When you hear the word “gamer”, you immediately think of a guy sitting in his living room with a group of friends playing the latest video games. Or perhaps sitting in front of his computer, headset with microphone perched atop his head, pounding on his keyboard and yelling at online strangers.
No one ever pictures a girl.
Even when girls SAY they are girls in world chat, no one believes them. They all think it’s a man posing as a female to get attention. They only truly believe you if you are talking over a mic on a Team Speak server or in-game voice chat. Even then, they sound surprised. Let’s face it, girls in games are almost as mythical as a unicorn prancing outside your house.
Most gaming companies are missing out on a huge market by not targeting female gamers. Games are geared towards men. Mainly the avatars. They’re either busty women with tiny waists and long, flowing locks and armor that wouldn’t even protect a fly, or they’re muscle-bound men. Manly men. These men can go one of two ways: Huge weapons, chiseled features, large chests and muscles, all bound in shiny armor, or they lack features and imagination, almost as if the gaming company would rather they focus on the female avatar. There are other aspects of gaming companies that show they gear their product towards men. Advertising and marketing. I have yet to see commercials featuring an all girl gamer group. Sure, they will throw one or two in their ad, but that’s it. One or two.
In gaming, most men opt to play a female character for every obvious reason imaginable. Females tend to stick to same gender avatars, for the not-so-obvious reasons. But most female gamers will opt to play an opposite sex avatar mainly to fit in and avoid ridicule or being left out of all the good raids. Sometimes, just mentioning that they are a girl in world chat will get them black-balled out of raids and, every so often, even guilds or clans. It has gotten to the point that girl gamers are teaming up against the men. They’ll form their own groups, raids, clans and do a thorough check to make sure you’re a girl before sending out an invitation.
So here is a message to gaming companies, speaking from personal experience as a female gamer: Please, don’t leave us out. You are losing out on large quantities of cash and a huge opportunity by gearing some of these games towards women. I don’t mean the fashion games where you choose your style of dress and hair to go with your makeup. Or these great games that take absolutely no thought to play. We like strategy games, shoot ’em up, cast that epic spell to gain that epic weapon type of games almost as much as men do! And we’re usually pounding on our keyboards and yelling into our mics just as much, if not more. Give us something geared towards women. Feature women in your ads. Give us some manly male avatar eye candy. We’ll throw our money at you!