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View Poll Results: Are marketing campaigns for games and consoles aimed mainly at women or men?
men 27 96.43%
women 0 0%
equal 1 3.57%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default Marketing strategies: aimed at men or women?

Do you feel that marketing campaigns for both consoles as games are aimed mainly at women or men? What (if anything) should change?


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Old 10-14-2005, 11:33 AM   #2
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Definelty targeting guys more than gals...a few things might help.

Start making girls in games look less like huge-breasted sluts. (I don't think girls appreciate that aspect of games) Rather make more realistic heroines.

Start making games that appeal to girls more (nintendogs, sims, animal crossing have all been rather popular with girls)

Maybe make gaming less intimidating to women who aren't gamers, change the control scheme perhaps.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:41 AM   #3
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Welcome to the AG community, xera. Is this a cultural or societal study on games in terms of gender issues or is it more towards researching market statistics and demographics only?

It's definitely aimed mostly at men. I practically never see ads for The Sims in magazines like People or Us, and was there ever a commercial for a video game shown during Desperate Housewives or Oprah, or even during daytime and primetime soap operas? If anything it's a little more likely that publishers will insert ads in younger or more hip women's lifestyle magazines like Seventeen or Jane, but even then I'll wager the ratio tilts it very low compared to ads in men's publications.

There's also the technology barrier. Though today's PCs, cell phones, and other gadgets are more user friendly than ever before, there still seems to be a learning curve that a lot women have trouble with. This greatly affects how games, especially tech demanding PC games, are perceived by women. It looks like today's generation of women may be largely tougher to reach because of it, but the next generation is growing up with progressive technology infused well into their lifestyle. They'll be the ones who'll feel more comfortable (but probably never as comfy with it as men), and they'll be more receptive to interactive media.

And then there's the content of games and their actual design, and the fact that there are very few women working deep in the games industry today, but I'll comment on all that after some others here get a word in.
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Old 10-14-2005, 12:21 PM   #4
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Men, but so are most ads. Even shampoo and skin cream ads are directed for men, for some reason I cannot fathom. They all have half-naked women French kissing each other or something. Okay, that's exaggeration, but still...
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
They all have half-naked women French kissing each other or something
Damn, I've been watching the wrong channels!
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:11 PM   #6
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What's love got to do with it?

Not a lot. There is a segment of games, the majority aren't great, and they include immature representations of women (Dead or Alive), or add in a gratuitous sex scene just to show a female character naked (Fahrenheit). NFSU incorporates a "story" (a very loose definition of one) as an excuse to add movies with women wearing very alluring clothes in them between racing. If those games sell for that, then no one should stop them from being sold.

This is representative of entertainment out of games. Action movies have female characters in them that are obviously written by men. Scenes are added to movies just because an actress needs to be naked to attract more viewers. Models are paid to come to racing events.

Gender roles.

A lot of women are discouraged from playing computer games because they're seen as abnormal for wanting to do so, and not being normal is seen as automatically bad. Professions such as being a racing driver, working in the military, or professional sports athlete aren't taken by women, in part because generally women aren't interested, and in part because they're discouraged. Men are generally interested in those things.

Games being about racing, fighting, and sport are made because they're easy to make. The actions can be simulated. One thing that women are interested in is people, and The Sims, a virtual dolls house, that has character interaction, looking after your sim, decorating/designing the house as some of its gameplay. The Sim City series had the basic principles, but I don't think that game was as readily sold to a female audience. The adding of relationships, shopping, and decorating seems to be the main factor. Clearly marketed towards a stereotype of women, and it worked. The problem is that these games are much harder to make, and I think they will develope slower, and there will be fewer ideas and opportunities in this area.

So there.

I don't think anything should change in the gaming world, I doubt it could, without sweeping changes to culture and that just isn't going to happen. Aslong as men like to see pretty women with large breasts while playing a game then that's what will be in games. While women aren't generally interested in combat, sport, or racing then they're not going to be interested in the games that simulate them.
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:26 PM   #7
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You know, the only thing I find more irritating than the stereotype that women are less technologically saavy than men is the fact that most women in society seem to be willing to perpetuate it.

I remember a few years ago I worked as a sales associate at a local software/video game store. I was the only woman working there.

Oddly enough, every one of the male employees, and the men who came into the shop, treated me like an equal. They didn't condescend to me, nor did they bend over to be politically correct or anything. I was just a sales associate who knew stuff about computers and video games and happened to have breasts.

On the flip side, all the moms who came into the store always made a big deal out of me being a woman. "Oh, it's so good to see a young girl who knows so much about technology!" they'd say. (Geez, I hope they don't have daughters. Those girls would likely either be bad with technology or feel invisible.)

So yeah, I think marketing does cater to men instead of women, however, women in general seem to be willing to put up with it.

Personally I don't want the industry to start catering to women, though. Just create unique games with strong plots, interesting characters, inspired art and music, and gameplay that requires more than just twitch reflexes, and the question of gender will be irrelevant because that sort of game is likely to appeal to everyone.

</idealistic>

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Old 10-14-2005, 01:31 PM   #8
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My sister is a meetings coordinator for the ABA and has worked using computers for years. She knows all the appropriate software (MS Office, Excell, Power Point, etc.). However, she's a self admitted complete idiot when it comes to checking system specs, troubleshooting, comparing features in hardware, and other things. And she looks down on computer games as silly and only for the kids.
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:55 PM   #9
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White, middle class males aged 16 - 25.

They're most likely the easiest demographic to make money off of.
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:43 PM   #10
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Aged 16-25, brought up on games, a little bit of pipe diving with a plumber, lil' bit of Lara.
Male, boy racer, likes to blow things up *KABOOM* big guns, big breasts, 'ave it!
Middle class, spare time, spare cash, father, can I have my allowance, mother has been at the anti-depressants again.
White.
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeysie
Personally I don't want the industry to start catering to women, though. Just create unique games with strong plots, interesting characters, inspired art and music, and gameplay that requires more than just twitch reflexes, and the question of gender will be irrelevant because that sort of game is likely to appeal to everyone.
Yes, exactly. I'm always wary when I hear about games being developed for women, because usually that means the developer has some idiotic generalised idea of what women want. We're not like a herd or a hive mind. I would rather not play Pretty Princess Barbie Goes Shopping for Sparkle Ponies or whatever.

If a game is clever and well rounded PEOPLE will play it, period.
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:57 PM   #12
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Its been my experience that women tend to prefer communal gaming over single player distraction. Where guys are happy to buy a game that plays up the visuals and visceral things to do (shooters, sports titles), women tend to gravitate to titles that play up the multiplayer aspects (eye toy games, dancemats, mmorpgs).

I'm not entirely convinced the popularity of The Sims with female gamers is simply because they can vaccuum and decorate a doll house, but because of the simulated communal setting, and the very real communal enviroment surrounding the sims (messageboards, online swapping/downloads etc).

If I wanted to sell a game from a traditionally male dominated genre such as a sci-fi setting shooter, to women. I wouldn't play up the guns, or the vehicles or the big explosions as is commonly done now. I'd play up the characters, show their amazingly modelled faces, let them speak in trailers and play up the co-operative gameplay (rather than the adversarial), that's designed to be dunce simple to get into.
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Old 10-15-2005, 08:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy in milk
Its been my experience that women tend to prefer communal gaming over single player distraction. Where guys are happy to buy a game that plays up the visuals and visceral things to do (shooters, sports titles), women tend to gravitate to titles that play up the multiplayer aspects (eye toy games, dancemats, mmorpgs).
Me personally, I've never played any multiplayer games. I'd be up for trying an RPG or FPS but if I suck at it, I don't want anyone around to hear me curse violentally.
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie68
Me personally, I've never played any multiplayer games. I'd be up for trying an RPG or FPS but if I suck at it, I don't want anyone around to hear me curse violentally.
I sucked at Quake III once. And then I played it more and more and got better and better. It was my very first FPS.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:05 PM   #15
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From my experience, women tend to like the games for their stories. Very few women I know like shooting things, or super hero comic books, or race cars, or Football. With the Sims, they can build their own soap opera. My girl friend for example was excited that Bella Goth was missing. She was excited that her half alian/half human kid was going to university. You'd be surprised how much she liked The Movies game between all the games showing on E3.

On the other hand, she loved Psychonauts for its very fun story after she played it, although if it was not for me pimping it all the time and actually buying the game myself, she would have never ever played it. She loved KOTOR for the big twist, although again she was very skeptical about SW games. She loved KOTOR so much that she bought Jade Empire at launch and loved it for its beautiful history. She also loves puzzle games on the DS, even a big fan of advanced wars which is an awesome strategy game that is stripped from all complexities. If there is one company aiming for girls, I believe it is Nintendo, and my girl friend who has an XBOX and has bought like 2 games on it has already bought 6 games for the DS. She is planning on getting a revolution next gen. Once games get stripped of their violence and provide a meaningful way for most women to build their stories, I believe we'll see more women in games.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoccerDude28
Very few women I know like shooting things...
You should meet those women whose partners drive them crazy.

Quote:
On the other hand, she loved Psychonauts for its very fun story after she played it, although if it was not for me pimping it all the time and actually buying the game myself, she would have never ever played it. She loved KOTOR for the big twist, although again she was very skeptical about SW games. She loved KOTOR so much that she bought Jade Empire at launch and loved it for its beautiful history. She also loves puzzle games on the DS, even a big fan of advanced wars which is an awesome strategy game that is stripped from all complexities. If there is one company aiming for girls, I believe it is Nintendo, and my girl friend who has an XBOX and has bought like 2 games on it has already bought 6 games for the DS. She is planning on getting a revolution next gen. Once games get stripped of their violence and provide a meaningful way for most women to build their stories, I believe we'll see more women in games.
If only my man were like this. < starts to cry >
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aj_
Aged 16-25, brought up on games, a little bit of pipe diving with a plumber, lil' bit of Lara.
Male, boy racer, likes to blow things up *KABOOM* big guns, big breasts, 'ave it!
Middle class, spare time, spare cash, father, can I have my allowance, mother has been at the anti-depressants again.
White.
Well, white in the sense that a majority of the protagonists of games are anglo-saxon... or anthropomorphic... And the representation of blacks and Asians in gaming are a bit narrow minded don't you think?
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Old 10-16-2005, 06:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHousequake
Well, white in the sense that a majority of the protagonists of games are anglo-saxon...
That's hardly surprising, the majority of the US and Europe is populated by anglo-saxons. If you have seen Korean or Japanese games, they obviously don't follow the same pattern. Really doesn't help in the relevance of being easy to "make money off of".
Quote:
And the representation of blacks and Asians in gaming are a bit narrow minded don't you think?
I can think of specific examples, but I wouldn't say it's epidemic.
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Old 10-17-2005, 12:03 PM   #19
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Women. After all, most women I know of are serial killers or housewives that need to let their aggressions out from time to time (after all, beating your own kids is, sadly, a very serious offence, though those bastards would deserve a good beating every once in a while). Stories and character interaction? Women got enough of fairytales in their childhood. Romanticism and sensual content? Nah, most women who are into gaming watch porn as their husbands have become impotent. Most girls I've talked to find lesbian content particularly exciting, and it is a major factor in their purchasing decision...

Spoiler:
OK, so actually I voted men.
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Fop
Men, but so are most ads. Even shampoo and skin cream ads are directed for men, for some reason I cannot fathom. They all have half-naked women French kissing each other or something. Okay, that's exaggeration, but still...
Well that's not entirely true, a lot of commercials these days have half-naked men in them, and I believe one fully naked man doing crunches (but with handy shadows of coarse) I do believe we are witnessing the beginning of a shift in marketing which could also influence games in the long run. That being said I hope this evolution will not merely change the roles (i.e. scantly dressed heroes replacing the scantly dressed heroines we know now)
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