Article: Do Girls Play Computer Games?

Do Girls Play Computer Games?
Anna [2009]

In this interesting post from Anna's Serious Games Interactive Blog, she discusses the importance of gender when designing a game. She also talks about the unbalanced gender representations in games.

Anna says that there is a social preconception of computer games being for boys, and while it's true that boys generally play more games than girls, that is no reason to completely forget about the female gender while designing a game.

One important aspect to consider which is often overlooked, is the gender of the avatar. While it might not seem important when compared to other elements like graphics, music and engine considerations, it can be a very important issue for female players. As an example, she talks about the game she's been developing "Playing History: The Plague" in which the main character is a non-gender specific mouse, which can be customized by the player. This means that the player can give the avatar gender specific traits, so both genders can be interested in the same avatar.

She also talks about the issue of marketing and packaging, in which she interestingly found that educational games were regarded differently from other genres. Educational games are regarded as 'good for you' games while every other game is regarded as 'fun games'. Also, girl-oriented games are shelved with the educational games, reinfocing the idea that computers are tools, while boy-oriented games are shelved in the 'fun' shelves.

Care should be taken when designing the game, as to not overlook these important aspects.

Anna. (2009, April 11). Do Girls Play Computer Games? Retrieved February 25, 2011, from Serious Games Interactive:

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