Women And Game Culture
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Women And Game Culture

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University of Cambridge, Computer Science Lab (Cambridge, May 2005)

University of Cambridge, Computer Science Lab (Cambridge, May 2005)

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Women And Game Culture Women And Game Culture Presentation Transcript

  • Women and Game Culture: Do girls play games? Aleks Krotoski University of Surrey A.Krotoski@surrey.ac.uk http://www.surrey.ac.uk/~psp1ak
  • History of women and gaming • Proud beginnings – Ada Lovelace – Grace Hopper – Donna Bailey to Roberta Williams
  • In the beginning… View slide
  • Later… View slide
  • Or…
  • History of women and gaming “Girl Games” – From Barbie to Mortal Kombat – The Sims – Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games – SingStar, Dance Mat and EyeToy – Quake and Halo 2?
  • Result of gendered entertainment? • Proliferation of “boy” genres – Shooters, sports simulations • Magazine ads
  • Result of gendered entertainment? • Proliferation of “boy” genres ● Shooters, sports simulations • Magazine ads • Fewer female players • Less access to technology which may benefit their futures (Home Office, 2001)
  • Current Player Demographics: Girls and games GB Males - Active Gamers 10-14 32% Number of Active 30-35 Population Gamers GB Males - 15-17 UK UK All 17% 13% Sex Age (000s) (000s) 10-14 22% 15-17 Male 10-15 2,357 1,818 30-35 9% 16-19 1,240 780 26% 25-29 15% 18-24 20-24 1,753 785 18-24 23% 25-29 24% 25-29 1,871 771 19% 10-14 15-17 18-24 25-29 30-35 30-35 2,538 844 GB Females - Active Gamers Female 10-15 2,181 788 10-14 16-19 1,235 279 32% 20-24 1,767 355 GB Females - 15-17 All 8% 25-29 1,910 436 10-14 30-35 15-17 30-35 2,553 562 21% 9% 23% 30-35 Male 10-35 9,758 4,999 26% 18-24 19% Female 10-35 9,646 2,419 18-24 25-29 25-29 24% 18% Total 10-35 19,404 7,418 20% 10-14 15-17 18-24 25-29 30-35 GameVision: Dromgoole, 2004
  • Current Player Demographics: Girls don’t play games? •Men play 12.34 hours per week •Women play 9.22 hours of play per week Hours of play per week 20 18 16 14.2 14 12.7 12.7 11.7 12 10.4 10.2 10.1 9.6 10 8.4 7.8 8 6 4 2 0 10-15 16-19 20-24 25-29 30-35 10-15 16-19 20-24 25-29 30-35 Male Female GameVision: Dromgoole, 2004
  • Current Player Demographics: Girls don’t play games? Girls: • Preferred console is PS1 ● Bargain purchaser, relies on recommendation or existing IP Boys: • Preferred console is PS2 ● New games, sports games, FPS
  • What women want • A social life • Something worthwhile – Something they can learn from (Graner Ray, 2003) – A storyline with good characters – Nothing that forces them to learn a completely useless skill
  • Social Life (internet) + worthwhile (learning + story) + a familiar medium (PCs) Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs)
  • MMOGs: Who? Fantasy-based games: 12-20%* (like Dungeons and Dragons, 5-15%) The Sims Online: 60%** 5-6 years older than men* Kids* Steady relationship (60.3%)* (*Yee, 2002a, 2002b; **Lewis, 2004)
  • MMOGs: How? Men introduce them Play with romantic partner (69.5%)* • learning bonus: boost RL bonds and solve RL problems New Mums
  • MMOGS: Why? • Open-ended • Relaxation of traditional objectives • Real-Life (RL) communities and relationships – More likely than men to: • Interact with the same others • Engage in group activities • Perceive online friends and more like themselves than their offline friends • Disclose personal information about themselves to online friends • Stay dedicated: they don’t swap titles, or they migrate to new ones together • Be satisfied with their game • In-game repercussions: help shape the world! – More likely to hold powerful leadership roles – Direct activity, diplomacy and in-game politics
  • MMOGs and the Self • RL limitations for “self- actualisation” – Possible selves, career, leisure – Taylor and EverQuest – mastery, social involvement and exploration without fear for safety • Sherry Turkle and the MUDs – Identity Laboratories
  • Deterrents & Solutions: They have to change - not us. • Play: – “something a woman is not” (Turkle, 1985) • Marketing and its malcontents • Products that don’t “speak” to a broader audience – Economics • Bargain bins and the hardcore gamer – Time • “interstitial” gaming • Work: – “male” culture – Quality of Life
  • Is the games industry a place for gender diversity?* • Demographics – Art and Design: 91% men; 9% women – Programmers: 98% men; 2% women – Senior Management:95% men; 3% women – Sales/Marketing/PR: 74% men; 26% women • Applicants per year??? *From Chicks and Joysticks: An exploration of women and computer gaming, commissioned and published by ELSPA 2004
  • Is the games industry a place for gender diversity?* • Methods of recruitment – 42.9% advertise in specialist magazines – 64.3% recruit through specialist agencies – 14.3% approach schools, colleges • Job disparities due to gender – £353.57 less at starting salary – £6,738.03 pay gap – 0.4% women hold Lead, Director, Management positions versus 1.2% of men – Slower promotion times (approximately 6 months) *From Chicks and Joysticks: An exploration of women and computer gaming, commissioned and published by ELSPA 2004
  • Is the games industry a place for gender diversity? • All signs point to no. • Future research: – What would a broader appointments drive do for games industry diversity? – How can girl games scholarships increase female participation in games courses? – How can an increase in role models in the games industry increases female participation in games courses?
  • Summary • Women have been involved since year dot • Pink games work for kiddies but not for grown-ups • New technologies are pushing the gender divide • Industry diversity is rubbish
  • Women and Game Culture: Do girls play games? Aleks Krotoski University of Surrey A.Krotoski@surrey.ac.uk http://www.surrey.ac.uk/~psp1ak