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Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market (Anglais) Relié – 30 octobre 2003

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11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hyper-sexualized Avatars be banished! 22 octobre 2004
Par P2 - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This book says what needed to be said to the game industry and their consumers. Those who are just entering the industry will want to keep this book handy during 18 hours crunch times as a guide through the haze of game character portrayal, especially female characters. Like many others, I want to play an avatar game character that is smart, strong, and attractive not some hyper-sexualized, implant poster girl with nipples on her metal armor, thong chaps and cleavage reminiscent of the Michelin Tireman

Most (although this is beginning to change) female avatars are so absurdly depicted that (as this book discusses) if the character were to perform the flips, jumps, and various game tasks, in reality she would be physically unable to. The enormous breasts, for example, that Laura Croft has would have to be carted around in a wheel-barrel just so she could stand upright! I'm so glad that Sheri wrote this book bringing up these very obvious deficiencies in game design - and all so easy to correct and who knows even expand the game market.

Of course who plays for a dose of reality? We all want to get lost in the game, but there are better ways to make games that are less distracting to both males and females. I found that the book's many solutions were straight forward, simple and yet the kind of ideas that would not diminish the game for anyone.

It is so ironic that whenever someone brings up the topic of `inclusivity' - be it racial, age or gender there are always those who resist the idea by attacking the `style,' `presentation' or some other trivial factor. Don't shoot the messenger just because the author is bringing up observations that are difficult to hear - read the book if you are looking for constructive ideas that can repair this nagging problem concerning females and gaming. This is the right message, at the right time for some in the game industry that have been wrong about women.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I never thought of it that way before.... 2 mars 2005
Par Charles Lentz - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I'll admit it...I'm a game design student who likes to read and is therefore obviously partial to books related to the video game industry. I have an ever-growing library of texts on many different areas within the context of games. Books on the history of Nintendo, books about breaking into the industry, books about good design techniques etc... I do research online, read industry news, and overall try to read up on what people who are already in the industry have to say about it.

Having said that, I also take the things I read with a grain of salt. You can't believe everything that you read; as the saying goes. However, I do feel that the best way to expand your own thinking is to be open-minded to what other people are saying. And it is with that open mind that I read Sheri Ray's book.

I must say, that there were plenty of times while reading where I thought to myself, `wow, I never saw it that way before.' For me, these are enjoyable discoveries. I like to stumble upon little things that affect the way I look at things. Sheri did a wonderful job of capturing my attention, and providing me with little discoveries about why men and women are attracted to games. I enjoyed her examples and would love to see other authors go in this direction.

After reading her book, I look at games in a different manner now. I pick out the visual stimulus, the inclusion of puzzle elements, and whether targets are moving in an uncluttered field or not. Looking at them now, the games I play have seamlessly included elements that make me enjoy them more.

The things that Sheri points out are nice to have in the back of your mind when thinking about games. Even though many of us will never have a concept that gets made into a game, we might be working on a title that someone else has envisioned and help it move towards capturing a larger market.

I recommend this book as an eye opener for those of us stuck in our own thoughts about what makes a good game good. While it is not possible to appeal to every market with one game, if we'd like to design a game to appeal to more females, then reading Sheri's book and doing other related research can definitely move us in the right direction.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Review originally posted at 16 janvier 2004
Par Ivan Milles - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Sheri Graner Ray has written the book many of us didn't know we needed. Not only is it a sparkling resumé over one of the darkest, save most stupid, corners of our industry, it is also a good game design book, and a brief summary of the latest in gender research. In a market where female customers are tended to by either The Sims or making the cover art pink, any kind of change is welcome, and this book does look like the Holy Grail to me.
The book sets out with a brief history of our industry's less than intelligent moves to capture female gamers, as well as its tendency not to appeal to them at all. She then points out a few important points where girls playing games differ from boys. This first part of the book is explosive enough to boost your sales, if you read it carefully. Now, there are twelve more chapters like this, so you might as well buy the book right away. It'll pay back in no time.
See, the book is that relevant. I had already made a few plunges into this facet of game design earlier, so I kind of knew what to expect. Still, I had an aha! experience on at least every other page. Chapter 2: Evolution of Female Characters in Computer Games is a discourse on what the computer game industry still finds fully acceptable in a female avatar. (And to be honest, Monty Python couldn't have done it better than we do.) The chapter Reward & Gameplay outlines techniques to motivate female gamers and make them keep coming back to your games. No pink bunnies required.
The number of puzzling questions that are answered in this work is high. For instance - why do women prefer bombing runs over dog fights in flight sims? If the violence isn't a turnoff in beat'em-ups, what is? Why do guys feel OK about playing with female avatars, but seldom the other way around? This book is mandatory. I want you to buy this book so much. Why? Because our industry is dead without it. Dead, I say. We need this book so bad, so bad.
This book is, together with Chris Crawford on Game Design, and David Freeman's Creating Emotion in Games the absolutely essential game development book for the next ten years to come. The book is that irresistible. The book is that interesting. The book is a freaking TNT charge!
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Key Text 22 septembre 2004
Par Robin Koman - Publié sur
Format: Relié
As an instructor, a gamer, and a female, it is a constant effort to educate people about videogames.

People assume that the game industry is populated by a clan of pale, introverted, cave-dwelling males avoiding human contact in favor of glories of the computer screen. In truth, game development and/or design students (and industry professionals)are a group of individuals as diverse as any other industry: there are the introverts, the extroverts, the creative geniuses, and the genius coders. There are individuals of every minority and majority. However there is one exception-it is a fact that there aren't nearly as many women involved in the making of and playing of games.

What the author, Sheri Garner-Ray, has been able to do with this text, is give an explanation to what has long been considered an unanswerable question-how can the game industry consistently broaden its audience to female players?

The attribute that makes this text key to my instruction is it's audience-this is a book for everyone. It is written in an extremely approachable manner, using realistic examples and language that is academic without being exclusory. It is a superb blend of quanatative and qualitative psychological analysis and offers an amazing insight for both men and women readers.

A personal example. I have long favored games that many did not consider "usual" for the female player. I do not play sims, or Barbie Makeover (lord forbid) or Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. Two of my favorite game series are Metal Gear and Onimusha.

It wasn't until I read Sheri's text that I was able to form an objective reason for myself and my students as to why I loved these games. Yes the graphics are visually stunning, but both games also have incredible backstory, opportunities stealth, and Onimusha has great puzzles worked into gameplay.

If readers of this critique wish to know why these different elements make difference, then I sincerely suggest you pick up this terrific book.

My sincere thanks to Ms. Ray for giving female gamers, present and future, a voice.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brass Tacks 16 décembre 2005
Par Polemicist - Publié sur
Format: Relié
So many books on game design slide into relatively useless territory: They fail to give the reader concrete things they can do to make better games. Not so this book. It's got plenty of examples (backed up by research) that can be used when you sit down with your tools and try to make a new world. I think her viewpoint is quite refreshingly mercenary. There's no femenist rhetoric here. The author is trying to figure out a way for the game industry to reach beyond the traditional male market and thus make more money. Very pragmatic.

The scary thing is that most of the changes she's proposing to games are relatively non-intrusive and easy to make, as long as designers are involved in the games from the beginning. Good read. Opened my eyes a bit to some issues I never considered before. What if the player is female, indeed.
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