Girl in the Machine
Friday, September 14, 2007
Swing and a Miss, EA

Oh, dear; as if Disney wasn't bad enough, here comes EA games with their opinion of the female gamer demographic. David Gardner was trying so hard, wasn't he? But he's still not quite getting it. Why don't we take a look:

He said if EA cracked the problem [of catering to female gamers] the firm "could add a billion dollars to its sales." He said the industry had to learn from the film business. "The movie industry doesn't just make films for boys.

Very true, Gardner, and a point I agree with. A good portion of the video game industry seems focused on creating games for boys (and, in some situations, believing they are instead). Would you like to elaborate?

"Star wars was the biggest film of all time until Titanic came along; Titanic became the biggest because women went to see it and women went to see it multiple times.

Ok, we're starting to tread on some dangerous ground here--

"Just boys saw Star Wars multiple times."

Aaand there it is. I seriously doubt that there were no hardcore female Star Wars fans back in the 70s. I must have watched those movies a thousand times when I was a kid, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Does anyone else out there see the trainwreck coming?

Mr Gardner said one of the biggest problems was that the content aimed at women gamers was not appealing. "They don't want 'pink games'. They are not trying to play girly games where Paris Hilton and Britney Spears go shopping and put make-up on. "Those kind of things have not been that successful."

Once again, another point I can agree with. As we've stressed here at Girl in the Machine, the way to attract the female demographic takes more than stuffing glitter into a cartridge. Good job, Gardner.

But he said games such as The Sims and websites such as proved there was a market for women gamers. "Most of the Sims players are girls - 70% are women under 25," he said. "The Sims is really a game about relationships - and that's what girls want - they want relationships, they want to be able to chat."

I--guh? The fact that Gardner feels confident enough in his opinion to make such a blanket statement about female gamers is giving me a headache trying to comprehend it. Sure, I love the Sims. I love watching my Sims get abducted by aliens and get lei'd by the Grim Reaper--establishing relationships with fellow Sims who jabber in Simlish at me isn't exactly at the top of my list of fun things to do in that game. But you know us women; we just looove talking and carrying on. Gardner totally gets us, doesn't he?

He added: "One of the things that is going to make games for girls happen is creative teams. It's going to be new people and experiments. Four of our 11 studios around the world are run by women. That's an important start. "Investing in new and upcoming talent is critical."

And then he rounds it all off with another point I agree with. Reading this article in its entirety just gives me a headache; how can there possibly be so many contradictions in one place? It simply boggles my mind.

If you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to have a little lie-down now.

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