Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Games + girls = ?

One of the biggest mysteries of our time is, of course, the combination of games and girls. Do they mix? Well here's my two cents.

At least they seem to mix really well.

I think the public opinion is that games are for (teenage) boys. At least it used to be like that. Of course it's easy to think so when you look at the games today. When you see a game or advertisement with a women with huge tits and very little clothes on, it gives us a pretty good hint to whom the games are made/advertised to. Well not all games are like that, but big part of them is. And why is that? Because sex sells. There's no denying that. I can't walk on the street without seeing ads with good looking women on them. But it works. My head turns nicely when I walk past them. I like women, can't help it.

I wouldn't mind playing with her.

So it seems like games are for boys, but don't believe everything you see. Today's generation has grown up with games surrounding them, so they see more easily what's the deal with games. And this includes girls. I understand if my mom says that games are for little boys. Only thing she knows about games is a tv commercial about Gran Turismo. Well that and solitaire she plays occasionally. That was my mom and she's is 60, then lets move to my girlfriend who is 19. She used to play games just like me when she was little. Mario and Tekken were great she says. She also played WoW few years back. Well today she doesn't play that much anymore, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't like games. I bought all the available Crash Bandicoots from PSN and she played them all through. She also tried Flow (game where you control the character by moving and turning the controller and not by pushing any buttons) but didn't like it. "Only suckers play games like this. I want my good old pad with buttons" she said. Words of a true gamer. :p

That's only one person I know, but if we look at the game industry as a whole we can easily see how the girls are taken into account more and more. They even have a word for it, social gaming. Ever heard of it? Popcap Games ordered a survey about social gaming and guess what, the majority of those gamers are women (55% - 45%). If you look only Facebook the gap grows even bigger (69% - 31%). So the girls in fact do like to play games. They just play them on Facebook, at least for now. One interesting point from Popcap's survey (this includes boys too, but girls being the majority of those gamers it still gives us some direction):

  • When asked to choose as many reasons as they wanted for playing social games from a lengthy list, social gamers cited "fun and excitement" as the most popular motivation (53%). Stress relief (45%) and "competitive spirit" (43%) were next most popular respectively, followed by "mental workout" (32%) and "connect with others" (24%).

Those most popular reasons look familiar. At least for me they are the reasons I play games (although some games cause more stress than relieve it). "Competitive spirit" is also one big reason for all online gamers, whether they play CoD or FIFA or whatever.

Maybe this is why girls don't play with consoles...

So the reasons to play are pretty much the same but games differ. I believe this is because it's so easy for girls to play Farmville or whatever on Facebook. I'm pretty sure they would like "real" games just as much if they only had the chance to try. These "real" games have so many different genres that there surely is something for everyone. For example games like Little Big Planet, Sims, ModNation Racers and Viva Pinata are great if you want to show someone that there are also other games than the GTAs and CoDs. And I'm not stating here that those two are bad, just that they are so well known already. Also Guitar Heros and Singstars etc are easy to approach.

So, games and girls, do they mix? I'd say yes. Girls like to play but they just play the games that are available to them and most of those games happen to be on Facebook or somewhere else on the internet. If we want to get them on the couch to play with us we need more social games for consoles or the current games and consoles with different kind of marketing strategy.

68 comments:

  1. I kinda agree with what your saying, however i think the reason why girls don't play some games and play others has to do with the difference between emotions/hormones of guys and girls. I think guys prefer violent/fighting games because of the greater testosterone levels and desire of domination, and girls prefer games like The Sims and similar because it stimulates their emotional/intellectual needs.

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  2. we all know the rules of the internet... there are no such thing as girls on the internet, so naturally its easy to assume there are no girls online gaming. (i have my fiance talk trash for me on COD while i slay it on Search and Destroy)

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  3. I love that picture. See, it's weird. My little sisters are dominant at video games, but it's became they grew up around me. Every other girl I know is fucking palsy when it comes to gaming.

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  4. A lot of it is also upbringing. It's very early on that girls get the message that cars and video games are not for them and it's the same message for boys about dolls and skipping ropes.

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  5. Pretty nice text, and yes, they do mix... Girls enjoy games too, my GF plays God of war, final fantasy and others and she's mad about them...
    Other girls I know keep with the facebook or popcaplike games... But they game for sure!

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  6. I'm a girl and I play videos games because I was brought up with two brothers who got me interested in it. Sure enough when I was younger it was children's games like looney toons and bugs bunny but then as I got older I started playing my brothers games. Now I play the likes of Fallout, the Cod franchise, gta and World of Warcraft.
    If it wasn't for my brothers letting me play the dreamcast and getting me my own ps1 then I don't think I would be playing games like I am today.

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  7. nice read and i couldn't agree more with you.

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  8. They mix, but only on farmville.

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  9. There is lots of girl gamers these days and in my opinion they are cute and mix well :).

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  10. Their numbers are growing alright, need to be careful or they might take over

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  11. Damn, that first girl is hot!
    Kept having to scroll back up to take a look.

    Following :)

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  12. Hardcore gamer girls are rather rare, at least where I'm at. And those that I have found all have boyfriends.

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  13. girls mix well with games just as guys.

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  14. more common than you think nowadays

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  15. I laughed at the mental workout 20ish%

    come on facebook games are made with 8 year olds in mind all you do is click away...

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  16. I have a lot of girls around who play games, some are more into it then others.

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  17. Great post, quality material you've got there.

    I think anybody can be good at games, most girls just don't see it as 'girly' when they are younger and never get started. My g/f couldn't do anything videogame wise, and was disoriented by first-person gamin. I let her play around on portal for like, 2 weeks, now she's up to Bio-Shock, and loving being able to experience a story, rather than just watch it.

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  18. indeed a lot of girls like to play games, why should they be different than we are

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  19. Good blog, and interesting read!

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  20. Girls who play video games turn me on

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  21. First image explains it all, lol. Nice post as always, keep up the nice work.

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  22. would like to play guitar hero with the first girl

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  23. The first picture is really nice. I wish there were more gamer girls, it is really a turn on for me.

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  24. LOL I liked that picture with the japanese girls.

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  25. Only know a few girls who play consoles and they usually only do it to spend time with their BF's. Wish I could meet a gamer girl.

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  26. I think mixing girls with games is good marketing ;)

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  27. Gamer girls are great, as long as they dont make a big deal of their gaming. good blog btw, +follower

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  28. Sorry, couldn't get past that first picture. I'm sure you had a good point though.

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  29. Definitely are some girl gamers. My girlfriend is into Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Also Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Even more than I am.

    But they are the exception not the rule

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  30. Girls are showing up more and more in online shooters, much to my pleasure. A lot of them that I know don't talk because they get hounded as soon as they begin to speak. I hate the ones that are like HEY GUISE LOL IMAGIRLPLAYINGAEMZ. They just irritate me and hog the airwaves for strategy.

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  31. The preconception that "girl-gamers" are some mythical creature has slowly become untrue. The gaming culture has become more widespread and accepted in the last decade, in addition to a whole new generation of gamers growing up and reaching the age of majority.

    It may have started as a male dominated field, but I don't think it is anymore.

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  32. I am female and I love guitar hero and DDR:)

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  33. most girls playing game that not involve war,weapon,fighting and action. They more like to play game such as farmville,cityville that easy and not challenging.

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  34. Hi,

    Girls can play games and they can play better than boys. It's the society who have created a concept where games are only played by boys.

    Mario Sharapova, Serena Villiams have proved that girls can do anything and everything.

    Next time, you go to the shop to buy a gift for your girlfriend....buy her a Girls Games DVD...She would start loving you more for this more awesome gift!

    Hugs and Kisses

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