I was talking to a friend online last night who is at University and He was writing an article on girls in the gaming industry. So I thought I would nick his idea and do one myself.
There is a currently well documented approach by the industry to attract more women into gaming, most notably by Nintendo, and with such titles as Ubisofts Imagine games and other supposedly 'Female Focused' entries on systems from the 360 to DS, but most notably the DS. There is also this tendancy to colour the systems towards women with pink DS's etc, which is a little daft but I guess is what some women want.
I personally think that the game industry attracts plenty of women, they are just much better at hiding thier gaming addictions than guys are unless openly asked about it. That is no bad thing, and I think as the medium grows in popularity and becomes more mainstream then more and more women will game, and this apparent need to cater specifically to a demographic the industry percieves to have a less delicate taste in games will evaporate.
I have read several posts on this very site by gamer girls, and they make no big deal about being female unless it is necessary. I am guessing several of them will respond to this post, which will show that girls game as much as boys, they just dont find it as big a deal. I watched the CGS finals on TV last year, and both teams that ended up in the final had female members, and both of those were absolutly kick ass players. While neither of them competed in Counter strike, and that thier were more guys on the teams, it does show one thing: True gamer girls dont advertise, they prove.
That is the problem I have with the likes of the Frag Dolls. They were purposefully created by Ubisoft to promote gaming to females, which sort of defeats the point as they only seem to offend the women who do game off thier own backs, especially as it seems each member wasnt made part of the clan based on just thier gaming prowess (that maybe a bit cynical, but check the picture).
I cant help but feel such all girl clans that are heavily promoted by the companies within the industry do nothing to promote the hobby/profession to the people they are trying to target. If women want to game, they will game and if they want to make a career out of it they will do that too. Gaming is big enough now that it is very easy for women to get into it with out getting a pink DS and playing Imagine: Wedding Planner.
In fact the term 'Gamer Girls' is wrong in itself. They are just gamers, the fact that they game might be surprising when you first learn of it but singling them out purely because they are female is stupid and doesnt move the industry along in any way, shape or form. I will probably get alot of flack for the this post because I am pointing out things about gaming women that I probably have no business doing, because I am not one of them.
Nobility is an interesting thing, I like to think this post is noble in its intent to prompt a discussion on this subject, hopefully to get the ladies who do frequent Giantbomb to have a say on it and make some new gaming friends out of that. More likely, it will be taken as a bit of a sexist rant and ignored by the majority. I guess only time will tell.
One last thing is that my friend that I mentioned at the start of this post also asked me if I had ever encountered any kind of sexism while gaming. I have to say I havent, but then I am not a female so that is slightly a given. I havent encountered any in lobbies or during matches I know feature women as participants, so I am unsure as to how big a problem this is, though I do bet that most of it comes 10 year old american boys who are too stupid to realise that girl they are slaggin off will kick thier ass from here to next wednesday in the game, then come round to thier house and do the same.