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Andrea Phillips * SXSW March 13, 2010
ARGs and Women
Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
What’s an
“Alternate
Reality Game”?
An alternate reality game (ARG), is an
interactive narrative that uses the real
world ...
Some Stuff I’ve Done
IGDA ARG SIG
Learn more: http://www.argology.org
Participate: http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/arg_discuss
“female” by DiscourseMarker on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generi...
Cloudmakers
Established April 11, 2001
The first ARG brunette?
Laia Salla
SHE NEEDS
YOUR
HELP
Internet Use by Gender
Data from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01345.pdf “Characteristics and Choices of Internet Users,” ...
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/cloudmakers/message/5097
Recipe for an
Alternate
Reality Game
✤ Some fictional websites
✤ Some puzzles
✤ A hot brunette
Brunettes of ARGdom
DO GIRLS
PLAY
GAMES?
DUH
Numbers Show That...
Two in five
gamers are
female.
“The State of the Video Gamer,” The Nielsen Company, 2009.
Numbers Show That...
52% of PSP
owners are
female.
“Gaming Device Profiles” NPD Group, 2010.
Numbers Show That...
Women
over 25 play
more gaming
minutes than any
other
group.
“The State of the Video Gamer,” The Niel...
GIRLS
OR
BOYS?
GLITTER
GUNS
FIGHTING
DANCING
STEAK
CUPCAKE
SO WHY ARE
GAMES
“FOR BOYS”?
“DSCF1925” by adubber on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic lice...
“Day 252 - Sibling Rivals” by Ken WIlcox on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 G...
GAMES ARE
MARKETED
TO MEN
GAMES ARE
MADE
BY MEN
More Men Make Games
Percent of
women
working
in the games
business, by
department
Game Developer Magazine salary survey, 2...
Women Make Less Money
Gender pay
disparity
in the games
business, by
department
Game Developer Magazine salary survey, 200...
Women On My ARG Teams
Numbers Show That...
One third of
ARG creators are
female.
“The State of the Video Gamer,” The Nielsen Company, 2009.
FEMALE
CHARACTERS
IN GAMES
SUCK
Numbers Show That...
One in five
characters on a
game box is
female.
“Sex, Lies, and Video Games: The Portrayal of Male an...
Brunettes of ARGdom
SO WHAT?
Sexism 101
Intro to sexism with Mr. Kuntz
“Emily’s meant to be doing her homework!” by squarepants2004j/auntyh uia on Flic...
“Blue Eyes” by jimmybrown on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
“Women-in-Uniform_Germany” by MATEUS 27:24&25 on
Flickr, available under a Creative Commons
Attribution -NonCommercial 2.0...
“Fairy Nuff” by left-hand on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 Generic license.
GIRL STUFF
SUCKS
“A Twisted Family Tradiition ~The Lime Jello Brain” by hurleygurley on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribut...
THE SLEEPER
EFFECT
PRIMING
WE ARE THE
MEDIA
WE MAKE
CULTURE
WHY ALL THE
BRUNETTES?
“Asleep brothers” by fofurasfelinas on Flickr, available under a Creative Common
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWor...
Archetypes & Stock Characters
Cheerleader Mad Scientist
Hooker With Heart Of Gold Hapless Husband
Alcoholic Detective ...
Stereotypes & Stock Characters
Sassy gay friend  Latino gangster
Asian convenience store owner Jewish mother
Italian mo...
How to Make Complex
Characters
1. Pick an archetype
2. Give it atypical traits
Bonus: Mix and match
NOW
YOUR TURN
STUFF
YOU CAN
TRY
Pass the Bechdel Test
✤ Two or more women
✤ Who talk to each other
✤ About something other than a man
GIVE HER
AGENCY
DIVERSIFY
“Vanishing pier” by Ravages on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generi...
STORIES ARE
TRUTHS
CHOOSE YOUR
MESSAGE
DISCUSS
Resources
✤ Wonderland http://www.wonderlandblog.com/
✤ Sociological Images http://contexts.org/socimages/
✤ Geek Feminism...
Andrea Phillips
✤ Game designer, writer, strident feminist
✤ andrhia@gmail.com
✤ Twitter: Andrhia
✤ AIM: Andrh1a
✤ Skype: ...
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
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ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette

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ARGs are often trotted out as a shining example of woman-friendly games. They boast unusually high rates of female developers and players, and a slew of kick-ass female leads. But if you dig a little deeper, are they just the post-Buffy version of Princess Peach, always needing to be saved?

Published in: Entertainment & Humor, Sports

ARGs and Women: Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette

  1. 1. Andrea Phillips * SXSW March 13, 2010 ARGs and Women Moving Beyond the Hot Brunette
  2. 2. What’s an “Alternate Reality Game”? An alternate reality game (ARG), is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions.
  3. 3. Some Stuff I’ve Done
  4. 4. IGDA ARG SIG Learn more: http://www.argology.org Participate: http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/arg_discuss
  5. 5. “female” by DiscourseMarker on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.
  6. 6. Cloudmakers Established April 11, 2001
  7. 7. The first ARG brunette? Laia Salla
  8. 8. SHE NEEDS YOUR HELP
  9. 9. Internet Use by Gender Data from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01345.pdf “Characteristics and Choices of Internet Users,” US General Accounting Office, 2001.
  10. 10. http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/cloudmakers/message/5097
  11. 11. Recipe for an Alternate Reality Game ✤ Some fictional websites ✤ Some puzzles ✤ A hot brunette
  12. 12. Brunettes of ARGdom
  13. 13. DO GIRLS PLAY GAMES?
  14. 14. DUH
  15. 15. Numbers Show That... Two in five gamers are female. “The State of the Video Gamer,” The Nielsen Company, 2009.
  16. 16. Numbers Show That... 52% of PSP owners are female. “Gaming Device Profiles” NPD Group, 2010.
  17. 17. Numbers Show That... Women over 25 play more gaming minutes than any other group. “The State of the Video Gamer,” The Nielsen Company, 2009.
  18. 18. GIRLS OR BOYS?
  19. 19. GLITTER
  20. 20. GUNS
  21. 21. FIGHTING
  22. 22. DANCING
  23. 23. STEAK
  24. 24. CUPCAKE
  25. 25. SO WHY ARE GAMES “FOR BOYS”?
  26. 26. “DSCF1925” by adubber on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.
  27. 27. “Day 252 - Sibling Rivals” by Ken WIlcox on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 Generic license.
  28. 28. GAMES ARE MARKETED TO MEN
  29. 29. GAMES ARE MADE BY MEN
  30. 30. More Men Make Games Percent of women working in the games business, by department Game Developer Magazine salary survey, 2009.
  31. 31. Women Make Less Money Gender pay disparity in the games business, by department Game Developer Magazine salary survey, 2009.
  32. 32. Women On My ARG Teams
  33. 33. Numbers Show That... One third of ARG creators are female. “The State of the Video Gamer,” The Nielsen Company, 2009.
  34. 34. FEMALE CHARACTERS IN GAMES SUCK
  35. 35. Numbers Show That... One in five characters on a game box is female. “Sex, Lies, and Video Games: The Portrayal of Male and Female Characters on Video Game Covers,” Burgess, Stermer, Burgess, Sex Roles, 2007
  36. 36. Brunettes of ARGdom
  37. 37. SO WHAT?
  38. 38. Sexism 101 Intro to sexism with Mr. Kuntz “Emily’s meant to be doing her homework!” by squarepants2004j/auntyh uia on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 Generic license.
  39. 39. “Blue Eyes” by jimmybrown on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
  40. 40. “Women-in-Uniform_Germany” by MATEUS 27:24&25 on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.
  41. 41. “Fairy Nuff” by left-hand on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution -NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 Generic license.
  42. 42. GIRL STUFF SUCKS
  43. 43. “A Twisted Family Tradiition ~The Lime Jello Brain” by hurleygurley on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 Generic license.
  44. 44. THE SLEEPER EFFECT
  45. 45. PRIMING
  46. 46. WE ARE THE MEDIA
  47. 47. WE MAKE CULTURE
  48. 48. WHY ALL THE BRUNETTES?
  49. 49. “Asleep brothers” by fofurasfelinas on Flickr, available under a Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 2.0 Generic license.
  50. 50. Archetypes & Stock Characters Cheerleader Mad Scientist Hooker With Heart Of Gold Hapless Husband Alcoholic Detective Gold Digger Grizzled Veteran Drill Sergeant Wise Elder Used Car Salesman Mysterious Wizard Rock Star Kindergarten Teacher Grumpy Old Man
  51. 51. Stereotypes & Stock Characters Sassy gay friend  Latino gangster Asian convenience store owner Jewish mother Italian mobster Dumb blonde Trophy wife Homophobic Christian Jihadist Arab Drunk American Indian Stoned Jamaican Man-hating lesbian Ignorant Southerner Racist Republican
  52. 52. How to Make Complex Characters 1. Pick an archetype 2. Give it atypical traits Bonus: Mix and match
  53. 53. NOW YOUR TURN
  54. 54. STUFF YOU CAN TRY
  55. 55. Pass the Bechdel Test ✤ Two or more women ✤ Who talk to each other ✤ About something other than a man
  56. 56. GIVE HER AGENCY
  57. 57. DIVERSIFY
  58. 58. “Vanishing pier” by Ravages on Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
  59. 59. STORIES ARE TRUTHS
  60. 60. CHOOSE YOUR MESSAGE
  61. 61. DISCUSS
  62. 62. Resources ✤ Wonderland http://www.wonderlandblog.com/ ✤ Sociological Images http://contexts.org/socimages/ ✤ Geek Feminism Blog http://geekfeminism.org/ ✤ The Border House http://borderhouseblog.com/ ✤ Tiger Beatdown http://tigerbeatdown.com/ ✤ Feministing http://www.feministing.com/ ✤ Game Girl Advance http://www.gamegirladvance.com/ ✤ Jezebel http://www.jezebel.com ✤ Racialicious http://www.racialicious.com/ ✤ Shapely Prose http://kateharding.net/
  63. 63. Andrea Phillips ✤ Game designer, writer, strident feminist ✤ andrhia@gmail.com ✤ Twitter: Andrhia ✤ AIM: Andrh1a ✤ Skype: Andrhia ✤ Deus Ex Machinatio http://www.deusexmachinatio.com

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