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Making time for women

We all would love to see more female characters, but its not as simple as it sounds. Adding female characters takes time and has to be scheduled out.

ATTENTION, ATTENTION: BREAKING NEWS – WOMAN PLAY VIDEO GAMES….MORE AT 11

Its funny how in the media all of a sudden it’s a big revelation that woman play video games.  I remember when I first met my wife in college and she would love to go to the student union and play Ms. Pac-Man (am I showing my age).  Anyway, that was a long time ago, but now it’s “astounding” how many women play games.  Here’s a quick look at the numbers just in case you’ve been under a rock (all statistics from Entertainment Software Association website, www.theesa.com):

-          Average game player is 35

-          25% of gamers over 50

-          40% of people playing games are women

-          43% of online players are female

So now that we are all caught up, let’s get back to the subject.  As a game developer who knows these facts, wouldn’t it make sense to have more female characters in a game for this audience to relate to. When I was working at Nerjyzed, I would talk to the animators about the female characters that performed during the halftime show of the football game.  Basically you have models and rigging for a football game, with many of the characters having many basic moves, but in order to animate female characters you had to start from scratch.  Women “move” completely different.  There is no way to capture animation for a woman without having one to mo-cap and to have a completely different model with different rigging attached to it.  This takes time, time that has to be discussed during the pre-production phase of your game.  This should also include a good story about the female character.  I know that time is the enemy of any gaming project, but this extra task could add to the success because of the interest of the female consumer. 

Most of us could care less about the gender of the individual that plays our games, but after looking at the information above, it would be ignorant for us to ignore the number of females that play games.  So it would be in our best interest to take the time to create an indulging female lead character, which can keep a consumer – male or female – interested in the game playing experience.  And FYI, having a bikini clad, volleyball playing character doesn’t count.

 

 

Agree or disagree – feel free to follow me on twitter - @stl_gamer

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