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Games and Gals

By title a regular Gamedroid-reader can believe that this article will tell about the little pictures with attractive girls on them on the left side of this page. However, I have to tell you that it’s not. In the same time the title is not misleading, because I wanna tell you about games and girls in general. Although, the public of GD and similar sites can be described mainly with masculine attributes, but there are lots of evidence on games can catch girls too. Two ladies wrote articles about a CRPG and an MMORPG to one of our partner sites, the Rejtett Uradalom (Hidden Manor). Personally I got to know three female friends of mine in an MMO. It turned out about another one of my female friends that she is fond of The Path. Furthermore, putting tiny personal experiences aside, don’t forget Bella Online with its unbelievable list of walkthroughs, to tell only one example – it’s unbelievable considering BO is a site for women.

It’s unpleasant in many ways but somehow game developers basically rule women out of possible target audience, and if not, they approach the topic a bit idiotically. Unfortunately, it is especially worth attention when a girl game is not full of bugs. No, it’s not about the leaping and dressing of Holly Hobbie and Strawberry Shortcake on java flash but the more serious stuff.

One of the popular series, Star Stable offers nicely constructed horse games for young girls. You have to take care of your horse and you can ride races with it. Besides, you can do lesser tasks to help around the stable and for the people in the village nearby. All of these runs in GTA-style and with decent graphics – and with a pile of bugs which sooner or later will teach little girls how to swear.

The similarly popular Pet Vet series was fabricated apparently by typical man brains. It contains so heavy elements of building and economical strategy that only a few hours of play was enough for me to ruin the whole African pet hospital. Not to mention that it has a serious limitation of choosing the language of the game: Outside of English speaking countries only those kids can play it whose parents have great English language skills and a vet’s dictionary. I am a translator and sometimes I write in English, but I could tell my child about the lice in the ear of the mongoose only by reading the long descriptions. Not much kid has such patience.

However, older women still can feel like they are left out of computer games marketing. And they do indeed, so much that they founded an organization which wants to change this. The Women in Games International (WIGI) was born in 2005, and struggles to help women getting into the computer games industry. There are game developers, managers, professors in the crew, and not only from the independent scene – for example Karen Clark is also fighting for the holy cause as a project manager of BioWare. Should I tell you a game too? Dragon Age.

[It’s only a remark: WIGI gave a much interesting meaning to the term “DLC”. (D=drinks, L=lectures, C=community).]

Anyway, there is some chaos around this topic, but it’s easy to counter the claims. According to one of the arguments girls are not interested in computers, programming and maths in general. But it will turn out to be mere babbling if you browse the net for the statistics and find that more than half of women are playing games regularly – the survey was especially about social gaming, but it definitely disproves the supposed “disgust of computers” as an explanation.

You can say most of the games are made with men as heroes, which is rising some antipathy in women who, in spite of their fine ability for empathy, cannot easily play the role of a macho. Of course, we won’t dislike them for being not too manly. However, this is a stupid argument again, because we have a number of woman heroes (i. e.: Resident Evil, Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider, Longest Journey, American McGee’s Alice), and there are numerous action and role-playing games in which you can choose between male and female heroes. No examples here, because you can find this option in any CRPG beginning with character creation, and in some story-related games like Mass Effect.

Girls! No more excuse! Sit down and play!

Garcius—

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