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Girls 'n' Games event: this news is so old

Jennie Lees

While E3's keynotes were kicking off last week, several academics, developers and advocates of women in gaming gathered at UCLA to discuss girls, games and everything relating to the two. However, from Gamasutra's account of the event, nothing new was really discussed. Some of the key points brought up:

  • Girls play games. (Well, duh.)
  • Developers shouldn't try to focus on "girl game design" -- stereotyping game design by gender leads to missteps.
  • Player-generated content is popular amongst girls, as is social gameplay.
  • "Cuteness" in games, like anime and manga culture in Japan, encourages girls to get involved in gameplay.
  • Women gamers and girl gamers are different; women and teenage girls have different demands on their time.
  • Girls and women shouldn't just be gamers, but developers too.

We can't help feeling an overwhelming sense of déja vu at these comments, all of which came up at the Women's Game Conference last year, and few of which were novel even then. While it's useful for developers to be aware of the range of demographics that will eventually end up buying -- or choosing not to buy -- their games, do we really need to hear the same points again and again? Is the "women in games" movement a stuck record?

Some panels focus on getting women to play games; others focus on the games women play and examine how upcoming games can learn from them to appeal to a wider audience. Both are important to game development and the future of the industry, but we wonder how long these conferences and panels can feature the same people repeating the same points before the rest of the industry closes its ears in boredom.

[Image from Gamasutra article.]

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