One of today's main Gamasutra features is a detailed account of the Girls 'N Games Conference, held just before E3 on Tuesday, May 9 on the UCLA campus. This fascinating event focused on "girls and games, and the participation of women in game design", with notables such as Brenda Laurel, Morgan Romine and Nicole Lazzaro discussing topics from Halo
to Desperate Housewives
In this extract, the panelists discuss how younger girl gamers are becoming more inclusive in their game-playing activities:
"The hardcore girl gamer identity is blurring in younger generations. Jen Sun from Numedeon Inc. referenced the community behind the online game Whyville. Most players in Whyville are 8-9 year old girls, and they don't think of themselves as gamers. “They just communicate this way normally. Just girls having fun communicating on the computer with friends,” said Sun.
Communication often falls under successful game play patterns that appeal to girls, but there are others to be identified. “One of the biggest surprises I've run into is the popularity of Neopets,” said Mary Flanagan, Hunter College, NYC. The game encourages authorship and a distributive form of play. Authorship can happen with console titles as well. Harry Potter games were picked up by girls, and developers started incorporating the ideas of girl gamers who sent in requests to be able to play Hermione."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
for more information on the event, including some intriguing background on the history of female-oriented game firms (no registration required, please feel free to link to this article from external websites).