It’s about starting conversations with new people

I started a little storm in a teacup with my last post. Even got someone else linking to me. And some of the comments on that posting (e.g. “Enh, I went and read the Late Gaming post, and it’s so stupid, I couldn’t even work up the energy for a reply.”) just prove the point.

Now. Jeremiah has a good point that perhaps the point of female archetypes is to make it easier for females to visualise character possibilities. Okay, I can accept that. The problem being that his commenters immerse themselves in political correctness. For the guy who didn’t have the energy to reply because the post is so stupid, thanks for commenting. You could have just put a me too and provided just as much contribution.

Jeremiah writes:“And I have to say that some people just don’t get it. And at this point I am thinking it is on purpose.”

Yes, some of it is in purpose. The whole point of blogging for me is not a confessional – there’s not a lot of point in writing something if it’s not going to start a conversation. As Robert Scoble says It’s good for us to change our scenery and start conversations with people we wouldn’t otherwise talk with..

Would Sherlock Holmes have appealed to more women if Dr Watson had been a genre-and-era-busting female doctor? At that point it’s getting petty. It’s like a TV show committee sitting around a table and cynically asking whether they could appeal to the bi-lesbian-gay-black-asian community more if they included some token characters in their sit-com. Do you really want to be targetted like a demographic rather than an individual? Do you want to be excited because a game has an archetype that breaks the demographic of the genre or would you rather be excited because of the opportunities the game presents. It seems to me that games WITHOUT art might actually appeal to women more if cheesecake art is such a turn-off.

Some game companies are currently trying to market cute and fluffly and romance and “social” games to women which is utterly patronising. There are some games which are really interesting to me from the point of being an immersive roleplayer. Nicotine Girls for example, does not appeal to the side of me that wants to play a muscle bound mutant. But I’d love to find a gaming group that would play it. I may have that gaming group right now but I’m not sure. For one thing, they’re all blokes. For a second thing I’ve only started gaming with them recently and I don’t know how far I can push them. Introducing them to Troupe Play was a big leap….

One issue with game companies making games that seem to appeal to males more than females? These male gamers are buying games. That means the law of supply and demand will apply to the big companies. It’s a small enough hobby already and the percentage of women who will play has always been a small fraction. I’ve always promoted strong genre-busting female character roles for the female players in my group (some may remember Aemilia (Ars Magica), Petrina Miles (Ars Magica), and Christine (SLA Industries) from my games (all played by my lovely ex-wife). Therefore you can look to indie game companies where the developers are writing for the love of the game rather than the money. I will have to ask some of my female gamer friends about whether my own games have appealed to them with positive character possibilities. It’s a conversation I have to have with myself at some point I guess.

Mary’s blog about games that appeal to her leaves me a little confused. One one hand I can see there are some really cool images here. The image for Gurps: Reborn Rebirth looks cool indeed. That’s a positive gender model. The image just above it, with the schoolgirls with the swords doesn’t inspire me at all. It features more of the things in Japanese culture that we whitebread westerners find odd or disturbing. Okay, the things I find disturbing.

But then it’s not about whether I’m inspired obviously. Or what I find disturbing.

I didn’t write yesterday’s post as a whitebread western male. I wrote it as an indignant gamer and I had significant input from a female friend who agreed totally. No-one wants to be patronised.

About matt

Gamer. Writer. Dad. Serial Ex-husband. Creator of The 23rd Letter, SpaceNinjaCyberCrisis XDO, ZOMBI, Testament, Creed. Slightly megalomaniac
This entry was posted in Commentary, Game Design, Industry, Out-of-Character. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s about starting conversations with new people

  1. Pingback: Schoolgirls and culture « mer writes about rpgs

  2. matt says:

    Sure. I sexualised schoolgirls when I was a schoolboy….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *