Friday, May 18, 2007
You Play Like a Girl
GBGames has an article up entitled, "You Play Like a Girl," based on his experiences playing the indie RPG Morning's Wrath. In Mornings Wrath, you play the princess. Instead of rescuing the handsome prince, you are actually betrayed by him in the first few minutes of the actual game.
Gianfranco comments that this is the first game that he's played in which he plays a female character. He enjoyed it, but it was a different experience for him, and it sounds like he considered it a little bit weird. He wonders aloud whether or not the overwhelming population of male player-characters in games might be a reason they are not more popular among women.
Me? I dunno. I often play female characters in games, even if given the choice. I enjoy seeing the little blonde girl beating the crap out of the hulking muscle-bound brutes in fighting games (and in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I had no problem playing Laura Croft as she beat Indiana Jones at his own game. I had no problem playing Rhen in Aveyond, and I got used to playing the pink-haired Cute Knight.
But what if all or almost all videogame characters were female? Would I have become such a game nut in the first place? Or would I have considered gaming to be a "girl's activity" and ignored it? It's kind of interesting to see what happens when the shoe is on the other foot.
Georgina Bensley (author of Cute Knight) had some interesting comments about this a few months ago, if you recall from her interview here. She mentioned some subtle aspects that might make games less comfortable or attractive to female gamers: "Default high-score lists filled with male names. Selection between male-only character options. Claiming to have equal options for male and female characters, but actually having twice as much content available for male PCs as female ones. Always showing female characters within the story as weak and helpless. Things like that. I don't think anyone, male or female, should feel ashamed to play a game that's girl-*friendly*."
Interesting stuff to consider, as gamers and game designers.
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Labels: Game Design
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