Author Topic: Games for Girls  (Read 8672 times)

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Offline Aybraus

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Games for Girls
« on: March 01, 2006, 12:48:55 pm »
Sexism aside, women have different psychology then men do. The movie industry knows this, why don't game developers?

Here are some tips from my own personal experiences with my friends (that are girls) and sisters about things that they all liked in video games.


1) "What the hell happened?" moments.
examples: Sims, Warioware, Fighting Games, Kid Pix
My little sister loved Soul Calibur II. She didn't like the cool graphics, or the story, or the smooth animations, or the responsive controls. She liked it because she could mash on the buttons like crazy and surprising things would come out. The Sims 2, Warioware, even nintendogs has this wierd element, and its not surprising at all that these games are very popular with the female population.

2) Role-playing... without the numbers.
examples: Animal Crossing, The Sims, Paper Mario
Nearly all the girls in my fifth grade class scooped up Pokemon when it first came out. They played it and really, really liked it... up to the point where you're playing against Brock and your team of Pikachus that you lovingly gave names to couldn't beat him. They liked picking out a starting pokemon, they liked catching caterpies and naming them, and they liked reading about them in the pokedex. They didn't like it when thier pokemon were attacking the enemies to no avail and that they didn't know why.
By contrast, every girl that has ever played Animal Crossing has gotten hooked. They start out being able to do everything, getting to know exactly what they can and can't do, and why they can and can't do these things. From my knowlege, they don't want to calculate hat they can do or not, they want to see it--either in the reaction on thier Sims' faces, or just from the little advice box on Rome: Total War.

3) Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.
examples: Any game with short levels, Dance Dance Revolution.
The secret to DDR's success lies not in the Dance pad, or the techno-heavy music, or the characters with wierd hair.
The secret is that the levels last only 2 1/2 minutes. They have a chance to review how good they are at it fairly quickly. Every round feels like its complete--even if you get a C rating, you got to hear the end of the song.
My younger sister used to always get out the Gamecube, turn on Sonic Adventure 2, and play the first level. Once.
"Hey [name]! Why do you always play that level?"
"Dunno"
"Do want to get a better high score or something?"
"I guess..."
"You missed two of the jumps... you can just press restart."
"No. I wana do the whole thing."
I just don't understand.

4) Co-op games.
No need for examples.
For the time being, very few girls trust video games. They don't trust the tutorials, they don't trust the manuals. This is where co-op comes to play. I got one of my more reluctant friends to try a hand at Halo at some guy's party. We were going through the multiplayer menu when she saw the little word "teams," and instantly demanded it.
In retrospect, that's not at all surprising to me, as every single time I play SSBM with my two sisters, all they want to do is a team battle against the computer. Mario Kart DD is always done on two players per kart.
And why? I've positively no idea. Perhaps because they want to learn by observing and doing, or maybe because they don't want to compete against other people, or something else-but game developers please take note.

5)Collectables
Examples: SSBM, Animal Crossing
Things to collect, they're added to a giant list of things, you get a little picture or a microgame, there are all kinds of zany ways to unlock them.  'Nuff said.

-inspired by Super Princess Peach-
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 03:48:29 pm by VFX Watch »


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Offline Borogove

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 01:17:05 pm »
...those are the things I like in video games.

hehe.  I was debating whether to pick up Super Princess Peach after work today :)
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Offline 762

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 02:27:14 pm »
I like co-op play because you can talk to your friend about how much you ownzored the computer later. You can talk and collaborate, and it's just more fulfilling to play a game with a friend instead of against a friend. Whenever we go retro and play NBA hangtime, we always play on the same team because there's communication there. You can't tell the computer to "shoot the J" but you can tell your friend to do so.

ownzored isn't in the spell check.

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Offline LadyM

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2006, 05:37:33 pm »
Well I guess I should give my opinion here. I do think certain games appeal to females and they would include role playing and sandbox style games. I don't always want to play on a team with anyone, in Civ4 it was fun but in other games... I don't know. I don't really agree on the repetition, I don't want to do the same thing over and over. I like puzzles and things to figure out and progression to the next level. I like to beat bosses at the end of a level and the feeling from figuring out something hard. What I don't care for is alot of button pushing combination moves to fight. I don't mind pressing A repeatdly or A+B but if it gets more complicated than that... forget it.

Here are some games that I enjoyed... if you can figure out a pattern, good luck.

Animal Crossing
Harvest Moon
Sims2
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Oddworld Strangers Wrath
Wario World
Luigi's Mansion
Spirits and Spells
Mario Party - all of them
Civ4
KOTOR

With the exception of the first three I guess the rest have a beginning and an end. So I guess I like level based play.

Offline Cobra

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2006, 06:04:21 pm »
Well KOTOR is awesome i can hardly blame you there. Other than that there doesn't seem to be a universal theme going on there.

Offline mik

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2006, 06:51:27 pm »
My daughter absolutely loves Guitar Hero.

Offline Borogove

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2006, 08:17:43 pm »
I think the thing is that girls like fun games.
And since since gamer/computer geek cliques are predominantly male, we see a tendency for women to not get as involved in gaming and thus tend more toward the "casual" games.

Interestingly though, I think women actually play games more than men nowadays, it's just we forget to count things like Bejeweled, Bookworm, etc.
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
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Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Kishmond

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 09:46:33 pm »
My sister likes Alien vs Predator 2...
And Nintendogs of course
Animal Crossing
Paper Mario
She even asked if she could try out my WoW account yesterday, I doubt she'll get into that.
Sonic games (she likes Tails)
Battlefield 2, she is one of the most awesome helicopter/jet pilots ever. Almost as good as me. She can fly the vertical take off jets like a helicopter and do barrel rolls in some of the choppers. She also like driving pretty much anything else.
She played Halo 1 for one of it's biggest non-blowing-holes-in-each-other's-head thrills, warthog rallies. Because of the unrealistic physics if two hogs rammed headlong into each other one or the other would go flying into the air. She absolutely loved doing this.
She does not like Tetris... thinks it's boring. I don't think she's played it yet...

My mom plays games occasionally to pass the time. She likes Paper Mario,
Animal Crossing
Puzzle games like Tetris and Meteos
Little internet flash games, mostly random stuff from Neopets
Gauntlet, every one, I remember playing the first Gauntlet with her on the NES in our basement when I was like 4 or 5
Solitaire

(Uh oh, Tetris isn't in the spellcheck. Can Steve change the words that are included and how they are spelled?)
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Offline Martham112

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2006, 10:52:01 pm »
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

I bought that game and was bored within like the first half an hour.
So you can see how different genders prefer different things.

My sister likes to play:
Animal Crossing (not-surprisingly)
WarioWare games
Nintendogs
And surprisingly Mario Kart DS.

I have noticed that most driving games don't appeal to women. Things like Gran Turismo and the realistic ones.

Offline Djfinny

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2006, 06:24:39 am »
My wife claims that she is not really into video games. However, a few years ago she had mentioned something about The Sims and since the holiday season was around the corner I picked up a copy for her to play. Well, needless to say - she played the game for a week straight, and put in at least 4-5 hours a day! She basically "mastered" the game (best house, job, all stats maxed). Then, out of nowhere, she un-installed the game and has never played it since. She claims that the game took up too much of her time.

From my experience, women will enjoy videos games more when they are put into a social atmosphere (weather its on-line or with a group of friends). I'll tell ya, when we have friends over, they just love to play Guitar Hero. My wife and her girlfriends will play the 2 player game and totally get into it (I got 2 guitars). Just my 2 cents.

Offline crippits

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2006, 08:49:12 am »
I think the thing is that girls like fun games.

And here i thought this was the point in all games :P

Well my wife loves the Legend of Zelda series. She says it's because it is tough, there are puzzles to solve, and hidden things to find. The game world is not horribly dark and depressive. She may not be the best gamer in the world, but she does enjoy some. She gets dizzy and motion sick playing games like Halo, or even watching it being played.  Oh how i long for a multi-player Zelda game that doesn't require you to buy two versions of the game, each having their own system to run it. There's got to be a demand for that. Anyway. The games she likes happen to only really be one player games, though she would love for there to be 2 player capabilities for them. Problem is, i grew up on games, i have a natural affinity for them and can figure them out quickly. She cannot. If we happen to be playing a game, it's hard to not get frustrated.


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Offline Borogove

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2006, 09:38:54 am »
I think the thing is that girls like fun games.

And here i thought this was the point in all games :P
You'd think so.  I could have worded it a lot better...  I guess what I meant to get at is that in lots of games there's really a lot more to them...stuff that gets between the player and the fun he or she could be having.  For instance, a ton of games seem to assume that the player is already familiar with games in that genre (which isn't bad if that's your target audience).  Halo again is a good example.  Although the idea is to have fun running around shooting aliens, you can't have fun doing that until you get past the learning curve of controlling movment and aiming with 5 degrees of freedom.  For a lot of us gamers, we got used to that a long time ago.  For me, it was the obstacle course tutorial in the original Half-Life.  Up until that point I had hated first person shooters because I hadn't gotten the hang of them yet.  My little sister was the same way.
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline crippits

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2006, 09:46:25 am »
i knew what you meant, the more lighthearted games. I was just playing on words.

There are games that are lighter, easier to understand and master the controls, but hard to conquer. Othello comes to mind...

I didn't like Halo at the first time i picked it up, but once i got the hang of it, i couldn't put it down. Maybe more girls lose interest in the first five minutes of not being able to be comfortable in controlling the game? There was a game for the NES that me and my friend could not beat, the controls were way wacked and so we set it down for months. Forgot about it. Until the rare occasion that he cleaned his room and found the cartridge. (i wont tell you where he found it) We then looked at each other and said why not. We were determined, and soon got far in the game. (thought we never did beat it) But we mastered the controls, and then had fun losing the game.

i guess fun starts with control, then difficulty?


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Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2006, 10:27:58 am »
I think the thing is that girls like fun games.

And here i thought this was the point in all games :P
You'd think so. I could have worded it a lot better... I guess what I meant to get at is that in lots of games there's really a lot more to them...stuff that gets between the player and the fun he or she could be having. For instance, a ton of games seem to assume that the player is already familiar with games in that genre (which isn't bad if that's your target audience). Halo again is a good example. Although the idea is to have fun running around shooting aliens, you can't have fun doing that until you get past the learning curve of controlling movment and aiming with 5 degrees of freedom. For a lot of us gamers, we got used to that a long time ago. For me, it was the obstacle course tutorial in the original Half-Life. Up until that point I had hated first person shooters because I hadn't gotten the hang of them yet. My little sister was the same way.
Hmmm, interesting. I never much liked FPS's until I played the Half life 2 demo. The great thing about that was that the tutorial was pretty much totally integrated with the game, you learned by exploring the train station and trying to find Dr Kleiner's Lab. I guess that ties in with the idea of things not getting in the way of your fun.
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Offline MadGiraffe

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Re: Games for Girls
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2006, 10:40:44 am »
What are these 'women' you speak of?

I like my games just in a broad sense of the meaning of 'fun'. Fun in any way, and that's how I want to make games myself too, everybody can find something in them to enjoy. And everybody does something different with it.

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