Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding The Market

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SHRINKWRAPPED : DESCRIPTION: 193 Pages: Charles River Media; 1 edition (September 2003) : Women and girls of today are more tech savvy than ever before and research shows that ... they currently make up over 52% of Internet users and 70% of casual online gamers. Why then, is the game industry still producing computer games that primarily target males ages 13-25? With this tight focus, game developers are not only sharply limiting their possible total income, but they are losing sight of the bigger picture. The games industry is currently growing faster than the target market. To keep the industry strong and growing, game developers must start looking at expanding their market, which means designing titles that are accessible to the female audience. Successful entertainment industries have sustained growth for decades because they have considered the diversity of their audiences. Today's blockbuster products, be it movies, recordings or books, are most often the ones with elements that directly appeal to many market sectors, while containing very few barriers to access for others. By understanding the issues and barriers connected to gender, the game industry can benefit from a similar growth strategy. Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market addresses issues that help designers and developers understand the real differences between how the genders approach and resolve conflicts, and what their entertainment criteria and responses are. It also explores the differences in reward systems, game play preferences, and avatar selection criteria, and how these issues all apply to game design, regardless of genre. By understanding these differences, designers can apply this knowledge to the traditional genres that make up the contemporary computer game industry and begin tapping the future market. Read more Show Less

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Overview


Women and girls of today are more tech savvy than ever before and research shows that they currently make up over 52% of Internet users and 70% of casual online gamers. Why then, is the game industry still producing computer games that primarily target males ages 13-25? With this tight focus, game developers are not only sharply limiting their possible total income, but they are losing sight of the bigger picture. The games industry is currently growing faster than the target market. To keep the industry strong and growing, game developers must start looking at expanding their market, which means designing titles that are accessible to the female audience. Successful entertainment industries have sustained growth for decades because they have considered the diversity of their audiences. Today's blockbuster products, be it movies, recordings or books, are most often the ones with elements that directly appeal to many market sectors, while containing very few barriers to access for others. By understanding the issues and barriers connected to gender, the game industry can benefit from a similar growth strategy. Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market addresses issues that help designers and developers understand the real differences between how the genders approach and resolve conflicts, and what their entertainment criteria and responses are. It also explores the differences in reward systems, game play preferences, and avatar selection criteria, and how these issues all apply to game design, regardless of genre. By understanding these differences, designers can apply this knowledge to the traditional genres that make up the contemporary computer game industry and begin tapping the future market. Perhaps the real question developers need to be asking themselves is, "but what if the player is female?"
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Sheri Graner Ray has been in the computer industry for over ten years and founded a game development company dedicated to designing games for girls, Sirenia Software, Inc. She was also the Director of Product Development for Her Interactive, Inc., and was a designer/writer for Origin Systems, Inc. She is a frequent speaker at the Game Developer Conference and is the co-chair for the Women in Game Development committee of the International Game Developers Association. Sheri is currently a Senior Designer for Sony Online Entertainment.
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Table of Contents


1 Females and Machines 2 Evolution of Female Characters in Computer Games 3 Conflict and Conflict Resolution Styles in Game Design 4 Stimulation and Entertainment 5 Learning and Communications Styles in Computer Game Development 6 Reward and Gameplay 7 Avatar Selection 8 Puzzle Games 9 Online and Wireless Games 10 The Design Document--A Case Study 11 Women in the Game Industry Workplace 12 Influential Women in Computer Game Development 13 But What If the Player Is Female?
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2005

    Generally repetitive & obvious

    If this book was half as thick and half the price I would be more upbeat about it. Having followed the thoughts on building games that will appeal to women for some time, I found little in this book that was new or useful. I disagree with a number of her points. She talks about adapting a King Arthur game to be gender inclusive which is a good idea, but her example of making Sir Lancelot an incompetent fighter with out a magic item (that the player must retrieve for him) as the antithesis as an example of treating the source material with respect. I give this book 3 stars rather than 2 because someone who knows nothing about the 'girl gamer' debates would likely find this book more useful than I did.

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