Video Games And:The Female Audience
Before we start this up,I want to clarify some things(If you are not interested,just skip this):
A) The Project known as The 10 Days of Blogging has been cancelled,I am just too busy.
B) Kingdom of Lime productions will now have a regular entry every month,so expect one original blog from me FROM THE 25TH TO THE 3OTH of each month.
C) IFor those who didn't know,I am a co-host of G1 Movie Night and a host of The Digital Forecast,I am also a guy who interviews in G1 Interviews.
Now with that out of the way,let's start.
A Kingdom of Lime production.
Hero of Lime.
On today’s blog,I’ll talk about Video Games!
Sounds good right?
WELL YOU ARE RIGHT AND WRONG!
In this Returning blog feature,I talk about Video Games and they impact they have surrounding the element I choose (Music,Movies ETC).
But first,I want to make some statements before I dive in this subject:
A) Sex sells
No matter how you put it,sex does sell.
You want an example? How about Michael Bay?
Just think about it,the dude makes millions of dollars on the films he made? Why? Because the dude includes Things males like: Explosions,Big Arms and hot-smoking women,WHAT MALE DOESN’T LIKE THAT!?
And what about a film like Friends with Benefits? The thing although not so much of a hit Like Bay movies,it did very good on its own.
But this factor doesn’t go only to movies,but it also moves to things like Games,may I need to remind you of DOA:Extreme Beach volleyball?
So Yeah,it is a very hard fact that we cannot ignore,Sex does sell.
B) Males are the bigger consumers.
Because males are usually the ones who pay the restaurant bills,the movie tickets,and heck,in the cases I have seen,most of the house bills!
There is a saying that goes like this:
“Once a male has a mate, his plans goes as far as the end of the week”
I extremely agree with this saying because, without being a jerk or an ignorant, Guys like to please their girlfriends(With gifts and taking them out),and Girls like that.
C) Gaming is a male driven and thought culture/industry
Gaming can be considered many things,but if one thing is true,is that gaming,as many other media forms, is a culture.A culture that surged through boys playing Mario,teenagers playing games like Duke Nukem, and grown men playing experiences like Heavy Rain,MGS 4, Half Life 2.
Now I am not saying that Girls don’t have an impact on this industry/culture,but game designers tend to think more about making a game for the male audience,not the female.
I mean when you put it in a business perspective,it makes F*cking sense,you are not going to worry for the low demographic.
And God knows what that has lead to the industry…
So with that out of the way,here I present you:
1) Female protagonists
Gaming has moved from a place where Women were not totally understand,to a place where strong female protagonists or character can surge.
“But why hasn’t more strong female main protagonists haven’t surged yet? “
Well I have two theories:
1-The Industry is not ready for such a game to take that action
2- The companies are not ready to take such a High risk topic/project into mold
Now there are obvious contradictions that make this theories flat out stupid like:
Samus Aran (The Metroid franchise)
Probably stays there as not only the biggest female character in gaming,but as one of the biggest female characters on entertainment and artistic history.
I mean just give a quick thought about her
She has one hell of a body
She is one of the most courageous character ever made.Capable of Destroying Planet after Planet After Planet....
And she also has a motherly side,as shown on Super Metroid
But,,,the more I look into her,the more I realize,she is a Tomboy
I mean think about,the girls blows the head of aliens on a regular basis and just “Shrugs” about it.
Now from my experience,none of my friends who are girls could never do that
There are also characters like:
- Alex from Half Life 2
- Lightning from FF XIII
But then you got characters like Xion Yuna,and Rozalin.
What do these characters have in common?,well let me explain:
You see,Many designers do the easy way out and create a character than is a tomboy.
You see,self efficient can be easily look as a synonym for being a badass,and while you can be self-efficient and a badass,they are not the same.
But you see,those types of females characters are the ones who are tired of waiting,and do the job that men do,dirty work.
But I am always interested when the things go inverted.
You see,in almost every game released on this Damn World,The character we play as,got out of his comfort zone and now he needs to do what needs to be done.
Now with Female characters this almost never happens because they were already out of their comfort zone to begin with.
I mean Look at Samus,yeah,she is an Orphan,yes her family was killed, yadda yadda we all know the story.
But was she on a comfort zone to begin before we started the game?
I mean she is a Bounty Hunter,those type of people are never in a “Comfort” zone to begin with.
Another Example could be Tetra.
Although she can be tell that she was out of her comfort zone the moment she took Link to her ship,what kind of “Comfort Zone” You are gonna have when YOU ARE A FRICKIN’PIRATE!?
And then we got characters like Rozalin from Disgaea 2
Spoiler Alert! If you want to play pr not know Disgaea 2 Skip until the other line!
I mean she is a perfect example of the doing what most developers do inverse.
She is your typical Spoiled princess characters who gets “Kidnapped” and forced to Kill her own father.
During the game we see her conflicts about what is right or wrong..
Her father has done many bad things to the world,and even though he deserves it,he still remembers that She loves her father.
Now this my friends is what I call character development right there, and in the end,we see that little and hopeless girl,into an strong self-efficient Demon capable of not fearing the future.
2) Pushing the wrong buttons
So yeah,as I said before, when a gaming team makes a game,they probably tend make it towards the male audience,and not think on the female side of things.
And even though numbers show that there are more Women playing video games that men,I bet 90% of them wouldn’t even own a PS3,or Xbox 360.
Now we must ask us,why is that?
Well if we look at the “Wood age” of Games ,there wasn’t such a thing about making a game towards X audience. Maybe it was because back then you didn’t know who was playing you game.You only wanted your game TO BE played.
But then the Video Game crash of ’83 happened,and we all know how that went…..
And then out of the thin air,Nintendo happened. Mario Bros. happened.
You see in those times even when Miyamoto came and saved the video game world the audience in which games are made wasn’t defined,but AFTER THAT.
I mean games were made for “Men” back in the day:
You got Contra,Megaman,Castlevania,and Bionic Commando.
All these games claimed “Men that has to do the job when they have to do the job” kind of thing.
So fast forward to 1991,Nintendo came again to fight Sega in the “Great Divide”As I liked to be call
Now everybody can throw their two cents in,but I am not mentioning this for that,I am talking about something Nintendo did that Sega Didn’t: Dominate the JRPG Genre.
Now what does this has to do with our subject?Well Almost everything..
You see JRPG are made from a perspective to tell stories, every now and then there’s a certain game that will make us cry,and it’s probably a JRPG.
What this has to do with the subject is that Women are more likely to pursue a Drama or a Romance rather than men. And JRPGs are most likely to involve those elements.
Now I am not saying this is only exclusive for the JRPG Genre overall,no. Games are now made to carry at least a normal narrative these days.
So let’s do yet another fast forward to 2001 and what happens is…
WELL CONTROVERSY HAPPENS!
Like it or not,this company is responsable for many backlash the Gaming Industry has gone through
So after Doom and Mortal Kombat people realized that these games were not only made for only children,so they tried to control Gaming so much that it became stupid.
Not only that,but after Columbine, people tried to blame games on everything.That made Gaming alienated to be casual until the Wii.
Also,Gaming industries realized that young boys who were playing their games for a long time were now either young adults or Old Teenagers.So they decided to “Grow up” and make games for a more grown up area.
However.this ,made the Controversy pot go insane because now there are games that to put it simply are,horribly gore,offensive or they just needed censure but they didn’t have it.
So what does this has to do with the female side of gaming?
You see back then,even though they were hardcore ones ,most female gamers were kind of Casual.So the jump from 32/64 bit to 128 bits was fatal change,because most of the things I stated.
And even though they still had Nintendo and partly Square Enix to satisfy their wishes,it wasn’t enough,so Gamer girls were slowly and slowly reducing by number,Of course Until the wii,which open Casual Gaming and yadda yadda yadda you know the rest.
Now almost 40 years later we realize that the other Genre may be open to the Hobby,is it too late? Yes.
What can we do to remedy this? Well,just make a game with great Game play and action and a strong Narrative.That what was brought girls to gaming in the first place,that’s what it’ll keep doing..
So see ya next month,take care,don’t forget to drink water and visit Screwattack like a church,leave you positive or negative comments below:
That is all Lime off ;)