, the stereotype for me for a gameplayer is someone vastly different from me that I wouldn't have much in common with.

Q: Does gender say anything about what you do best?
A: Don't know, I know that it affects my interests. People have different strengths as far as doing a job. I do notice a huge difference in interest in games which is why your post interested me. I'm surprised to hear guys talking about games who are my age.

Q: Are thay all doing the UML part of the programming process?
A: No, I haven't heard of anyone using UML in any of the jobs I've been in. I admit it looks interesting. Actually it seems to be something more senior programmer would be doing to plan out the design of a project. I've just been doing regular programming.

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Do you really want some negative thoughts on them?

I guess I did, but... after second thought I think I can imagine =)

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Hm, pass this, please.

Ok, Ill pass them as poorly constructed questions

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The more 50/50 male/female you get, the better the work environment.

I totally agree. Not only becouse of their skills, but also becouse they sometimes see things we guys wouldnt ^^


I am going to tag this post as solved now,
thank you for all your replies, and a very happy christmas to you all!

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This topic is 4378 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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