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same crap, different industry

Gamer Alice is attending E3 and reporting on the meetings she's attending. Game industry and comic industry talk have always had scary parallels, but this panel discussion she covers on "women in games" really takes the cake. Please take special note of her comments at the end, which might as well be about comics. For example -- "I think that it's not a lack of games that will appeal to women that's the problem - there are LOTS - it's women even knowing they exist, and that they're fun, and worth the purchase." All her comments are good but if the parallels hold up, they're just falling deaf-as-nails ears. (I have to also say I agree with her statement "Make more survival horror games please, they're my favourite." 100%!!)

I wonder if there's any parallel in gaming to manga -- something that can just cut right through the industry's dopiness and get to women anyway.

(found through boing boing)

Comments

"Mr. Oswald"? I thought for a second that you might have become a Fastbacks fan (cf. "Dear Mr. Oswald" on "The Question Is No"), but then saw that it was Reading, not Playing. Russ Johnson rules! I treasure my copy of that book. Here's that interview from Hogan's Alley:
http://cagle.slate.msn.com/hogan/interviews/johnson/home.asp

I still haven't finished it -- but I did reread the interview (Evan has been saving that issue for 2 years because he wanted the book so bad!) yesterday. Too bad the book isn't complete, and *really* too bad that the 2nd book never got published. I would love to know where all that stuff is and get someone to put it out. We heart Mister Oswald!

I always find disscussions of women in comics AND gaming by developers, a touch condescending. I agree with Alice that part of the problem is that we don't even really get marketed TO.

I can't count how many of my girlfriends read comics and play online or console game. Just because we aren't all rushing out to buy the latest RPG or FPS game we somehow "aren't being reached".

How about more puzzle games, URU, Myst, or (while being a FPS) Max Payne type games? Or Age of Empires and all the games based on that engine? And hello!! City of Heros folks! How fun is THAT game??? Comics and a game all in one!!

I can say for myself that I like games that look really cool and don't take a million years to learn how to play. I think if they took the time to really look into the market they would be selling a lot more games to us.

And I'm right there with wanting a Playstation, thinkgeek etc...shirt that is NOT XXL but cut for me!! ;)

women don't have time for games, should be taking care of the kids.

I was annoyed by some of the questions posed by the men on the panel. "Can we attract women to games rather than have them hoovering around it?" What a generalization.

Agreed on the not-being-marketed-to issue and on the swag issue. All of the freebie computer t-shirts I've ever received fit like ponchos on me. I also have the same problem with most of my comics shirts. I'm finding myself in the sad position of wanting to get rid of all my comics t-shirts because they all look like tents and I never wear them. :(

I'm not sure about finding a Tokyopop type solution to video games for women. It seems to me that many, many, many of der womens are playing games already, and I would guess if not just as many boys then close to as many. It's just the marketing guys who don't know how to make commercials that include girls looking as if they are as interested in real life. I think the reason why marketing can't figure out how to qualify a specific gender in their advertising is that video game selection among individuals gravitates around very personal selections on the gamers part. Case in point, say, Tavisha, the majority of her favourite games are all fighting games, but she's also a huge fan of all the Pokemon games and Animal Crossing. I tend to gravitate towards MMORPGs (City of Heroes: where one can fight along side Col. Sanders and Dan Rather) and platformers. So how does marketing nail people for their tastes in video games when it all so individual?

I went to E3 on Friday. My God that place makes the displays at San Diego Comic Con look like those of a 3rd rate carnival and I think Hooters must have had to close down for a week to supply all the extra booth girls (ghastly!). BUT! OoOOoOoOooo ... Sarah! The Sony PSP, the new hand held! It's GORGEOUS! It has a movie quality, four inch screen, back lit, with better true 3D graphics than the original Playstation. I wish I had a rock with me at the time. I could have knocked out the security guard and taken out the glass case ... and played the PSP all night in jail.

P.S. Resident Evil 4 is also really amazing. Leon looks like he's wandering around a small European village, just shooting regular guys in the face and knees! When you shoot an axe wielding villager in the face, he staggers back, holds his blood spurting would and shrieks! If the wounded villager still comes at you, you can then finish him with a spin kick to the back of the head that plants what's left of his face in the ground for next spring's harvest! Yikes!

-Rikki

Not to be all "girlie" but Kitty if you are interested, I can do quilts, pillows and the like with cool comic t-shirts. I did a blanket for my husband with all his cool band t-shirts from college and it's pretty cool. :)

Feel free email me if you are interested!
me at sistermadly dot com

City of Heroes: where one can fight along side Col. Sanders and Dan Rather

LOL! I'll have to look for those Rikki!

Thanks for the E3 info. That PSP sounds REALLY nifty! And the description of RE4 had my husband in here asking what I was laughing at and then wondering when it was coming out! :)

...I wonder if there's any parallel in gaming to manga -- something that can just cut right through the industry's dopiness and get to women anyway.

Yeah I know this is rather late but back when I was in Hong Kong about 3 years ago and scoping out the racks of PSX games over there, here's what I noticed. Most of the games going to Hong Kong are Japanese and amongst them are quite a lot of games that are aimed at girls, general audience and some that are just plain weird in concept. Amongst them were:

-Black Matrix+: tactical horror/fantasy combat game aimed at the shoujo crowd that liked Angel Sanctuary and X. You are an angel who is leading a revolution to overthrow the demons and usher in the end of the world

-Kaikan Phase: based on the shoujo anime rather than the comic, this is one of those Dance Dance revolution games.

-Puppet Princess and various sequels: RPG involving a girl who uses a magical horn to bring puppets to life. The sequel(s) are multi-generational as the character is the daughter of the original heroine (who still makes some appearances).

-Ten-made Jack: bizarre graffiti style platform game which tells the story of Jack and the beanstalk except that Jack can defend himself by throwing his head at adversaries

-Pepsi Man: is that Jim Belushi shilling for Pepsi? This is an obstacle course game where you are the would-be super hero Pepsi Man who's trying to collect Pepsi cans lying on the street while avoiding running into garbage trucks, cars and etc. Some digitized movie scenes in the game involving a Pepsi delivery man who looks a lot like Belushi if isn't actually him

-Jellyfish the healing friend: not really a game but a simulation where you have Jellyfish floating in an aquarium and you can pan the screen at various angles to check it out. For the stressed crowd who needs Jellyfish healing

-Vib Ribbon: vector-line drawn rabbit humanoid jumps over line obstacles that resemble sharps and flats in a music score. Every time you do this a musical note is played. Stylistically interesting

-Rakugaki Showtime: murder ball game involving characters who were scribbled out by a sentient hand. Wackier than it sounds

And these are just some of what's out there. I can't really think of a niche that hasn't been covered to some degree.

Interesting thing was when I was scoping out the racks, a couple of girls came by and were talking about getting a game for that night when they'd bum about. The game they got was some kind of variant Monopoly fantasy game.


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