Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Look Who’s Playing Video Games

posted by Nell Minow

NintendoWii.preview.jpgThe Washington Post has a great photo of my friend Ally Burguieres playing video games with her mother and sister. The article says:
Women and girls make up 40 percent of the gamer population, according to the Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry’s trade group. And with game software sales at $9.5 billion last year, companies are paying closer attention to the titles women seek out…
For years, the video game industry spent its marketing dollars on trying to get guys excited about the latest sports or shoot-‘em-up title. It was generally assumed that women and girls weren’t interested.
But that started to change in 2004, says industry analyst Michael Pachter, when Nintendo launched its DS portable game system, named for its dual screens. Its features stretched the notion of what a video game is — and who might want to play.Rock_band_cover.jpg
Women gamers even have their own website. And this is a delightful Amazon list of games for “women with lives.” It wasn’t that long ago that it was assumed that women would not be interested in games. Sheri Graner Ray, who says she got into the game industry in the first place “Because it was the only industry where I could list 15 years of running “Dungeons and Dragons” games on my resume as valid job experience!” She wrote a book about “gender inclusive game design.” Microsoft’s xBox brochure tells its buyers “Here are some things you might want to tell your wife this thing does.” Maybe with the next upgrade they will remember that women like Ally Burguieres, currently studying for her PhD in linguistics, don’t need anyone to explain it to them. Women are not just playing, they are entering tournaments.
Late last year, Nancy Davies, an 84-year-old woman living in a retirement community, defeated a real-life bowling champion in a Wii Sports tournament. She had been playing for only one year.



  • jestrfyl

    OK, just because you can score well on Guitar Hero does not mean you can play guitar (I have tried to teach a few kids the difference, to their frustration). And you cannot bowl well simoly because you did well with teh wii game – that real ball is fairly hefty! We need to realize that as amusing and distracting as the games are they are no substitute for the actual experience. Of course, it is hard to find either a protoplasmic gel fro inaugurating your own new life form (spore) or a bunch of dragons, zombies, and other mythological beasties to go adventuring with (World of Warcraft).

  • Sarah

    I’ve been gaming since I was kid. I had the original Sid Meir’s Pirates!, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, and a bunch of others. It always makes me wonder why people think only men game, or women can only be Casual Gamers. I Sim, Spore, FPS, point and click Adventure, puzzle (Portal, for example). I play PC games and console games. I even belong to and helped start up my own clan. I once read the industry is working hard to attract female gamers. I’m like, “Hello?! What am I?!”

  • JC

    Helo,
    I started playing an mmorpg when my youngest son got the CD in a game magazine and at first i just watched him play it a few times for entertainment. But after a while, whenever he had to get up from it, he would yell for ‘mom’ i need ya to watch my character a few mins.
    I told him i didnt know what to do, his comments was: If a gator comes up and attacked my wizard, just clik the left button of the mouse and the character will do the rest.
    So then 3 months later, I had my own acct on that same game.
    I was a bored housewife at the time, so it helped fill in the gaps of my life, only thing is it also became my life, lol.
    Ive played Lineage1 for 6yrs, FFXI for nearly 2yrs, DAoC for about 6 months, and LoTR during a free trial this year. Ive also done some beta testing of other games, but hadnt actually thought about the experience in them could be used as a ‘job description.’ o.o
    I created my own pledge in Lin in 2002, and its still active and noted by many as one of the longest running Alliances to this day. I’m proud of that accomplishment in it, and the fact that I still have the same members still loyal to me after all these years. :)
    Its been a rewarding experience to me, cause ive met and helped probably 1,000’s of new players to that game on one server or another…many have left for WoW,LoTR,Warcraft,City of Heroes,etc. and some went to war overseas…but when they’ve returned to Lin or FFXI, they still remember whom I am.
    (Which is more than i can say for my sister in alabama &/or some of my local family that never call or write.)
    If ya get lonely, join a mmorpg, you’ll never be lonely again!
    “May the winds stay at your back and you’re future brightly shine.”
    LC, Princess of ANCIENTZ
    ANCIENTS ALLIANCE

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks for a GREAT comment, JC! I love the way you make it clear that games are not just about blasting aliens and blowing stuff up but about strategy and connections and imagination. I can see why you maintain your alliances!

  • pc spiele

    This is such a nice article.I love to play games.I have enjoyed alot while reading this post.Thanks for sharing such a great comment here…

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