– Because you know the world has no point…Really
I just found this interesting little piece of work online on YouTube which had my head spinning. Being a GG – Girl Gamer – deeply immersed in World of Warcraft for almost 4 years now I am one of those girls to whom gameplay, plot and socializing in a game means more than amazingly new game motors and stunning new effects thanks to the DivX11 technology. Instead I like to chat, have fun and generally not being too comitted to the game. I don’t want my gameplay to be totally ruined just because I logged off to watch an episode of The Simpson’s.
I noted two interesting things in this video. The first thing is that GG’s are not exactly a sought after specimen in other women’s worlds. To be honest – the majority of women can’t make themselves care a fig about farming quests or heroic badges in the world’s hottest MMO these years. If they are nice to you, they change the subject. If they don’t like you, they just look at you like you were talking Russian with a Persian accent.
Number two: To democrazise the game industry and get more of the girls’ attention, we need more women in the business.
Let’s start with the first. Because the first thesis is – in my opinion – a seriously important thing to remember if you want to be a succes in the GG industry – or just basically attract the women’s attention.
Girls will be girls and boys will be boys – no doubt about that. Let the boys have their Bioshock, Star Craft and zombie games all to themselves – well, unless you can dress up your zombie and have a good laugh all the while you eat people on your way. My question for the game developers and publishers is this: What do girls – and women – do all through the day?
Girls like to talk. And bond. They strengthen their connections and engage in networking activities throughout the day. You thought all your girlfriend’s chit-chatter with the girlfriends on the phone about where to go shopping or when to buy that fab mascara was just nonsense? Not at all. Your girl is showing off one of her best assets: She is building and strengthening her relationships through talking. And yup… talking is what a lot of girls do best. A lot of the time. They read, they talk, they shop, they go clubbing. They are networking. The networking-thingy is an important thing to remember for the publishers if they are serious about attracting girls as customers. Girls love to network and exchange information. Basic knowledge but appearently sooo hard to implement for the more serious games.
So basically you gotta give them something to talk about. If your game fails to do that – well, see ya and goodbye! Do NOT make pink game remotes and purple Xbox’s. It’s NOT working! It’s just a pathetic way of saying “Here is a toy in your favorite colour – would you like to play Prince of Persia now?” (You can almost hear the audience’s common gasp of outrage)… so… here’s the deal: The reason to why Facebook games are growing faster than you can say “Wow beta Cataclysm” is this: The fun-and-Facebook games allows you a little time off from work while staying in touch with your network. It creates a space where you can meet noncommitedly while you are pursuing the next cow, cat or jewel on the market. So the publisher needs to be here – at the end of this communicating line. Get two girls’ attention and you will not need any further marketing. Well.. if you have patience of course. Which a lot of publishers is sorely lacking, I’m afraid.
Forget Second Life. Forget Twinity. The reason to why these things ran out in the sand is because of lacking gameplay. In Second Life you could spend a lotta money a-k-a a fortune to look absolutely fab. Then you could… chat with other people. The fun about “Where do you live and how old are you, sugar?” quick became tired around the edges, long before Linden Lab stopped displaying number of profiles online. Not to mention too much world and too few online inhabitants which meant a lot of running around the cyberstreets like a dumb blonde caught in a bad movie.
These players are typical at work when they log in at Facebook to have a little fun and a chit-chat. The main focus is to be entertained and diversed from a hectic or boring job. What Facebook has done is creating a smallish “personal space” which can help you recharge your energy through a great laugh and a goal to fullfill in order to win the Great Goat of the Year.
In other words: Create a space where girls will be immersed by working the social skills, solving puzzles and invite their friends to join. You should soon start counting the money in the pot… its getting bigger. May I congratz you on your new office with a lake view???