When I was playing portal 1. I would think in portals something like this: "Okay i've gotta get over there, so I'm just going to shoot the purple one unto that wall over there and then one under me" or "I wonder if that tree is wide enough to fit a portal unto it"
gamefreak9's forum posts
@thatpinguino: I can't remember why we are talking about art forms and abstraction but I would argue that paintings have more freedom because they don't require you to interact with them. In games it must be somewhat clear what you are controlling and where it can move. Not implying that one is more art than the other. I consider a lot of movies to be genuinely amazing art(I am thinking about Funny games) but they generally still must have people and places. The format of constant frame changing doesn't let you be too abstract because you are not supposed to pause and analyse(of course great films generally have longer frames, rather than constant schizophrenic camera work), instead the art comes from the synergy of the scenes/shots/characters/plot. Games are closer to movies because of this frame change and having to make clear what is what for control reasons. But some games are closer to painting than others of course(i'm thinking machinarium).
Hey the more fragmented you can make the product the more it appeals to a specific target group, and the more competitive an industry is the more fragmentation you will see. Your anecdote is illustrative of discovering a user base you didn't know existed, (great!) and making the rational choice to maximize profits. Now what I am saying is that the user base in question that would respond to more females in games is too small.
Just as an example: You have a game. You know that most people like pretty protagonists but that there's a few who like ugly protagonists. it makes more sense to go for the pretty one unless that market is already over-saturated and you know you don't expect many sales from that base. More realistically its likely most people who prefer ugly protagonists don't even care enough to shift their decision because of only that fact so it makes more sense to just go for the preference unless you are going for something specific style wise(think Bayonetta). But most games focus on gameplay(I think rightfully so) so they just leave non gameplay elements as generic as possible.
I don't know if there are people out there who would only choose to play a game if it had a female protagonist(probably only Anita), or the inverse, but if they do its likely that the latter population is greater than the former. But anyway I don't think that's the user base I don't think, we gamers are that shallow.
To be honest I personally don't care for most games(unless it ruins immersion) if I play a male or female character. It seems irrelevant, when there's a choice I usually hate it because I just end up rotating between the female box and male box without really processing specific information. This is just one of those topics that journalists like to talk about because they feel kudos and then they get the community riled up. Its very rare that the sex of the characters adds something to the game. Examples where it does are very few to come by I think, maybe Gears of War(macho atmosphere), Bayonetta(animation style and dialogue)... I can't think of another.
@thatpinguino: I assume you are referring to the "Seated Woman"?. Interesting point but somehow in paintings which is more abstract as an art-form the heuristics dominate less so I am not sure if this is what we should be comparing video games to. Also the beauty in the painting is in what it evokes, the way it goes against our nature because we usually love symmetry.
I don't know very few people rejected the offers to get on vent after winning the 1v1. You could say that the people who won were less likely to be female or that our method of recruitment(custom games and chat channels) were more likely to get males. But regardless these things corrected for would unlikely change the outcome significantly.
Its not about me valuing them. Companies do something like this, how much does this demographic spend on gaming? Now how much of that demographic can we capture? I am pointing out that its ridiculous to assume that companies would spend equal money on appealing to both sexes(which was explicitly stated in the OP).
@pcorb: I purposely made my criteria ridiculously strict because I am implying that the stricter they become the less females will remain(proportionally).
I tried to paragraph my things out so as to show they were unrelated. The heuristic thing is true regardless of my personal experience.
I am not saying my stats are the most scientifically accurate thing in the world, but they are food for thought from my experience. I have a feeling that if I had said that most of the people we recruited were females the reaction to my experience would be more positive but people only want to nod their head.
@thatpinguino: I implied my criteria were arbitrary. But I am only trying to give an example of the kind of flushing out you would need to get a "gamer" in statistics. That is someone who is passionate about gaming in general and not just who likes a game or two.
If you know asymptotic large sample theory you know that 300-400 is more than enough for significance of any sample(depending on selection, which was objective in this case) but yes I am aware that the people I was playing with in W3 are W3 gamers... thanks! I am only speaking from personal experience here which is obviously implied.
The heuristic thing is unrelated to my personal experience in gaming I am making a point about what people generally like to see, not just in games but everywhere, beautiful things. If you disagree with this assertion I would recommend to you bedtime reading of "red queen"(evolutionary biology book).
But empathy and individualism can coexist. The issue at hand is misunderstanding what a company is, its not its goal to be politically correct or anything of the kind, its merely a collection of individuals fulfilling a demand. What can be done with the profits afterward is then a different story. As a thought example which I won't interpret try this.
There is a company and it has a choice of whether to include blood and gore into its game.
If it includes rape it makes 100 billion profits. These profits go to a couple of people, and now they can decide morally what to do with it. Now lets say they are empathetic to the world and decide to give 50% of it to starving children.
if it does not it makes 90 billion. Now they have less money and can still morally decide what to do with it. Now again imagine they are empathetic and decide to give 50% of it to starving children but now its 45 not 50 billion.
In one case they donate 50 in the other 45. Who has not having rape in the game benefited? Who has it harmed?
I'm just trying to demonstrate why profits should be the only thing they care about, its because value creation is what allows surplus value to be redirected elsewhere.
You know what's funny is that after all this whining by guys I get the impression there's more males who care than females. I remember being part of my clans recruitment in W3 and we just played people 1v1 and if they won we recruited them no questions asked. Then we invited them on Vent to play with us. After about 2 years of that and about 300-400 players i've only heard 3-4 female voices come on. Same story for WOW, but recruitment was much less objective there, but I think we only had like 1-2 girls ever to join after a year. I'm sorry to say but there's not that many girls who like video games the way we do, those surveys they use to show that half or a third of girls are gamers are just stupid(smartphone games are included and a whole other load of methodological issues).
Let me put my own criteria for being a gamer(just to flush-out the "fake" gamers), you've finished Dark Souls 1 or 2, Xcom enemy unknown, Braid, Portal, any JRPG, any GTA, Any Elder of Scrolls and Starcraft 2. I would estimate the female community of gamers who have completed these games to represent less than 5% of this sample.
In fact I would even say that the more sales you have, the lower the proportion of women is. Anyone who lives in Europe can vouch for that with Fifa and Pro Evolulution Soccer. I'd say COD is one of them and... I don't know what else is a big hit? LOL?
So asking companies to put the same money into targeting a demographic that may not exist is just plain dumb. The fact is that most of us here, if given the chance to play Halo with an obese Cortana with lots of pimples or Halo with a sexy Cortana, we would choose the sexy one(although the other one might be fun to look at once or twice). This is not sexism, this is genetic heuristics, and trying to deny this exists is like denying nature.
@demokk: But that's the thing see, people focus too much on what is easily seen. They do focus a lot on profits, but focusing on profits is what allows them unequivocally to positively affect welfare. Obviously there are sometimes routes to making profits that don't add value(some of Wall Street) but as far as video games are concerned, this is not the case. I'm not the biggest Milton Friedman Fan but this is some interesting food for thought: http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html
As far as Dota or LOL are concerned, not really I don't really care, I'm sure that if you get a bunch of people and they are well coordinated they will do well but I don't really care if they make it or not, in many ways an individual player can be made redundant by the choice of heroes of the other team.
However for SC2 I do because I feel its telling as the balance of the game as well as browsing ideas I can personally execute almost at full efficiency. The pro scene lets you see what's possible, things you can work on, such as marine micro, or roach positioning.