In today's E3 feature, Frank Cifaldi looks at an E3 development session brought together a consortium of top designers (including The Sims
' Will Wright and Lumines
' Tetsuya Mizuguchi), all sharing their personal philosophies on designing a video game that bridges the sometimes rare gap between being a critical and a commercial hit.
Cifaldi examines some of Wright's statements in this extract on female gamers:
"Wright expanded on this, using The Sims as an example. “We had two big spikes in our demographic: 14-year-old girls and 25-year-old guys.” He gave an analogy using the original Star Trek series. During the first season, he said, every fourth episode or so would be dedicated to building relationships between the crew members, while all of the others focused on cool space battles.
Ratings heavily swayed toward either a mostly-female or a mostly-male audience, respectively, depending on the type of show, which was often obvious in the opening minutes of the program. In the second season, he says, the show's writers managed to find an equal balance in their storytelling, and the ratings demographic became more balanced for the rest of the series' run.
“I'm still convinced that the best way to draw in female gamers is to hire more female designers,” he stressed. He also stated that elements of self-expression seem to attract both females and casual gamers, while a male demographic seeks challenges to explore."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject (free registration required.)