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Archive => RPG Theory => Topic started by: xechnao on September 19, 2003, 08:21:22 AM



Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 19, 2003, 08:21:22 AM
What do you think is the female vs male participation percentage of the rpg gaming sessions of 4 to 8 persons of the various settings?
What setting do you think attracts female players the most?
And what setting do you think female players would enjoy playing most as per the standard 4-8 persons gaming session.


Title: Women love vampires
Post by: b_bankhead on September 19, 2003, 10:03:27 AM
Make of it what you will, but 90+% of the female rpg gamers I have met since 1977 have been Vampire LARP players.  From examination of this phenomenon I have concluded that "women like" games which allow throwing an aura of fantasy and glamour over what would be normal social activities, i.e. they are goth chics who would be hanging out with their dressed-in-black friends anyway and the WOD gives them something more interesting to talk about than another round of 'who sucks most , Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie"?
(It is unfortunately this social specificity that has largely kept me out of it. If you aren't a part of the 'teenage-goth-dress-in-black routine it really isn't for you.....)

 On the topic of systems rather that settings I would say "women don't like'" (please notice the quotes) games that resemble the American 1040A tax form and are organized around wargame oriented priorities.

There are plenty of female Tolkien fans for instance.  How about a Tolkienesque fantasy LARP game?  But it wold have to be something essentially that would be an analogue for a real world social gathering not the 'go into the guilded hole and kill stuff' that 95% of rpg-ing is stuck in.  The meeting at Rivendell rather than the mines of Moria to use the Tolkien comparison.

Other than this I cant say. The number of female rpg-er's I have seen in 25 years who are NOT Vampire larpers can be counted on the fingers of one hand....so I can't make any other comments on what such a small sample prefers.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Windthin on September 19, 2003, 10:30:14 AM
I must have significantly more fingers.  I've known dozens of female non-vampLARP RPers (I happened to marry one, as a matter of fact).  I do not believe you can easily generalize ANY group.  I know women who love the thrill of battle, hack-n-slash.  Some prefer social aspects (SCA, for instance, has no lack of female participants, but one might compare it to a LARP itself), some adventure, some deep plots, some just... fun.  If you want a setting that will appeal to women, make it rich, vivid, and not your typical male fantasy (I.E. barbarian women in armor that wouldn't protect them from a cold who can wield a sword competently but still must be saved in the end by the male hero.  Bleah).  It's not a matter of setting so much as the game itself; know your players as individuals, not by their gender or their backgrounds or what-have-you.  This will tell you what each is looking for in a game.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: jdagna on September 19, 2003, 03:00:03 PM
I think women represent about 20-25% of the overall hobby, but what I usually find is that you have two kinds of groups: 50% female and 0% female.  I've rarely seen just one woman playing in a group of all guys.  I think this makes sense... no one wants to be odd man (or woman) out.  

I haven't seen a gender-based genre preference, though I have noticed that many women are more entertained by emotional/relational conflicts than most men.  LARPS seem to cater to this preference a little more than tabletop games.  This isn't to say that the women I've played with don't like to grab up their swrds and take out the bad guys just as much though.

But it's really pointless to talk about generalities if you're thinking in terms of your own gaming group.  It may be more useful if you're thinking about how to build female interest into your game, but if you're going to do that, I'd recommend finding an existing niche and catering to it.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 19, 2003, 04:12:23 PM
Hello,

Xechnao, this thread isn't going to be helpful unless you can clarify two things for everyone. For purposes of this thread (which means, everyone, don't quibble about X's answers, just take it and like it):

What are the qualities of "female players" that you are hoping to speak to or correspond with, for a given setting?

What role would setting play in the game? Would the conflicts of play arise from the setting, as in HeroQuest or Castle Falkenstein? Or would they arise from initial character decisions, as in Sorcerer?

If this thread represents a bunch of free-associated "well I think" posts, then it will serve no purpose at all. The clearer you can be about those two questions, the more focus and utility we'll achieve.

Best,
Ron


Title: Re: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: CplFerro on September 19, 2003, 04:24:47 PM
Dear xechnao,

To your second question: Women appreciate human games.  I mean, games which connect to the concept of humanity, as being superior to the apes.  Most games feature apelike PCs versus apelike NPCs.

To run a human game, you have to be honest, and willing to explore those areas of the mind not regulated or bound to rules, but rather operating in terms of principles.

A good analogy for women, here, is that of alleys, the swirly glass kind, you know, that children play with.  A man will look at a cat's eye alley and start dividing it into parts, and compare those parts.  A woman will appreciate the colour, the swirly-ness, and so forth, taking the entire alley as a gestalt.

So with games.  If the game is predominated by colourless number-crunching, women will tend to avoid it.  If the game is predominated by an appreciation of how the totality of human relationships affects the lone man or woman, women will tend to gravitate to it.

"Vampire" is the benchmark, because the characters start off having /lost/ to begin with, and their relationship with the entire world is presented with great embellishment, as being a function of the totality of their environment.  They are not lone rebel questers in the manly sense, they are emotionally adrift, unsure of what they want, but keenly aware that they /do/ want.

To accommodate women, accommodate the human part of yourself, and run a human game.  Include romance, colour, narrative, dream, family relationships, the concept of the powerful /being/ ("princess") rather than the powerful /doing/ ("prince").  Then women will more likely appreciate it in spite of the numbers, or, better, realise that the numbers themselves have wonderful colours of their own.



Cpl Ferro


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 19, 2003, 05:09:06 PM
I do have something to add, outside of what X's answers are to Ron's questions.

I read some time ago that Men can't think and feel simultaneously.  That is, if they are thinking about something, they aren't experiencing emotion.  Conversely, if they are in the grips of a strong emotion, they aren't thinking or being very rational.  It's one or the other.

Women, on the other hand, do think and feel simultaneously.  That is, thoughts tend to have an emotional timbre, while feelings tend to have thoughts and reasoning hoooked to them.

This is obviously a pretty large generalization, and clearly doesn't hold for everybody on any side of the various gender lines that people can draw.

But it does suggest something.  It suggests that there are people who prefer a clear seperation of plot and events versus relationship and social interaction.  And then there are people who prefer an integrated whole, where social interaction, relationships, plot, and events are all connected in an organic whole.  I suppose there's probably more like a continuum between these two poles, with most people able to appreciate a wide range of experiences, and probably prefering a variety of focus all along it.  But not everybody is going to be centered in the same place.

I think a lot of 'Standard Fantasy RPG'-type stuff ends up having a pretty strong seperation between the two approaches.  But at the same time, look at the number of female Trekkies, Anime fans, Xena fans, Farscape fans, X-Files fans, and Renaissance Faire/SCA/LARPers.  It's not the subject matter or the genre turning women off gaming.  It's the approach and focus, IMHO.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 20, 2003, 03:15:13 AM
First I am answering Ron's requests.

1)The qualities is just that of being female players. Players means that they are going to deal with this which means buy and/or speak about it which means promote trends about it. Female means belonging to the female part of the population so having what qualities this assumes. I guess I should put a target age to focus so let's say the 16-46 interval.

2)I am sorry but I can't see the actual difference you are talking about. If there is something to care that matters could you explain it?

I wanted to make the thread to see what people could know about this matter of female interest for the established settings* and thus try to understand if there could be some norms about it.
From the replies I got I admit I got a bit confused about the complicity of things about this matter. The imagine I got is that it does matter the type of game that goes along with the setting for studying the possibilty of some type of norm female-setting related wise. As if it was that a norm could only be researched on the basis that females preffer specific combos over others, for example the card games going along to a thriller setting and vice-versa and a comic setting going along to a LARP game and vice-versa.

I don't agree with this. While I believe that also game wise there are some norms about the matter of female preferences I can distinguish an independent study of setting preferences.
For instance, from my experience I could say, but to not the specific degree that females preffer horror, thriller, romance, fashion-style, modern, romance settings over fantasy, sci-fi, war, action settings.
I was hopping to analize better this with you and why not, take over the analisis and through specific examples-works setting-wise (like Jurrasic Park film, Blade-Runner, Millenium's End, Cthulu-Mythos, ...) in regards of female-interest attractivity to them.

*I could say settings of the hobby but because this settings originate from various others trends I didn't.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: RaconteurX on September 20, 2003, 03:34:11 AM
Female players whom I have known have, by and large, been into games with a significant amount of social interaction: Amber, one World of Darkness game or another, Tekumel, Pendragon, Over the Edge, Albedo, Glorantha, Star Trek, Star Wars, Castle Falkenstein, Teenagers from Outer Space, LARPs based on any of the above...


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 20, 2003, 04:15:48 AM
Quote from: RaconteurX
Female players whom I have known have, by and large, been into games with a significant amount of social interaction: Amber, one World of Darkness game or another, Tekumel, Pendragon, Over the Edge, Albedo, Glorantha, Star Trek, Star Wars, Castle Falkenstein, Teenagers from Outer Space, LARPs based on any of the above...


Amber=Fantasy?*  (how many and what percentage in respect of men)
WoD=Horror          (how many and what percentage in respect of men)
Tekumel=Fantasy   (...)
Pendragon=Fantasy(...)
Over the Edge=???  (...)
Albedo=???             (...)
Glorantha=DFantasy(...)
Star Trek=Sci-Fi      (...)
Star Wars=Sci-FI     (...)
Castle Falk=Fantasy?(...)
TFOS=Sci-Fi?           (...)

If you give the numbers then we could go on with more and better analisis and thus conclusions.
*?=correct me if I am wrong. Also where ??? I don't know the setting so lable it.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Christopher Kubasik on September 20, 2003, 09:57:08 AM
um, guys.  I'm not a moderator.  I don't even play one on tv.

But this doesn't seem like a Forge thread.

Making half-baked assumptions and generalizations about half the world's population (and thus making half-baked assumptions and generalizations about the other half of the world's population), seems like it would be better served at some other site.

That said...  Good luck, y'all.

Christopher


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 20, 2003, 10:32:26 AM
Quote from: Christopher Kubasik
um, guys.  I'm not a moderator.  I don't even play one on tv.

But this doesn't seem like a Forge thread.

Making half-baked assumptions and generalizations about half the world's population (and thus making half-baked assumptions and generalizations about the other half of the world's population), seems like it would be better served at some other site.

That said...  Good luck, y'all.

Christopher


What about if it came out that females have indeed preferences in some type of settings and dislike some others? Wouldn't that help you to balance better the setting of a game you want to make if you want to achieve a greater enjoyment propability from part of the females?
If you have a link to some other site that gives answers to this question please post it. Again, if you are not interested you don't need to bother.
As I have understood this forum is a forum that among other things also deals with questions of the rpg industry (even when it goes to generalizations - as for half-baked I hope to finally conclude better and that's why I bother to ask for peoples help). If I understood wrong then accept my apologies about this thread.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: John Kim on September 20, 2003, 12:46:02 PM
Quote from: xechnao
  What about if it came out that females have indeed preferences in some type of settings and dislike some others? Wouldn't that help you to balance better the setting of a game you want to make if you want to achieve a greater enjoyment propability from part of the females?  If you have a link to some other site that gives answers to this question please post it.  

The thing is, a survey of what a handful of posters here on the Forge think is unlikely to have any significance.  The largest survey with public data is probably the Wizards of the Coast survey which had about 1000 responders screened from 65,000 individuals (results available at http://www.thegpa.org/wotc_demo.shtml ).  James Kittock conducted a survey with 524 respondents, though these were from an web-based poll with little control over skews in who was contacted.  

Neither of these really addressed genre, though.  We can look at non-RPG sources for this, though it might or might not be relevant.  For example, there is a survey of genre preference in film at http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/sfischo/media3.html  .  This study suggests that men show a preference for Action-Adventure (20.2% vs 12.5%) and Sci-Fi (10.7% vs 4.6%), while women show a preference for Fantasy (9.3% vs 6.5%), Musical (5.7% vs 3.1%), Romance (15.0% vs 9.6%).  Numbers for Horror, Comedy, and Thriller/Murder were roughly the same.  

I wouldn't make too much of this.  I would note that in this survey, women prefer the fantasy genre more than men, with equal preference for horror...  but among RPGs, Vampire is rumored to have more women players than D&D.  I would agree with Anya that it is the approach more than the setting that makes a difference.  

One of my pet peeves is having a sidebar or addendum to the Character Creation chapter on "Female PCs".  Here it explains the differences and special considerations needed for females as opposed to the "normal" character creation process.  Bleah!!  Of course, it is arguable whether this is better or worse than, say, the Lord of the Rings RPG in which all example characters as well as all example players are male.  Females don't even merit a sidebar, it seems -- except a brief rule to specify that dwarf PCs cannot be female.

(Editted for grammar)


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: CplFerro on September 20, 2003, 01:55:30 PM
Dear Mr. Kubasik,

What /really/ doesn't belong on this board is the modern disease of the mind, that impells its sufferers to try to gag others on a pretense of moral superiority, after mounting a flimsy soapbox of "all opinions are equal" and saying as much that "truth can never be found, only eternally quested after", which is what you're really saying with your girlish, lip-biting post.  So take your own advice and stop passive-aggressive moderating, yes?

Sincerely,



Cpl Ferro


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 20, 2003, 02:12:21 PM
Quote from: John Kim
Neither of these really addressed genre, though.  We can look at non-RPG sources for this, though it might or might not be relevant.  For example, there is a survey of genre preference in film at http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/sfischo/media3.html  .  This study suggests that men show a preference for Action-Adventure (20.2% vs 12.5%) and Sci-Fi (10.7% vs 4.6%), while women show a preference for Fantasy (9.3% vs 6.5%), Musical (5.7% vs 3.1%), Romance (15.0% vs 9.6%).  Numbers for Horror, Comedy, and Thriller/Murder were roughly the same.  

I wouldn't make too much of this.  I would note that in this survey, women prefer the fantasy genre more than men, with equal preference for horror...  but among RPGs, Vampire is rumored to have more women players than D&D.  I would agree with Anya that it is the approach more than the setting that makes a difference.  


Vampire has more female players than d&d because setting is not the only facyor of preference (although it could be studied independently and this is the scope I started this thread).

From what your sources say it would be a good 50%-50% balance between males and females the following settings (if we only estimate the per centage difference and not the actual values which I don't know yet how they are calculated and what they rapresent and mean):
1)sci-fi, romance
2)action-adventure, fantasy
3)action-adventure, romance

Musical can't be a choice on rpgs and sci-fi, fantasy can be a choice either. It is interesting that the sci-fi,action-adventure combo seems to bear less balance.

Thanks for the links. I am gonna check them out definatelly.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Anthony I on September 21, 2003, 12:58:45 AM
I'll be honest, I'm really lost as to what the actual question is for this thread- but I do know that all the generalizations I've seen about women wanting touchy-feely, or "humanised"... or whatever... games does not match my gaming experiences for the last 20 or so years, but especially for the last 5 years.  For the last 5, I've been playing with a group that has consisted primarily of women, ranging from ages 14-40, playing a range of games from D&D (2nd) to Deadlands to Paladin to WoD (Vamp and Were) to Cthulthu to...well you get the point.  In this time I've consistantly seen the female players not spend a minute more than the male players on issues like socializing or romance or any of the other "womenly" traits frequently ascribed to them.  So, I'm confused about this whole issue...or did I get off the track somewhere?  Why are the so few female players?  My opinion, your typical gamer teen/college guy wasn't trying to actively find female players, he was looking for someone to have sex with.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 21, 2003, 02:20:53 AM
Quote from: Anthony I
My opinion, your typical gamer teen/college guy wasn't trying to actively find female players, he was looking for someone to have sex


Haha. Maybe but that should be irrevelant. I mean irrevelant with your product. If you want to make a product that is going to interest females you don't have to think like that. You have to think females should buy this product and/or play it, intependently if men would buy it or play it.Women could play it with other female frineds, but also male so we shouldn't bother to think about being used from the side eg of males towards the side of females for some scope.

About the settings you metioned I still see a lack of sci-fi interest. Indeed I asked my girlfriend (20 years old) about her literature interests last night and it was something like that. She always prefered the social problems with a background of any setting but sci-fi. About fiction films she enjoyed Indiana Jones and Interview with a Vampire a lot and wants now to see the Pirates of the Caribbean. But she doesn't want to see Terminator and Star Wars she dislikes. Although she liked Stargate film I could say that she stills doesn't like sci-fi because the film was of a more Indiana Jones feel. Finally I' ve showed Alita manga and even if it speaks about a girl and the social human problems she wasn't interest a bit in it propably because she saw all that ultra-tech action. Well all this doesn't mean a lot but I feel all the most influenced by this thread that female dislike the imagination of the evolution and application of super-technology in the society.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Fade Manley on September 21, 2003, 10:01:58 AM
Quote from: xechnao
About the settings you metioned I still see a lack of sci-fi interest. Indeed I asked my girlfriend (20 years old) about her literature interests last night and it was something like that. She always prefered the social problems with a background of any setting but sci-fi. About fiction films she enjoyed Indiana Jones and Interview with a Vampire a lot and wants now to see the Pirates of the Caribbean. But she doesn't want to see Terminator and Star Wars she dislikes. Although she liked Stargate film I could say that she stills doesn't like sci-fi because the film was of a more Indiana Jones feel. Finally I' ve showed Alita manga and even if it speaks about a girl and the social human problems she wasn't interest a bit in it propably because she saw all that ultra-tech action. Well all this doesn't mean a lot but I feel all the most influenced by this thread that female dislike the imagination of the evolution and application of super-technology in the society.


You know, you're making a lot of broad generalizations based on very few data points; as the saying goes, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". Quite frankly, it's bordering on the offensive. I find most fantasy boring and write, GM, and play in scifi games, but I'm not about to run around saying that all women really want science fiction games and find epic fantasy dull just because that shows up in my current experience.

While I do find it interesting to look at what women want in the hobby, it sounds more like you have a theory you want support for rather than looking for actual answers. You say that women don't like scifi, and then when talking about a woman you know who likes a scifi show, dismiss it as being "because the film was of a more Indiana Jones feel"?

Your girlfriend may not like science fiction. I happen to like science fiction. These are two data points and they are still not telling us anything about "what women want in an RPG", even if "women" could be judged as some single-minded mass with significantly common interests. Given that there are very few comprehensive surveys on this issue that anyone can proffer--and seems that those which do exist, people already have suggested--I can't really see what you're asking for beyond more people's anecdotal evidence, which consists of nothing more than personal experience. If I had to go by personal experience I would say that all male gamers seem to be interested in fantasy games and dislike scifi and horror games, but that would be rather inaccurate, no?


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: taalyn on September 21, 2003, 10:22:24 AM
Heather...

Thank you! That's exactly what was needed. My troup is a 60-40 mix of female to male, and what any one of the women wants out of the game changes from session to session. Same with the guys.

What I think you should do, X, is simply design your game so that any particular theme a group likes can come into focus. Magic/science, social intrigue, combat, heroism - these are all easily doable. Some systems make one or the other more significant by how they're presented in the rules.

But now I'm getting into my own pet projects, so I'll shut up. It's not on topic...

Aidan


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 21, 2003, 10:34:24 AM
Quote from: Heather Manley
Quote from: xechnao
About the settings you metioned I still see a lack of sci-fi interest. Indeed I asked my girlfriend (20 years old) about her literature interests last night and it was something like that. She always prefered the social problems with a background of any setting but sci-fi. About fiction films she enjoyed Indiana Jones and Interview with a Vampire a lot and wants now to see the Pirates of the Caribbean. But she doesn't want to see Terminator and Star Wars she dislikes. Although she liked Stargate film I could say that she stills doesn't like sci-fi because the film was of a more Indiana Jones feel. Finally I' ve showed Alita manga and even if it speaks about a girl and the social human problems she wasn't interest a bit in it propably because she saw all that ultra-tech action. Well all this doesn't mean a lot but I feel all the most influenced by this thread that female dislike the imagination of the evolution and application of super-technology in the society.


You know, you're making a lot of broad generalizations based on very few data points; as the saying goes, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". Quite frankly, it's bordering on the offensive. I find most fantasy boring and write, GM, and play in scifi games, but I'm not about to run around saying that all women really want science fiction games and find epic fantasy dull just because that shows up in my current experience.

While I do find it interesting to look at what women want in the hobby, it sounds more like you have a theory you want support for rather than looking for actual answers. You say that women don't like scifi, and then when talking about a woman you know who likes a scifi show, dismiss it as being "because the film was of a more Indiana Jones feel"?

Your girlfriend may not like science fiction. I happen to like science fiction. These are two data points and they are still not telling us anything about "what women want in an RPG", even if "women" could be judged as some single-minded mass with significantly common interests. Given that there are very few comprehensive surveys on this issue that anyone can proffer--and seems that those which do exist, people already have suggested--I can't really see what you're asking for beyond more people's anecdotal evidence, which consists of nothing more than personal experience. If I had to go by personal experience I would say that all male gamers seem to be interested in fantasy games and dislike scifi and horror games, but that would be rather inaccurate, no?


Haha if you feel offended I suggest you change page. I just posted a personal experience of mine on the matter and what I seem to be thinking about it. It's my right, no?
I like sci-fi too. I have lots of friends that I know they like it but are all male. Indeed I have no female friend that likes sci-fi. I think I never saw in cinema a female group while a sci-fi movie: latest one I saw was matrix-reloaded(let's consider it sci-fi). I saw male groups, couples and father with son. This alone doesn't say a lot but if the most around here agree and share this common base then it does add some bricks in the wall.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Fade Manley on September 21, 2003, 10:48:34 AM
Quote from: xechnao
Haha if you feel offended I suggest you change page. I just posted a personal experience of mine on the matter and what I seem to be thinking about it. It's my right, no?
I like sci-fi too. I have lots of friends that I know they like it but are all male. Indeed I have no female friend that likes sci-fi. I think I never saw in cinema a female group while a sci-fi movie: latest one I saw was matrix-reloaded(let's consider it sci-fi). I saw male groups, couples and father with son. This alone doesn't say a lot but if the most around here agree and share this common base then it does add some bricks in the wall.


xechnao, you're missing the point. I'm not saying that you can't post a personal experience; however, I am saying that your personal experience does not constitute enough data to make broad generalizations as you seem to wish to do. Your personal experience in what your friends like and who goes to what movies you've seen recently tells us only that your female friends like certain things and that in the place you've gone to movies during those particular showings that there might have been a particular demographic. It does not say much, if anything, relevant about all women and their preference in RPGs, or even necessarily about most women and their preferences.

Look, people can toss back and forth anecdotes all day ("My girlfriend hates scifi!" "Well, my girlfriend loves scifi!" "My girlfriend is completely indifferent!" "I went to a showing of Star Wars that had only women watching it!" "No woman I've ever spoken to would ever play RPGs in the first place, so obviously all women hate all RPGs!") but it's still not going to answer your question. All it's going to do is pile up a bunch of anecdotes.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 21, 2003, 11:02:14 AM
So none should ever speak of his personal experiences or even bother compile a statiscal interview questionaire brochure. No, this is not the right spirit. I understand that the practical possibilty of this forum is limited to an extent but we can still try to make the best of it.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 21, 2003, 12:06:46 PM
Quote from: xechnao
So none should ever speak of his personal experiences or even bother compile a statiscal interview questionaire brochure. No, this is not the right spirit. I understand that the practical possibilty of this forum is limited to an extent but we can still try to make the best of it.


Sigh.

Xechnao, what exactly is your goal with this thread?

Genre is only one of many many factors that influences anybody to like (or dislike) anything.

For any given genre, you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

For any given style of play you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

For any given set of rules mechancis you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

For any given combination of the above qualities, you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

I think Heather's point is that you seem to be approaching this topic with the point of view that genre is the important thing, and you want to get some sort of idea of the general distribution of female interest in rpgs based on genre alone.

I (and I suspect most of the rest of the people who have answered you) think this is naive and borderline offensively stupid (I'm not trying to be antagonistic or put words in anybody's mouth, I'm just trying to describe my impressions of what you are trying to say).

I am a very atypical woman in many respects.  But I started playing RPGs with D&D, just like lots of other people.  Some games I play because I like the people I'm playing with.  Some games I play because I like the mechanics.  Some games I play because I like the setting or genre or whatever.  Some games have all of those things going for it.

It's not so clear cut as finding a single genre, set of mechanics, game focus, or anything of the sort that will appeal to the mysterious group known as 'females'.

If you reread my earlier post, you'll notice I said that what I was relating was an over-generalization, but that it sort of lends itself to categorizing two different sorts of people.  Both men and women can fall into both of those categories.  It's not a binary "guys over here, girls over there" sort of thing.  It's almost never that simple.

As Anthony sort of alluded to, one of the reasons there aren't more women gaming is probably one of culture.  Members of 'typical' gaming culture frequently do not socialize well with anybody, let alone with women.  Part of that sort of socialization skill is what Taalyn touched on -- structure your game so that you can provide the players with the things they are looking for, instead of providing a specific set of things you are interested in and only ending up with players who are interested in those exact same things.  And by 'things' I mean genre, setting, levels of socialization, nuts-and-bolts, characterization, moral conundrums, etc, etc, etc.  Pay attention and be sensitive to what your players are interested in, and give it to them, regardless of whether those players are men or women.  Provide a mix of what each of them finds fun and what you find fun.  Doing this requires getting to know your players as people, and actually being able to figure out what they find as fun, and what they find offensive.

So, what are you trying to determine or discuss with this thread?

Are you trying to get anecdotes about what genres have lots of women playing them?

Are you trying to get anecdotes about what sorts of mechanics the games that most women play have?

Are you trying to figure out why there aren't more women playing RPGs?  Are you trying to figure out why there aren't more women playing in your games?

Are you trying to figure out how to change your own games to attract women to play in them?

If you can't answer this clearly, I'm not seeing a lot of point in continuing this discussion, because what I've read up till now seems to indicate that you have a pet theory you don't seem to want to explain, yet you are looking for validation that you're right.

I apologize in advance if this post has been overly harsh or offensive.  I'm just trying to be as clear as I can.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 21, 2003, 01:45:40 PM
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
Quote from: xechnao
So none should ever speak of his personal experiences or even bother compile a statiscal interview questionaire brochure. No, this is not the right spirit. I understand that the practical possibilty of this forum is limited to an extent but we can still try to make the best of it.


Sigh.

Xechnao, what exactly is your goal with this thread?

Genre is only one of many many factors that influences anybody to like (or dislike) anything.

For any given genre, you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

For any given style of play you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

For any given set of rules mechancis you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

For any given combination of the above qualities, you can find both men and women who like and dislike it.

I think Heather's point is that you seem to be approaching this topic with the point of view that genre is the important thing, and you want to get some sort of idea of the general distribution of female interest in rpgs based on genre alone.

I (and I suspect most of the rest of the people who have answered you) think this is naive and borderline offensively stupid (I'm not trying to be antagonistic or put words in anybody's mouth, I'm just trying to describe my impressions of what you are trying to say).

I am a very atypical woman in many respects.  But I started playing RPGs with D&D, just like lots of other people.  Some games I play because I like the people I'm playing with.  Some games I play because I like the mechanics.  Some games I play because I like the setting or genre or whatever.  Some games have all of those things going for it.

It's not so clear cut as finding a single genre, set of mechanics, game focus, or anything of the sort that will appeal to the mysterious group known as 'females'.

If you reread my earlier post, you'll notice I said that what I was relating was an over-generalization, but that it sort of lends itself to categorizing two different sorts of people.  Both men and women can fall into both of those categories.  It's not a binary "guys over here, girls over there" sort of thing.  It's almost never that simple.

As Anthony sort of alluded to, one of the reasons there aren't more women gaming is probably one of culture.  Members of 'typical' gaming culture frequently do not socialize well with anybody, let alone with women.  Part of that sort of socialization skill is what Taalyn touched on -- structure your game so that you can provide the players with the things they are looking for, instead of providing a specific set of things you are interested in and only ending up with players who are interested in those exact same things.  And by 'things' I mean genre, setting, levels of socialization, nuts-and-bolts, characterization, moral conundrums, etc, etc, etc.  Pay attention and be sensitive to what your players are interested in, and give it to them, regardless of whether those players are men or women.  Provide a mix of what each of them finds fun and what you find fun.  Doing this requires getting to know your players as people, and actually being able to figure out what they find as fun, and what they find offensive.

So, what are you trying to determine or discuss with this thread?

Are you trying to get anecdotes about what genres have lots of women playing them?

Are you trying to get anecdotes about what sorts of mechanics the games that most women play have?

Are you trying to figure out why there aren't more women playing RPGs?  Are you trying to figure out why there aren't more women playing in your games?

Are you trying to figure out how to change your own games to attract women to play in them?

If you can't answer this clearly, I'm not seeing a lot of point in continuing this discussion, because what I've read up till now seems to indicate that you have a pet theory you don't seem to want to explain, yet you are looking for validation that you're right.

I apologize in advance if this post has been overly harsh or offensive.  I'm just trying to be as clear as I can.


This thread is started to study the genre only question in grounds of female approach, that is genre approach indipendently from the other factors, period.
What you say is common ground to me and overly-repeated on this thread. It is also overly repeated what the scope of this thread is. :(
Again if you find this offensive please flip your way out of it.
Or should it be considered it's just flames because of the nature of females? :)

"If you reread my earlier post, you'll notice I said that what I was relating was an over-generalization, but that it sort of lends itself to categorizing two different sorts of people.  Both men and women can fall into both of those categories.  It's not a binary "guys over here, girls over there" sort of thing.  It's almost never that simple."

So what do those statistical studies are good to make?

"Are you trying to figure out how to change your own games to attract women to play in them?"

That's it* :) . To play, buy, promote them. Actually I've allready said that :(

*Actually my games not as my gaming sessions but as my game products. This is why I can't find any good in the advice to get to know my players as people over this matter. I am only interested in the magiority of population tendencies, I am only interested in the most generalized and generic rules if there can be found any. Maybe at first gathering a bunch of peoples knownledge could seem an irrelevant gathering of anecdotes but in the end there is very good propability you get to achieve some new knowledge either way.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 21, 2003, 03:58:34 PM
Quote
his thread is started to study the genre only question in grounds of female approach, that is genre approach indipendently from the other factors, period.
snip
Actually my games not as my gaming sessions but as my game products. This is why I can't find any good in the advice to get to know my players as people over this matter. I am only interested in the magiority of population tendencies, I am only interested in the most generalized and generic rules if there can be found any. Maybe at first gathering a bunch of peoples knownledge could seem an irrelevant gathering of anecdotes but in the end there is very good propability you get to achieve some new knowledge either way.


Okay, this makes more sense.

Here's my take on an answer:

The genre of a game has little or no affect on whether a game is attractive to female players in my experience.

The key, in my opinion, is to design a game not with features intended to specifically appeal to women, but to design a game which has a wide variety of different modes of conflict and play.  If there are lots of ways to have fun with a game, then lots of different people (both male and female) will be able to find, make, or have fun playing it.

The biggest problem in this regard in the US is probably that dysfunctional male uber-geek D&D culture is widely considered synonymous with the culture of all gaming (outside of LARPS and Vampire, which have a different connotation), and that culture has a connotation of being 'girl-unfriendly'.

I hasten to add that this has little or nothing to do with the specifics of the system mechanics or genre (although the cheesecake doesn't help any, here), and more to do with the socialization of many gamers and their comfort and maturity in mixed-gender settings (I still shudder at the male player running a female elven cleric with 18 charisma who wore chainmail miniskirts and flirted constantly with male NPCs -- Ah, high school!).  The history of RPGs with media and religious institutions in the US hasn't helped any, either (I had friends whose parents burned their D&D rulebooks in the fireplace, and the like, over religious concerns -- Actually, on a tangent, I had a (male) friend in college tell me that when he walked by a group of us playing any RPG down in the dorm basement he sensed the presence of palpable Evil hanging over the whole thing.  It's not just women who are turned off by gaming, and it doesn't always have anything to do with the reality of gaming that those of us who are gamers experience, either.)

To sum up -- what I'm saying is that focusing on genre, either statistically or informally, isn't going to actually help you much in designing game products that women will magically be interested in buying in my opinion and experience.

Why do you think it will?


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 21, 2003, 05:12:15 PM
Um, to summerize what many people are saying: you can't make games for a specific gender.  You make games for a specific kind of audience, and if women happen to make up a larger portion of that audience than men, you might have a "female-friendly" game (but that's a horrible term, *blech*), but that doesn't mean much in an 80% male hobby.

For example, games that have been typically considered "female friendly," such as Nobilis, Changeling, most LARPs, Castle Falkenstein, etc. still have majority male consumers, in my experience.  Hang out on the Nobilis mailing list and you find mostly guys.  However, there are significantly more women involved than would be in a D&D or even Vampire game.  You just swing the balance a bit towards the other direction.  

If you talk to Michael about his HeartQuest audience, I think you'll find the same thing.  Note that HeartQuest isn't a game specifically targeted at a female audience, even though its based on comics that, in Japan, are specifically targeted at a female audience.  In Japan, women make up a significant portion of comic readers and there are traditions that divide things into "boy comics" and "girls comics" and then "general comics."  In roleplaying, we have "boys games" and...  Well, we have "boys games," and ever so often someone will make one for a mixed audience.  That's the point that the industry is at.  There's a similar situation with comics, if you're paying attention to developments in that industry.

Personally speaking, I'm running a game with all female players right now, where I've got the only penis in the room.  And it ROCKS!  Why?  Because playing with players who aren't traditional geek-out sexually-frustrated power-crazed gamers is such a breath of fresh air.  Don't think I'll ever go back.  But again, I didn't write up my campaign in a way that was specifically designed to appeal to women, but women were mostly the ones who expressed interest in it (we did have one other guy).

Honestly, thinking in generalizations is bound to get you in trouble.  Pick an aesthetic and go with it.  People will respond as they will.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: M. J. Young on September 21, 2003, 07:18:15 PM
Anecdotes

Anecdotes are going to tell you nothing, ultimately. Here are mine.

The first gaming group was two couples--two girls, two guys--and we picked up a third couple intermittently. In the D&D game, the first RPG the group played (in our mix of card, board, electronic, and other games), one girl played an elven fighter/magic-user, one a human cleric, and one a hobbit thief--nothing similar between them. However, the male party leader decided they needed horses, and the girls went crazy over the horses. We could conclude that for girls to like games, you need to give them horses. They knew the size, color, markings, gender, tack and harness and vestment designs of those horses. Girls like horses; at least, that's my experience. The guys didn't care near as much.

We picked up a couple of science fiction games--Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, Star Frontiers. One of the couples didn't play any of the sci-fi games. One of the girls who did play didn't enjoy playing the Gamma World game which her boyfriend ran; I often found it a very harsh game, but kept plugging at it. She did enjoy the others. The other girl, my wife, seemed to enjoy it. She also ran both of the other sci-fi games, brilliantly well, and enjoyed doing so enough that she ran a private Star Frontiers game for me. So we find that a third of our D&D audience wasn't interested in sci-fi, a third found some of it less than enjoyable, and a third was very interested in it--but no gender bias there.

I've got two girls in my current online game. One of them apparently prefers fantasy; she likes elves and magic, and talking about these things. I don't know how she feels about sci-fi, at least not yet, so I'm exploring this side of things. The other loves space opera--Star Trek, B5, Star Wars, she's at home in this, it's her element. She enjoyed being on a space ship. She's also really getting into being a spy now that her space flight has ended, and reports playing the latest Bond video game with her brother.

I'm afraid you've got nothing here. You've got information that proves that people are individuals, and although you can collectively make assertions about them, they don't always work so well when pressed.

As my brother loves to say, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide all the people in the world into two kinds, and those who don't. Yes, there are differences between men and women--they just aren't really very clear in something so general as "genre". It isn't whether girls like sci-fi, but what kind of sci-fi they tend to prefer. There's your question--not whether you do sci-fi, but what do you do with it to make it friendly to people who don't think quite the same way about it as you do.

Multiverser to a large degree lets the referee decide what the world is going to be like, but leaves it to the player to decide what the game is going to be about. Girls and guys alike find what interests them and pursue that. If you allow them to do that, you'll appeal to a broader audience. The details of setting don't matter.

--M. J. Young


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 23, 2003, 05:34:00 AM
I don't want to make a game for a specific gender. I just want to make a game less unfriendly possible for any gender. Since what I've been knowing and hearing is for example that girls that play d&d count fewer than the girls who play Vampire, or the girls that read fantasy literature count fewer in respect of the male readers of fantasy I supposed that even setting-wise could matter in a broad and generalized point of you the attraction in regards of female players(my interest heavies particularlly the female case since I understand that male attractivity to rpgs isn't the issue left behind in respect of the other*).
Do you find this so paranoid and out of reality?

*rpgs is an 80% male hobby today.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 23, 2003, 06:30:21 AM
Quote from: xechnao
Do you find this so paranoid and out of reality?


Honestly... a little.

I don't think it's the setting that attracts or drives female players away from a specific game, I think it's the culture that gets built up around it.  Many female players would love D&D, provided they could consistantly play with people who weren't socially underdeveloped or on power trips.

You're not going to be able to find a setting that magically appeals to women.  Any effort to "figure out what women want" seems a bit ridiculous.  Just build a culture around your game that's welcoming and supportive of female players.  Now, some aspects of a welcoming environment can certainly be reflected in your setting (for instance, Trollbabe), but that's not necessarily required.  In fact, many people might take settings "specifically tailored for them" to be rather condescending and offputting, not just women.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: damion on September 23, 2003, 07:36:13 AM
<Observation> I should probably know better than to read this </observation>

I think the issue here is females in general vs females as molded by our culture.
To appeal to the first, just take the advice on the thread(do what you want, provide diversity,
avoid offencive stuff like cheesecake). To make a game that appeals to female culture would be
difficult as, as games traditionally appeal to male culture(which is offputting to most females).


Although Vampire LARP apparently managed.

Unfortunatly, I'm not sure how you manage the 'culture' of a game, as this would probably
depend on  the people in an area, although you could try to avoid appealing to cultural segments you don't want.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 23, 2003, 09:14:14 AM
Quote from: Jonathan Walton
Quote from: xechnao
Do you find this so paranoid and out of reality?


Honestly... a little.

I don't think it's the setting that attracts or drives female players away from a specific game, I think it's the culture that gets built up around it.  Many female players would love D&D, provided they could consistantly play with people who weren't socially underdeveloped or on power trips.


Can you back this up?
Me, being "paranoid" am able to back up what I am saying by stats. Have you read the example I have written* just above and have you seen the above link with the preferences of film types? What's your advice about this in advance?

*About fantasy literature I have seen a calculation on user input ie reviews of sites like yahoo, amazon and have known the result of a great prevealance of males vs females. It wasn't the same to cases of other types of literature, products etch.
Here in italy I had access to a similar shop who takes some data from its clients and to some searches I was allowed to do, it was obvious there was a difference in many kinds of products purchases: from music, to literature, to dvds.
Some examples were really eye-poping, like some Sigal dvds.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 23, 2003, 09:25:33 AM
Quote from: damion
<Observation> I should probably know better than to read this </observation>

 To make a game that appeals to female culture would be
difficult as, as games traditionally appeal to male culture(which is offputting to most females).


This makes not part of this thread but I have some opinion over this I guess I could say. I believe females are into gaming but not to a too complicated one. For instance I know a lot of female card players(not collectible,just normal card games like pocker including also other type of decks) and some with passion about it too. About chess I could hardly say the same thing. Look at world-order famous and you can count female chess players on your fingers.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 10:20:32 AM
Quote from: xechnao

Me, being "paranoid" am able to back up what I am saying by stats. Have you read the example I have written* just above and have you seen the above link with the preferences of film types? What's your advice about this in advance?

*About fantasy literature I have seen a calculation on user input ie reviews of sites like yahoo, amazon and have known the result of a great prevealance of males vs females. It wasn't the same to cases of other types of literature, products etch.


Xechnao,

I'm going to try again, against my better judgement, to make something clear.

The fact that more men than women buy a certain product, or report liking a certain genre, or whatever, tells you nothing about why.

The numbers you are looking at are descriptions of behavior and you are using stereotypes, anecdotes, heresay, and opinions to decide on a reason why those numbers have the value they do.

That doesn't get you anywhere.  It's not scientific, and it doesn't "prove" anything.  Instead, what it does, is make it plain what your particular opinions on the topic are.

Consider the following quote, for example:

Quote from: xechnao
I believe females are into gaming but not to a too complicated one


The above statement is patronizing.  I'm a woman, and I'm certainly feeling patronized by it.  And it's this sort of attitude which would lead me to not be interested in playing any game with you, if I was given the opportunity.  This single statement implies, to me, that you don't expect women to be your intellectual equals, or that they are not as interested in complicated, hard, or otherwise challenging intellectual activities.  You may not actually feel that way.  You may not have intended the statement to imply that.  But that's how I react to it, and how many other intelligent women would probably react to it, too.

It's an off-putting attitude.  And the women who won't be offended by that attitude or opinion are going to be few and far between, and probably aren't going to be interested in complicated games.

The fact that you don't seem to understand this crucial point leads me to suspect you will not be very successful in attracting women to your games.  You don't seem to respect them.  You only seem interested in them as abstract consumers or lesser companions as opposed to as people.

Does any of this make sense to you?  I'm not trying to be offensive or anything -- I'm honestly trying to explain a point I think is absolutely vital that you grasp if you are to make any headway in making your games and products attractive to women.  Women are actually people, with all the same raw capabilties and interests as men.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 10:33:03 AM
Quote from: damion
I think the issue here is females in general vs females as molded by our culture.
To appeal to the first, just take the advice on the thread(do what you want, provide diversity,
avoid offencive stuff like cheesecake). To make a game that appeals to female culture would be
difficult as, as games traditionally appeal to male culture(which is offputting to most females).

Although Vampire LARP apparently managed.

Unfortunatly, I'm not sure how you manage the 'culture' of a game, as this would probably
depend on  the people in an area, although you could try to avoid appealing to cultural segments you don't want.


Damion,

I, at least, have to disagree with this a bit.  Which one is 'male culture': low-brow beer swilling sports jocks, or sports-phobic nerdy computer and math geeks?

I would contend that there is no monolithic 'female culture' any more than there is a monolithic 'male culture'.  I'm not saying there aren't differences between the 'culture groups' that men and women are exposed to and live in (particularly as they are growing up), but I think what you'll find is that there is a wide swath of different cultures in both the women's camp and the men's camp, as disparate from one another as male high-school jocks and male high-school math geeks.  And there is some overlap (band geeks are band geeks, no matter if they are male or female).

My point here is that RPGs hardly appeal to some over-arching 'male culture' -- there are lots of men who are completely disinterested in RPGs, just as there are lots of men who don't like sports.  Instead, RPGs have largely been adopted by a specific set of sub-cultures in such a way (and for such a length of time) that it has developed it's own sub-culture around it.  And that sub-culture and it's members have done their best to not provide a lot of ways for it to overlap with any of the available similar female sub-cultures who may have an equal or greater attraction for the passtime.

When women are provided a comfortable and safe environment in which to take part in RPGs, where they are not made to feel uncomfortable or offended, then they take to them just as readily as guys do and for largely the same reasons.  Vampire didn't try to appeal to men or to women in particular -- it tried to appeal to Goths.  And, shock and amazement, there are both male and female Goths!

Okay, time for Dana to climb down off her soapbox now.  :/

Sorry for the ranting.  As a frequent 'lone voice' I think this is important to hash out when it does come up.

Edit:  D'oh!  dumb spelling fix.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 23, 2003, 10:45:16 AM
What Dana said.

Best,
Ron


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 23, 2003, 10:56:41 AM
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue


The fact that more men than women buy a certain product, or report liking a certain genre, or whatever, tells you nothing about why.

The numbers you are looking at are descriptions of behavior and you are using stereotypes, anecdotes, heresay, and opinions to decide on a reason why those numbers have the value they do.

That doesn't get you anywhere.  It's not scientific, and it doesn't "prove" anything.  Instead, what it does, is make it plain what your particular opinions on the topic are.


Do you believe those that sponsor those researches(it's not me that calculated all this I am talking about neither did I write down the site of the link) and studies are stupid? If not, why they are doing this?



Quote

Quote from: xechnao
I believe females are into gaming but not to a too complicated one


The above statement is patronizing.  I'm a woman, and I'm certainly feeling patronized by it.  And it's this sort of attitude which would lead me to not be interested in playing any game with you, if I was given the opportunity.  This single statement implies, to me, that you don't expect women to be your intellectual equals, or that they are not as interested in complicated, hard, or otherwise challenging intellectual activities.  You may not actually feel that way.  You may not have intended the statement to imply that.  But that's how I react to it, and how many other intelligent women would probably react to it, too.

Could I dare to say this "intelligent" could be in a manner "complessed"?  Hey, don't take it with me! :) Ok, let me explain: by saying women are different than men in some aspect it doesn't mean that there can be a confrontation about this on a scale indicating levels of inferiority or superirity or a scale of this concept at all. So you don't have to feel offended. Can you accept this or do you want to defend ultimatelly against it?
Oh and about "patronizing" people may have some common points and be referred or regarded by them by some sort of view. This is not that bad. Mass production with no exceptions works on this basis.
Quote

It's an off-putting attitude.  And the women who won't be offended by that attitude or opinion are going to be few and far between, and probably aren't going to be interested in complicated games.

The fact that you don't seem to understand this crucial point leads me to suspect you will not be very successful in attracting women to your games.  You don't seem to respect them.  

What I've said above.
Quote

You only seem interested in them as abstract consumers or lesser companions as opposed to as people.

Abstract consumers for this case. I can't get to know everybody personally that is going to buy a product I am making if it is going to interest a lot of people.
Quote

Does any of this make sense to you?  I'm not trying to be offensive or anything -- I'm honestly trying to explain a point I think is absolutely vital that you grasp if you are to make any headway in making your games and products attractive to women.  Women are actually people, with all the same raw capabilties and interests as men.

It does but actually I think we are talking on different grounds. I accept and respect your opinions and as a matter of fact I agree with them. I believe it's our communication that fails a bit.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 11:19:12 AM
Er, I think the quoting nesting got messed up in your last post, Xechnao.  But I think I got the gist of it...

I'm going to defy standard Forge protocol as I understand it and go point by point because there are a number of disparate points in this post, and I'd like to hit them independently.

Quote from: xechnao

Do you believe those that sponsor those researches(it's not me that calculated all this I am talking about neither did I write down the site of the link) and studies are stupid? If not, why they are doing this?


They aren't stupid for collecting the numbers.  What's stupid is the conclusions you are drawing about why those numbers have the values they do.  Does that make sense?

They tell you how the market looks right now.  It doesn't tell you why the market looks like that, nor what the market might look like in a year, or five.

Quote from: xechnao

Could I dare to say this "intelligent" could be in a manner "complessed"?  By saying women are different than men in some aspect it doesn't mean that there can be a confrontation about this on a scale indicating levels of inferiority or superirity or a scale of this concept at all. So you don't have to feel offended. Can you accept this or do you want to defend ultimatelly against it?
Oh and about "patronizing" people can have some common points and be referred or regarded by them by some sort of view. This is not that bad. Mass production with no exceptions works on the this basis.


I'm not sure what you mean about mass production (and I'm not sure what you mean by 'complessed' -- I think you mean 'turned into a compliment', but I could be wrong).  But on the other stuff -- I sort of agree, but not exactly.

Yes, some people are different than others in some areas, and those differences can lead to people liking or disliking things, or being better or worse than others at various things.  That's not what's offending me.

What's offensive about the statement I was quoting is that you seem to be trying to make such a judgement about liking or disliking something, or being good or bad at something, being a quality that belongs to Women as a group.  That is something I find wrong-headed, particularly when the implication is that women as a group are generally or largely worse at something than men as a group.  Because it isn't so, and it's patronizing and chauvinistic to think so.

Is that clearer?  I'm not saying you intended to be offensive.  I'm saying I found your point offensive (at least, the point I think you were making), and here's why.

Quote from: xechnao

Abstract consumers for this case. I can't get to know everybody personally that is going to buy a product I am making if it is going to interest a lot of people.


Sure.  But, then, do that.  I, at least, think that trying to pitch your game products in some specific way to add appeal to women, as opposed to just making them generally appeal to a lot of people, is in itself patronizing and at worst will result in the exact opposite effect -- alienating the group you are trying to artificially appeal to.

Quote from: xechnao

It does but actually I think we are talking on different grounds. I accept and respect your opinions and as a matter of fact I agree with them. I believe it's our communication that fails a bit.


I do have to admit that I've had some trouble with your english a few times, and it may be that this is keeping me from really getting your points as you intend them.

But, really, I think I do now 'get' what you are trying to say.  I'm not yet convinced that you get what I'm trying to say.  I know I'm not always as clear or articulate as I could be :/

I'm not really mad or ready to pound on anybody or anything, despite how my posts may come off.  I'm trying to explain a point of view which I encounter a lot in my day-to-day life at work, where I am powerless to do anything about it, or even bring it up in a meaningful way -- I have a certain amount of pent-up frustration about this very topic, and I'm probably venting a bit more strongly than is really warranted.  Sorry about that.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Valamir on September 23, 2003, 11:21:55 AM
Wow...when exactly did the time machine arrive from 1950?


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: damion on September 23, 2003, 12:10:11 PM
AnyaTheBlue,
        I was just trying to say that traditionally RPG's appeal to more subsets of all possible male cultures than subsets of all possible female cultures.   This is just bc they were developed in a subset of male cultures, i.e. new RPG's don't have this problem, but people tend to generalize from the most visible subset of a group.  As you mentioned, many of the subcultures are common.
        Basicly, what I was trying to say is that the 'culture groups' men and women are exposed to affect their prefernces in this area.  I guess what I'm saying is that a game should not try to appeal to culture of any gender, but instead focus on things independent of that.
 Sorry if it came off wrong.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 12:43:29 PM
Quote from: damion

 I was just trying to say that traditionally RPG's appeal to more subsets of all possible male cultures than subsets of all possible female cultures. This is just bc they were developed in a subset of male cultures, i.e. new RPG's don't have this problem, but people tend to generalize from the most visible subset of a group. As you mentioned, many of the subcultures are common.
Basicly, what I was trying to say is that the 'culture groups' men and women are exposed to affect their prefernces in this area.  I guess what I'm saying is that a game should not try to appeal to culture of any gender, but instead focus on things independent of that.
 Sorry if it came off wrong.


I think the term is "No harm, no foul" =)

I am in turn sorry if I came off a bit too strident in my response.

We are almost saying the same thing, but not quite, and I'm not sure if I agree with your point or not (I'll have to think on it for a bit).  I definitely agree on your conclusion, though, that games should try to appeal to people as opposed to specific 'gender subcultures'.

Here's the difference in our core points, as I see it (and I may well not have been making my point clearly :/):

Quote from: damion
I was just trying to say that traditionally RPG's appeal to more subsets of all possible male cultures than subsets of all possible female cultures.


This is where I differ from you.  I don't think this is true.  I think that the existing RPGs as games and settings by and large appeal equally to both men and women, as well as male 'subculture groups' and female 'subculture groups'.

In my opinion, there is little or no inherent bias towards male subculture groups or away from female subculture groups in the games themselves (whether they are 'new' or 'old').  'Cheesecake' is probably the most visible 'part' of a game where there is a bias one way or another, but I would argue that for the most part this is not part of the game per se, but rather part of the gaming culture that's built up around the games.  If you stripped out all the art from a game, and just relied on the flavor text and the mechanics, you would for the most part find things balanced (there are of course exceptions, where there is blatant sexism embedded in a game's rules, settings, or adventures, but it's fairly rare, at least in my own experience -- maybe I just gravitate towards 'chick-friendly' games?).

To be as clear as I can be:  I don't think it's that the games do or do not appeal to men more or less than women.  I think that it's the culture around gaming that does not appeal to (and frequently actively excludes) women.  I think it's the treatment they get when and if they try to take part, both from the gamers they try to play with, and from people (both men and women) who are not themselves gamers.

It's not that old games were made by guys and therefore appeal to guys.  It's that guys started playing RPGs and slowly, over time, drove out the women by their behavior, and kept us out by their continuing behavior.

Does that make sense?  

I have a tendency to get very pedantic when I'm in these kinds of discussions, and it really frustrates some people (I was in debate, waaay back in the mists of time when I was in high school, and old habits die hard -- plus, I type fast and I'm long-winded), so I apologize if I'm coming off as some sort of strident harridan or something.  I'm really not, and I'm really not offended or disgusted with the Forge community or anything like that.

On the contrary, I really think this is a fantastic and welcoming place, and I relish being able to actually discuss this problem, which is in fact a microcosm of a problem that society at large still has (although things are demonstrably quite a bit better than they were in my parent's day).


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: damion on September 23, 2003, 01:02:44 PM
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue

This is where I differ from you. I don't think this is true. I think that the existing RPGs as games and settings by and large appeal equally to both men and women, as well as male 'subculture groups' and female 'subculture groups'.

...<snip to avoid enourmous quote>

To be as clear as I can be:  I don't think it's that the games do or do not appeal to men more or less than women.  I think that it's the culture around gaming that does not appeal to (and frequently actively excludes) women.  I think it's the treatment they get when and if they try to take part, both from the gamers they try to play with, and from people (both men and women) who are not themselves gamers.


Agree here.  I just think it's just hard to totally divorce the setting from the games, i.e. consider the role of female charachters in tolkien{not encouraging}.  Mechanics are generally not a problem, aside from utterly ridiculous stuff(gender specific stats?!?).

I guess my point is that if women taught to fill traditional roles(homemaker), these values are not compatable traditional RPGS(kill monsters, take their stuff).  Although that's fairly useless from a design perspective, as you would not want to make a game to actually reinforce     those values in women. Or to put it another way, since men were encouraged to avoid these values, and  men made most games, their wern't games that fit these values.

I think it's more than just  the social traditional atmospher of gamers. The games I've seen  where it wasn't present would tend to have a few women, rather than none.   I think there is a bit of a feedback loop between the game and the players, i.e. a certian type of player makes a certian type of game attracts a certian type of player, ect. And these types of players tend to make women feel uncomfortable.  


<ed after meeting> Fixed stuff.  I don't think you've been strident.  If I"m wrong, I prefer people tell me, esp about stuff like this.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Christopher Kubasik on September 23, 2003, 01:08:38 PM
Dear Dana,

In no way have you come off as any sort of "strident harriden."  You have, in fact, been a veritable model of restraint and patience.  I admire you for sticking it out on this one, and doing it so well.

And since I've been drawn back into this one, I'll add:

Someone (it might have been Dana), pointed out a page or two back, that the setting matters a lot less than the people one might play an RPG with.  Let's be clear about this: a cool setting is not going to cover up unsuitable or annoying social habits.

Thus, any person is going to go where they feel most comfortable first (see threads about social contract), and then hammer out what setting might come into play.

I've got an unexpected tip for anyone wondering why they don't have women playing games with them: Assuming women are strange other-things you have to figure out and make consessions to ain't going to make them feel comfortable -- and in fact, will send them far, far away before you get to show them the cool cover of your "girl-friendly" rpg.  (Except, of course, for any women who like being around guys who think they are strange other-things men have to figure out and make consessions to -- if there are any out there, they're all yours.)

You're going to get the kind of people who feel comfortable with *you.*  It doesn't get any more simple than that.

Christopher


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 23, 2003, 01:53:12 PM
Quote

They aren't stupid for collecting the numbers.  What's stupid is the conclusions you are drawing about why those numbers have the values they do.  Does that make sense?

No telling that they count numbers just to count numbers doesn't make sense. There is an obscure scope behind this counting, trust me ;)
Quote

They tell you how the market looks right now.  It doesn't tell you why the market looks like that, nor what the market might look like in a year, or five.

So is it stupid for one to wonder WHY this market looks like the way it looks right now or not?
Quote

I'm not sure what you mean about mass production

Mass production mentallity is based on the concept of "patronizing". You make a kind of product for lots of people.
Quote

(and I'm not sure what you mean by 'complessed' -- I think you mean 'turned into a compliment', but I could be wrong).

It was the contrary of a complment I could say. But no big-deal.
Quote

What's offensive about the statement I was quoting is that you seem to be trying to make such a judgement about liking or disliking something, or being good or bad at something, being a quality that belongs to Women as a group.  That is something I find wrong-headed, particularly when the implication is that women as a group are generally or largely worse at something than men as a group.  Because it isn't so, and it's patronizing and chauvinistic to think so.

Women love their children. Women like men. Ok there are exceptions but I hope you could get somehow the point.

Quote

Sure.  But, then, do that.  I, at least, think that trying to pitch your game products in some specific way to add appeal to women, as opposed to just making them generally appeal to a lot of people, is in itself patronizing and at worst will result in the exact opposite effect -- alienating the group you are trying to artificially appeal to.

Indeed I wanted to appeal to both. Knowing that d&d enjoys an unbalancinglly bigger male public I though it can be worked in a better way.
Quote

I'm not really mad or ready to pound on anybody or anything, despite how my posts may come off.  I'm trying to explain a point of view which I encounter a lot in my day-to-day life at work, where I am powerless to do anything about it, or even bring it up in a meaningful way -- I have a certain amount of pent-up frustration about this very topic, and I'm probably venting a bit more strongly than is really warranted.  Sorry about that.

Don't worry. I can do even a psychologist :)


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: jrs on September 23, 2003, 02:00:29 PM
(I do not disagree with the views posited by Dana aka AnyaTheBlue, Gordon or Christopher.  I do want to go back to the original question posted by xechnao.)

I'm still not certain what type of feedback you want.  I *think* you are trying to gather information about how to design and market a rpg aimed at women as a target audience.  There is general research on marketing to women, a recent example is Martha Barletta's "Marketing to women: how to understand, reach, and increase your share of the world's largest market segment."  (No, I haven't read it, and I don't intend to.)  I don't know that there has been specific research on what appeals to current or potential women gamers.  I could give you my data points, but that won't help you much since alone they would have little statistical relevance.  

I also agree with some of the other posters that genre based setting in and of itself does not necessarily create an appealing game.  For example, I like horror in both film and fiction.  I have played very few games with a standard horror setting.  And those games were kind of bland.  The most horrific game play in my experience, complete with a visceral response on my part, was part of a non-horror based Hero Wars game.  I don't know how you plan for that type of experience in designing a game.

If I am correct in my assumption that you are attempting to market an rpg to women, I would like to know why you want to do this as opposed to say targeting people who like science fiction.  

Julie

p.s. I briefly looked at the film genre preferences study mentioned by John Kim.  I would be careful about applying the results to rpg's, for one thing I suspect that the definition of fantasy in that study would not correspond to the general view of fantasy rpg's.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: jdagna on September 23, 2003, 02:10:17 PM
Before this thread degrades too much further...

Xechnao, have you tried playtesting or focus groups of women?

It seems like one of the best ways to get usable data for this is to get together a few groups of female players and ask them what settings they like and why.  Maybe get a few groups of male players together for the same questions.  Anywhere you see a significant difference, you can label as a gender difference.  If your groups are large and representative enough, you should have a usable sample.

I still think what you'll find is that there's more difference between different groups of women than between women in general and men in general.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 02:26:22 PM
Quote from: damion

Agree here.  I just think it's just hard to totally divorce the setting from the games, i.e. consider the role of female charachters in tolkien{not encouraging}.
(snip)
I guess my point is that if women taught to fill traditional roles(homemaker), these values are not compatable traditional RPGS(kill monsters, take their stuff).
(snip)
Or to put it another way, since men were encouraged to avoid these values, and
 men made most games, their wern't games that fit them.


Damion,

I'm really not trying to pick on you, but here's what I think and what I've observed.

First, in Tolkein, yeah, there aren't any women in the Fellowship, and there are only a handful of 'named' characters at all.  But consider them.

Arwen is pretty cool (even if Tolkien relegates her to the appendix for the most part).  Galadriel is absolutely keen -- she's more or less implied to be the most powerful of the elves.  And Eowyn is just plain unbeatable -- she and Merry are true heroes, slaying the King of the Nazgul, a feat of arms pretty much nobody else in the book duplicates, except for Gandalf's (off screen) fight with the Balrog.

Not too shabby, really, for being pretty unrepresented...

Second, about 'traditional roles'.  I agree completely.  Women who are taught and accept the 'Suzie Homemaker' role are probably not going to be interested in a rousing game of D&D.  Just like that guy who is the Football Team's tight end isn't going to be interested in a rousing game of D&D, either.

Most of the guys I know who play RPGs reject or vary from what I would consider stereotypical traditional gender roles in their thinking, attitudes, or whatever.  Women who game, likewise.  There are just as many oddball women as there are men.  They're just somewhat invisible to most guys, as the oddball guys are invisible to most women.  We don't all accept our 'cultural programming' any better than you all do.

Thirdly, think about this.  I started freeform larping when I was about 4.  It was heavily Simulationist game-play, with occasional strong Narrativist undercurrents, Gamism bringing up the rear.  Sometimes we used miniatures.  We didn't use these terms or call it Larping, of course.  We called it 'playing house', or 'playing dolls/barbie'.  Same core basic activity as a freeform Larp, though.

Likewise, my little brother started Larping about 4, too.  His gameplay was heavily Gamist in focus, with a balance of Simulationist and Narrative adjuncts.  Sometimes he used miniatures, too.  This was generally called either "playing 'guns'/'war'/'cops&robbers'/'cowboys&indians'/'Star Wars-'Rebels vs. Empire'/'Superfriends'" (all the same game) or "playing star wars figures".

Since there were only three of us girls in the neighborhood (well, five, but Kristin and Heather were a couple blocks away, too far away to play with us for the most part), we frequently ended up playing with the boys.  When we all Larped together, things drifted in one of two ways.

First, no miniatures, unless we were playing with hotwheel/matchbox cars, tonka trucks, or Fisher-Price people, but that was all pretty rare.

If we convinced the boys to play 'house', play stayed pretty focussed on Sim/Nar, with the boys usually focussing on the Sim aspects -- mowing the lawn, 'fixing' the house, going to work.  Focus doesn't mean ignored, though.  If we had two houses, the guys might compete over who had the neatest house floorplan, or the better job.  We would compete on who had the better baby or the neater house or who was a better mom.  The guys would rarely initiate Nar-based play in the house scenario -- 'Mom' usually ruled the roost -- but they would react to it just fine, and carry out their role.

If the guys convinced us to Larp with them (far more common, as they outnumbered us), it was usually either Superfriends (where I got to be Wonder Woman or Batgirl, usually -- this was the 70s -- and Becky usually got stuck playing Robin, which she didn't like), or it was Star Wars (but then we had to fight over being Leia or a Robot.  I got stuck being R2-D2 a lot and couldn't talk).  Play got to be fairly mixed here, too, but it tended to be Gamist/Nar/Sim three-way (if that makes sense) -- the Girls focussed on the Nar/Sim/Gamist bits, the guys on the Gamist/Sim/Nar bits -- Sim tended to be the overlap.  It's not that the guys didn't have any Nar bits, but their Nar bits tended not to overlap with our Nar bits -- the stories were different.  And it's not that we didn't have Gamist bits, it's just that the focus was in general different, and more a reflection of the uneasy truce involving playing together -- the social contract, if you will.  We could play together, but we couldn't like it too much or interact too much.  Them's the rules!

Now, this is a GENERAL pattern.  There were times when we girls were just as gamist as the guys in Superfriends.  Wonder Woman could 'compete' pretty well with Spiderman and Superman (yeah, yeah, Spiderman wasn't in the Superfriends -- bite me! =) ).  And there were bits where the guys were very Nar focussed (in guns/war when Darrin's brother was 'shot', for example).

The gender culture encouraged a particular balance, but it shifted pretty fluidly from moment to moment in everybody's play, and nobody didn't partake of one sort of play or another.

There's no built in reason that women prefer one mode over another any more than there is for guys to prefer one to another.  The culture puts a spin on them, sure, but eventually we make conscious choices around all this.

Whew.

Sorry this got to be so long.  And here I said I was going to get down off my soapbox =)  So much for that idea!


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 02:30:52 PM
Quote from: Christopher Kubasik
In no way have you come off as any sort of "strident harriden."  You have, in fact, been a veritable model of restraint and patience.  I admire you for sticking it out on this one, and doing it so well.
(snip)
You're going to get the kind of people who feel comfortable with *you.*  It doesn't get any more simple than that.


Christopher,

Thanks!  (But c'mon.  Surely I must project a 'spinster aunt' vibe, right?  You can be honest...  =) )

As for your last point -- I couldn't possibly agree more.  I'm incapable of saying something like that in less than three or four paragraphs, though...


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Ben Lehman on September 23, 2003, 02:37:49 PM
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
Thanks!  (But c'mon.  Surely I must project a 'spinster aunt' vibe, right?  You can be honest...  =) )


BL>  As someone who has been lurking this thread, you come off to me as one cool chickie.  But I was always a sucker for intellectual, outspoken gamer girls.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 23, 2003, 02:55:15 PM
Julie,

I don't intend to read it either. Anyway to answer, I don't want to make a rpg targeted for women only. I just want to make an rpg that wouldn't be hindered to be enjoyed by women as part of their interest. This thought is provoked by the fact that 80% of people that play d&d are male.
I also agree that an interesting and appealing game can be a lot more than setting. In this thread I thought to be asking about the setting part.


jdagna,

if it was to ask them only about the setting then why get to groups? This would do it more complicated. I could ask 1,000 female rpg-players their preferences and then see out if there were any interesting results. In fact I was wondering if I could make a poll over here. Ladies could vote their preferences giving a vote for every type of setting they like most. I would include thirteen different settings (action, sci-fi, hard-science, cyberpunk, conspiracy, horror, alternate reality, time travel, historical, fantasy, superhero, post holocaust , humour) and four votes of preference(to chose the four most prefered between thirteen) for each that votes (imprtant about the poll: one may not vote same choice more than once but won't have to exhaust all four votes- minimum of voting should remain to one vote).
Thus we could see if some choices would present intersting differentiations(higher or lower ratings) among the others.
I guess this need also be a question to the administrators of this board.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Christopher Kubasik on September 23, 2003, 03:02:32 PM
Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
(But c'mon.  Surely I must project a 'spinster aunt' vibe, right?  You can be honest...  =) )


Um. No.

What Ben said.

Christopher


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Bankuei on September 23, 2003, 03:12:26 PM
Hi folks,

I think that genre plays a small part in the gender balance of gamers.  I'd attribute it more to a self fulfilling stereotype about "who gamers are" plus the "geek's shame" bit that further makes it gender unbalanced, rather than simply genre content.

Chris


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Jonathan Walton on September 23, 2003, 06:17:29 PM
What Ben & Chris said.  By the way, Dana, I was wondering about your sig...

Is it required for one to have a vagina in order to join the Estrogen Brigade?  I mean, I do have some estrogen, after all.  And my favorite game designer is Rebecca Sean Borgstrom.  And I go to a college where Women's Rugby is more popular than Men's Football.

Silly XY chromosomes! Off to gene-therepy!


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 23, 2003, 06:23:03 PM
Quote from: Jonathan Walton
Is it required for one to have a vagina in order to join the Estrogen Brigade?
(snip)
Silly XY chromosomes! Off to gene-therepy!


I was going to try and let things settle in this thread, but this must be replied to =)

Of course you don't need a vagina!  Actually, membership is by self-proclimation.  Only you can know if you are a member or not.  At least, if I get to make up the rules, membership is a voluntary Social Contract. :)


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Christopher Weeks on September 24, 2003, 08:13:30 AM
In general, I'm in the "what she said" camp and I didn't think I had anything to add.  But this bit caught my notice:

Quote from: AnyaTheBlue
What's offensive...is that you _seem_ to be trying to make such a judgement about liking or disliking something, or being good or bad at something, being a quality that belongs to Women as a group.  That is something I find wrong-headed, particularly when the implication is that women _as a group_ are generally or largely worse at something than men _as a group_.  Because it isn't so, and it's patronizing and chauvinistic to think so.


Are you declaring flatly that there are no noteworthy differences in the capabilities of men and women _as groups_ in general?  Or am I missing something?  

In the trivial case, men are better at getting jars open with no tool.  They just are.  Men bear superior upper body strength.  The much harder analysis is one of cognitive styles and abilities.

I tend to believe that men and women do think differently in some ways and that those differences are important to understand and address.  Business, education, parenting, coupling, and maybe just all facets of life stand to gain by understanding those differences.  Why wouldn't game producers have a similar interest?

Chris (who finds X mildly offensive, but not because of the mere notion of such differences)


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 24, 2003, 09:30:22 AM
Christopher,

Sorry, I wasn't being as clear as I could have been.

Sure, there are differences between men and women, just as there differences between New Yorkers and Midwesterners, Northerners and Southerners, African-Americans and Caucasians, Brits and Scots, Catholics and Protestants, etc, etc, etc.

I think Monty Python said it best:

Quote from: Monty Python

    Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
    Arthur: Well I am king.
    Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice! And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers! By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.


Things today, and people today, are far more conscious and aware of casual prejudices than they were a generation or two ago.  But they haven't entirely disappeared.  There's still an awful lot of reasoning and justification of actions based on 'obvious facts' and stereotypes.  In many cases the people doing it aren't aware that they are doing it.  In many other cases, the people doing it know it's not 'politically correct/socially acceptable' to make their reasoning explicit, but they still believe it's true.

What was getting my hackles up was the combination of "All/Most Women Are This Way" and an implication that "That Way is generally not as good as the way All/Most Men are", all bundled up with the apparent attitude that "Women" can be quantified distinctly from "people" (basically, a de-protagonization of us, to use Forge jargon).

As a class, men have more upper body strength than women as a class -- this is a more or less verifiable fact.  But you can't use that to draw a universally correct conclusions about the comparisons between any given woman and any given man -- a doughy male computer programmer may well have less upper body strength than a female triathelete.

With physical things like strength you can make reliable repeatable measurements.  With cognitive abilities, as you note, things get a lot muddier, and it's just irritating when people reason from the general to the specific and don't take the time to differentiate their subject at all beyond the general category they fall into (ie -- I'm a woman, I'm a computer programmer, I like comic books, SF, and RPGs, and my college degree is in physics & math -- and yet, guys assume I don't understand cars, science, or technology.  Bah!).

Yes, people fall into groups and those groups have trends based on biology, culture, and so forth.  But when you treat a person based on the general qualities of one of the groups they fall into in preference to treating them based on the person they actually are, well, that's discrimination.

Who, me?  Bitter?  =)


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: John Kim on September 24, 2003, 09:45:17 AM
Quote from: Christopher
In the trivial case, men are better at getting jars open with no tool.  They just are.  Men bear superior upper body strength.  The much harder analysis is one of cognitive styles and abilities.

I tend to believe that men and women do think differently in some ways and that those differences are important to understand and address.  Business, education, parenting, coupling, and maybe just all facets of life stand to gain by understanding those differences.  Why wouldn't game producers have a similar interest?

Well, but how do you propose to get such understanding?  It can be interesting to compare experiences, but the frequent pitfall is when people claim to understand the true difference based on anecdote or even statistical data.  For example, girls perform better than boys in school these days.  This has been shown pretty broadly in modern data for the U.S., Canada, and Europe.  However, people draw some pretty disparate conclusions based on this.  

I think Anya took offense at drawing conclusions like "girls are smarter than boys" (based on education statistics) or "girls don't like complex rules" (based on gaming anecdotes).  I think understanding differences on a genetic level, particularly for cognitive differences, isn't really known.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: xechnao on September 24, 2003, 09:48:21 AM
AnyaTheBlue,


For info only, there is an rpg game that actually endorses different stats for males and females about physical abilities. Millenium's End gives males +1 str and females +1 costitution. You could also answer if you like if you do find this anoying as a rule and why?

What I want to repeat is this:
You see, differences is one thing and social rights discrimination is another. They don't need to coincide. People should accept and aknowledge differences but without linking them to the idea of a discrimination on social rights. Should you accept this or not?
People also have common points. This means that one can address something in regards of people groups without necessarilly offending social rights. Should this makes you unhappy?


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: damion on September 24, 2003, 10:18:26 AM
AnyaTheBlue,

                    Ok. My fiance's a radical femminist, and she tells me about this sort of stuff alot,
however she doesn't like gaming(She's a mega Simulationist).
However it is appears that I'm combining knowlege and experiance incorrectly, for which I apologize. Thanks for the insight.

Quote

What was getting my hackles up was the combination of "All/Most Women Are This Way" and an implication that "That Way is generally not as good as the way All/Most Men are", all bundled up with the apparent attitude that "Women" can be quantified distinctly from "people" (basically, a de-protagonization of us, to use Forge jargon).


Wow, if you thought I was implying anything vaguely like that, that would explain any stridentness. I wasn' trying to say anything like that, I very sorry if it came out that way.

xechnao
Quote

 You see, differences is one thing and social rights discrimination is another. They don't need to coincide. People should accept and aknowledge differences but without linking them to the idea of a discrimination on social rights. Should you accept this or not?


This is true, but you have to be carefull.  Thus we have seperate mens/womens sports for professionals(everyone is operating at peak capacity, so a difference shows up) but coed for lower ranks (the differnces between individuals affect performance much more).
For things like cognative differences,  there is much less evidence of any clear difference, and if group X does better than group Y in school, does that indicate a cognitive difference or a  
problem with the school? Personally, I think it's fairer to assume the second, at least until more investigation is done.

-Estrogen Brigade Mascot


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 24, 2003, 11:09:28 AM
Quote from: damion

Wow, if you thought I was implying anything vaguely like that, that would explain any stridentness. I wasn' trying to say anything like that, I very sorry if it came out that way.


"Curse this metal body!  They're dying Artoo!"

My turn to apologize, Damion.  I wasn't implying that I took your post that way.  The mini-rant there was describing how I was taking Xechnao's posts.  I think you were mostly right, I was just trying to clarify the slight misconception or misstatement I thought you were making or defending.

And I probably went overboard.  Your statements weren't offensive to me, I just thought they were (very slightly) mistaken.

Quote from: damion
Estrogen Brigade Mascot


Dang.  Should we mandate a costume?


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 24, 2003, 11:26:54 AM
Quote from: xechnao

For info only, there is an rpg game that actually endorses different stats for males and females about physical abilities. Millenium's End gives males +1 str and females +1 costitution. You could also answer if you like if you do find this anoying as a rule and why?


Actually, the situation is far more widespread than just Millenium's End.

AD&D1e had some modifiers (that we ignored) for male vs. female stats, too (at least for humans).  Gurps has seperate 'height/weight' tables.

For the most part I find these annoying, and I just ignore them.  I generally don't care how tall my character is, and I just drop gender modifiers of this sort.  Stat mods are actively irritating, the other stuff just seems like Simming stuff that isn't really that important to the game.  Sort of like Greg Stafford's 'Misapplied Worship' in Glorantha:  you can do it, but what is it really getting you?

What is your goal in Simulating these real or perceived gender differences?  How and why does it make the game more fun?  Is it 'really real', is it based on a bias or misconception, or is it wish-fulfillment?

Quote from: xechnao

What I want to repeat is this:
You see, differences is one thing and social rights discrimination is another. They don't need to coincide. People should accept and aknowledge differences but without linking them to the idea of a discrimination on social rights. Should you accept this or not?
People also have common points. This means that one can address something in regards of people groups without necessarilly offending social rights. Should this makes you unhappy?


If I'm reading you correctly, then I think I disagree with you.  Yes, people are different.  And yes, acknowledging differences is not necessarily social rights discrimination.  But it does depend.  If you are setting up classifications, and you find that there exists a, for example, 20%/80% split, and you treat everybody as if they are in the 80% group, well, the 20% of exceptions are being discriminated against unfairly.

Don't base your actions on a trend.  Base your actions on the specifics of the person.

I'll try an example that will hopefully clarify where I'm coming from.

You have five apples, and five oranges.  There are five people in front of you, and you have a survey that says only one in five people like oranges, so you give all five apples, since most people like apples.  If one of them asks for an orange, you say "Sorry, most people like apples."

So, your survey can be 'true' -- one in five likes oranges -- but that survey doesn't tell you anything about these five specific people.  Maybe these particular five people are actually the charter members of the Orange Appreciation Society, all of whom grow oranges at home, work in the orange production industry, and in fact are allergic to apples.

Just because some broad category of people can be statistically subdivided doesn't tell you if a particular subset of that  broad category falls into a particular statistical subdivision.

To put it another way, statistics are no match for actual communication and dialog.


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: AnyaTheBlue on September 24, 2003, 11:27:46 AM
Quote from: John Kim
I think Anya took offense at drawing conclusions like "girls are smarter than boys" (based on education statistics) or "girls don't like complex rules" (based on gaming anecdotes).


Bingo!  =)


Title: Most attractive setting for female players
Post by: Ron Edwards on September 24, 2003, 02:55:25 PM
To all my lovely and wonderful fellow Forge members posting on this thread,

The day is done. The points are made. The explanations of "wasn't offended" or "was offended but now I see where you're coming from" have been offered.

The sun shimmers on the waters. I'm posting like Kester Pelagius. New Age music is playing.

This thread, rest its gentle soul, is now closed.

Best,
Ron