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Author Topic: Most attractive setting for female players  (Read 41719 times)
xechnao
Member

Posts: 108


« Reply #30 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.
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xechnao
Member

Posts: 108


« Reply #31 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.
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AnyaTheBlue
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #32 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.
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
AnyaTheBlue
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #33 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.
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2003, 10:45:16 AM »

What Dana said.

Best,
Ron
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xechnao
Member

Posts: 108


« Reply #35 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.
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AnyaTheBlue
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #36 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.
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


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« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2003, 11:21:55 AM »

Wow...when exactly did the time machine arrive from 1950?
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damion
Member

Posts: 198


« Reply #38 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.
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James
AnyaTheBlue
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #39 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).
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
damion
Member

Posts: 198


« Reply #40 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.
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James
Christopher Kubasik
Member

Posts: 1153


« Reply #41 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
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
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xechnao
Member

Posts: 108


« Reply #42 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 :)
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jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #43 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.
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jdagna
Member

Posts: 563


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« Reply #44 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.
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
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