Gender Inclusive Game Design Expanding the Market Sheri Graner Ray Austin Community College Summer Lecture Series  July 8,...
Sheri Graner Ray <ul><li>Sr. Designer, Sony Online Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Game designer since 1990 </li></ul><ul>...
Pink Poison a brief history of the girls’ game  movement in the U.S.
1995
“ Why should we make  games for girls?”
1996
“ How do we make  games for girls?”
1997
1997-1999
March 1999 Big Pink Buys Purple Moon   Oct 2001 Mattel Sells Interactive Division
“ See? We told you girls don’t play computer games!”
Why did this happen? <ul><li>The industry took an entire market of women and defined it as a genre of “fashion, shopping, ...
 
<ul><li>Computer game revenues have topped 9.4 billion dollars, outranking Hollywood box office receipts. </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>The traditional target market of males ages 15-25 is not growing as fast as the games industry.  </li></ul><ul><li...
<ul><li>Today, females between the ages of 15 and 25 control over 14 billion dollars a year in disposable income.  </li></...
“Houston, we have a problem” <ul><li>Less than 10% of the audience for traditional PC games is female  </li></ul><ul><li>L...
 
 
<ul><li>We can remove barriers from our titles today that prevent women from accessing them.  </li></ul>What can we do?
Just a few areas where  barriers exist <ul><li>Learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Price of failure </li></ul><ul><li>Avatar...
Warning <ul><li>The following information is based on broad population generalities. It is highly likely you will know of ...
Gender Differences in Learning Styles <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Females </li></ul><ul><li>Risk-takers </li></ul><ul>...
Solution <ul><li>Design tutorials that use imitative models as well as explorative models </li></ul><ul><li>Look at educat...
The Price of Failure <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Punishment for Error </li></ul><ul><li>Females </li></ul><ul><li>Forg...
Solution <ul><li>Identify the victory conditions for your titles and consciously design such that failure to meet those co...
<ul><li>Avatar  Av`a*tar&quot;, n. 1. <chat, virtual reality> An image representing a user in a multi-user virtual reality...
We need a hero!
<ul><li>Because they represent “heroes”, male and female avatars will often exhibit exaggerated physical signals of youth ...
Youth, Strength  and Fertility/Virility <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Large Shoulders </li></ul><ul><li>Slim waists </li...
<ul><li>Very often female avatars display exaggerated physical signals of sexual receptivity.  </li></ul><ul><li>Male avat...
Sexual receptivity <ul><li>Red, full lips </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy lidded eyes  </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy breathing (usually ...
 
 
Solution <ul><li>Build attractive female figures that are not hyper-sexualized. </li></ul><ul><li>Use female athletes as b...
Electronic Communication <ul><li>Males and females communicate very differently, and this carries through to electronic co...
Communications differences <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Rough language </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to dominate through “p...
“Just change the keymap to WASD!” <ul><li>Avoid the use of industry specific jargon in your documentation, tutorial and ga...
Solutions <ul><li>Avoid using content that contains sexual humor based on put-downs of females.  </li></ul><ul><li>Check y...
Production Environment <ul><li>“ What were you thinking?” </li></ul>
Who are you really designing  your games for? <ul><li>If we do not regularly state that a percentage of our audience is ex...
Sometimes the best man for the job is a  woman <ul><li>The game industry isn’t on women’s career radar </li></ul><ul><li>M...
Solutions <ul><li>Have a clearly defined targeted audience statement that states you intend to design for females as well ...
Where to start: <ul><li>Adjust tutorials to allow for modeling learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Consider forgiveness for ...
“ But what if  the player is female?” Sheri Graner Ray Austin Community College  Summer Lecture Series  July 8,  2005
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Gender&Games

447 views

Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Gender&Games

  1. 1. Gender Inclusive Game Design Expanding the Market Sheri Graner Ray Austin Community College Summer Lecture Series July 8, 2005
  2. 2. Sheri Graner Ray <ul><li>Sr. Designer, Sony Online Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Game designer since 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>Co-founder of the IDGA’s “Women in Game Development” SIG </li></ul><ul><li>Author of G ender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market </li></ul><ul><li>Hard Core Gamer (20+ hours/week) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pink Poison a brief history of the girls’ game movement in the U.S.
  4. 4. 1995
  5. 5. “ Why should we make games for girls?”
  6. 6. 1996
  7. 7. “ How do we make games for girls?”
  8. 8. 1997
  9. 9. 1997-1999
  10. 10. March 1999 Big Pink Buys Purple Moon   Oct 2001 Mattel Sells Interactive Division
  11. 11. “ See? We told you girls don’t play computer games!”
  12. 12. Why did this happen? <ul><li>The industry took an entire market of women and defined it as a genre of “fashion, shopping, and makeup games for girls ages 6-10.” </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>Computer game revenues have topped 9.4 billion dollars, outranking Hollywood box office receipts. </li></ul><ul><li>Salon magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>So what’s the problem? </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>The traditional target market of males ages 15-25 is not growing as fast as the games industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Salon Magazine </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Today, females between the ages of 15 and 25 control over 14 billion dollars a year in disposable income. </li></ul><ul><li>- Newsweek Magazine </li></ul>
  16. 17. “Houston, we have a problem” <ul><li>Less than 10% of the audience for traditional PC games is female </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 15% of Nintendo’s user base is female </li></ul><ul><li>Less then 20% of the audience for traditional online titles are female </li></ul><ul><li>52% of internet users are female </li></ul><ul><li>70% of casual, online gamers are female </li></ul>
  17. 20. <ul><li>We can remove barriers from our titles today that prevent women from accessing them. </li></ul>What can we do?
  18. 21. Just a few areas where barriers exist <ul><li>Learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Price of failure </li></ul><ul><li>Avatars </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Production environment </li></ul>
  19. 22. Warning <ul><li>The following information is based on broad population generalities. It is highly likely you will know of someone that does not fit exactly into these profiles. </li></ul><ul><li>(If you are female and you are in the audience today…then that person will most likely be you!!) </li></ul>
  20. 23. Gender Differences in Learning Styles <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Females </li></ul><ul><li>Risk-takers </li></ul><ul><li>Explorative </li></ul><ul><li>Want to know how it works first </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling/Imitative </li></ul>Most of the tutorials in today’s games are designed to appeal to an explorative learning style.
  21. 24. Solution <ul><li>Design tutorials that use imitative models as well as explorative models </li></ul><ul><li>Look at educational software for examples </li></ul>
  22. 25. The Price of Failure <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Punishment for Error </li></ul><ul><li>Females </li></ul><ul><li>Forgiveness for Error </li></ul>Most games today punish the player for errors either in the form of loss of “lives”, irretrievable loss of items or loss of progress.
  23. 26. Solution <ul><li>Identify the victory conditions for your titles and consciously design such that failure to meet those conditions does not result in irretrievable loss. </li></ul>
  24. 27. <ul><li>Avatar Av`a*tar&quot;, n. 1. <chat, virtual reality> An image representing a user in a multi-user virtual reality space. </li></ul>
  25. 28. We need a hero!
  26. 29. <ul><li>Because they represent “heroes”, male and female avatars will often exhibit exaggerated physical signals of youth strength, and fertility/virility </li></ul>
  27. 30. Youth, Strength and Fertility/Virility <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Large Shoulders </li></ul><ul><li>Slim waists </li></ul><ul><li>Slim hips </li></ul><ul><li>Long, thick hair </li></ul><ul><li>Females </li></ul><ul><li>Large breasts, placed high on the chest </li></ul><ul><li>Slim waists </li></ul><ul><li>Round derrieres </li></ul><ul><li>Long, thick hair </li></ul>
  28. 31. <ul><li>Very often female avatars display exaggerated physical signals of sexual receptivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Male avatars rarely display these signals. </li></ul>
  29. 32. Sexual receptivity <ul><li>Red, full lips </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy lidded eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy breathing (usually indicated by a slightly open mouth) </li></ul><ul><li>Erect nipples </li></ul>
  30. 35. Solution <ul><li>Build attractive female figures that are not hyper-sexualized. </li></ul><ul><li>Use female athletes as body models. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus group test your avatars with female players. </li></ul>
  31. 36. Electronic Communication <ul><li>Males and females communicate very differently, and this carries through to electronic communications. </li></ul>
  32. 37. Communications differences <ul><li>Males </li></ul><ul><li>Rough language </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to dominate through “put downs” </li></ul><ul><li>Use sexual humor </li></ul><ul><li>Females </li></ul><ul><li>Formal language </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to build rapport through questions </li></ul><ul><li>Ceased to communicate when faced with sexual humor that contained female put-downs </li></ul>
  33. 38. “Just change the keymap to WASD!” <ul><li>Avoid the use of industry specific jargon in your documentation, tutorial and game scripts. </li></ul>
  34. 39. Solutions <ul><li>Avoid using content that contains sexual humor based on put-downs of females. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your command text for formality and rapport building language. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your commands for terminology that is industry specific. </li></ul>
  35. 40. Production Environment <ul><li>“ What were you thinking?” </li></ul>
  36. 41. Who are you really designing your games for? <ul><li>If we do not regularly state that a percentage of our audience is expected to be female, we assume we are designing for males. </li></ul>
  37. 42. Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman <ul><li>The game industry isn’t on women’s career radar </li></ul><ul><li>Must recruit in non-traditional areas </li></ul><ul><li>Build today for employees tomorrow </li></ul>
  38. 43. Solutions <ul><li>Have a clearly defined targeted audience statement that states you intend to design for females as well as males. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout your documentation, avoid using only “he” to describe your player. </li></ul><ul><li>Have more women in your workforce – find them through creative recruiting </li></ul>
  39. 44. Where to start: <ul><li>Adjust tutorials to allow for modeling learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Consider forgiveness for error rather than punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Make female avatars attractive, but not hyper-sexual </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly state you intend your audience to contain females </li></ul><ul><li>Seek out qualified female candidates </li></ul>
  40. 45. “ But what if the player is female?” Sheri Graner Ray Austin Community College Summer Lecture Series July 8, 2005

×