Games for Women, Games by Women


The Women in Games International held a half day event this past Saturday entitled Games for Women, Games by Women at the Fort Mason Convention Center. The event was composed primarily of panelist discussions about the types of games currently played by women and the types of games that appeal to women. Although no standard profile of the female gamer was determined (probably for the best really), some of the common game characteristics drawn from that which they play show that they prefer games that are easy to learn yet hard to master; they prefer games that start and stop with relative ease; and they seek games that are mentally rewarding rather than just the kill-kill-kill motivation. However even these game characteristics are not always the rule. More after the jump…

The characteristics mentioned previously are found primarily in casual games (i.e. web games), which are, as you may have guessed, predominately played by women. With the Xbox Live Arcade women will become more comfortable with using a console platform to play games. (Well, at least that was the gist of what the Microsoft employee said.) Some of the other panelists suggested that as younger generations of women become familiar with gaming and technology in general, we’ll see women gamers playing all types of games.

As an example, there was mention of the significant number of female players in the virtual worlds World of Warcraft as well as Second Life. Overall the event was positive and encouraging. Hopefully pink and pretty will not always be viewed as the way in which to gear games towards females. And boys will dish out lines like “What’s your server, baby?” rather than “What’s your sign?” (Sorry folks! Geek humor joke credit goes to Gano Haine. I’m just not that witty.)