Today's main Gamasutra feature discusses how to attract women to games, a particularly debated topic. Andrea Phillips, herself a writer/producer at Perplex City creator Mind Candy Design, suggests taking a look at the cross-media Alternate Reality Game for lessons on how this can be done.
According to Phillips' introduction to her Soapbox:
"The business keeps examining and re-examining the same roadmap of suggestions and success stories: Women play The Sims. Women play puzzle games. Women play games designed by female developers. Women like cooperative gameplay. By now, there is a broad consensus on how to get where we want to go, but a certain hesitancy about following through. Nobody wants to be the risk-taker here. Not only is there a large amount of money at stake, but I'm sure some companies are privately afraid of losing valued developers and their traditional core audience if they "go soft and make girl games."
Well, I've got good news for you. It's already been done, and it really works. At the end of this road, you don't find an exclusively female audience and a disenfranchised male ex-playerbase. Instead, you find a gaming audience that looks a lot like the world we live in every day. Welcome to the gender-balanced world of Alternate Reality Gaming."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, including more suggestions of how gender-inclusiveness can be approached on multiple fronts (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).