PDA

View Full Version : Marketers and Mags are 'Excluding Women'



Trinity34
29th Oct 2005, 02:57
Thought I would liven things up a bit... :D :D


Updated: 10/26/2005 at 04:23 AM
Marketers and Mags are 'Excluding Women'

By Colin Campbell


Game marketers and specialist magazines are holding back industry growth by slavishly serving the male demographic. That's the view of Suzanne Freyjadis-Chuberka, who is speaking later today at the Women's Games Conference in Austin, Texas.

The Women's Game Conference director believes the games themselves do not present a problem to the female market, mainly because there is such diversity in design. But she says that does not translate to game marketing, which is overtly sexualised and "laddish" nor to specialist magazines which are targeted "only at young men".

She told Next Generation, "There is an exclusionary system in place that uses advertising and magazines to create an environment that is hostile to many women. Games are presented in a 'lad' environment that is not friendly to women in any way."

She stresses that game designers have come a long way in creating environments that are fun for everyone, but that isn't translated into the industry's messaging. "It doesn't make sense why there are not more women playing, say, World of Warcraft. Women come to play games like Warcraft because someone has sat them down and show them that this is great content and great fun. The games magazines and games advertising are there to do that and they just aren't."

She adds, "More women could be playing the games as they exist now. The industry could grow even with the current games library that we have, if the games were presented in a way that doesn't just appeal to this one sector of the population."

Magazine exclusives

She says the magazines are not aimed at gamers, only at young male gamers. "They are intentionally exclusionary because they want to reach the target market of 18-to 34-year old males. They purport to be games magazines and they are supposed to accessible to all gamers but they are not. They are accessible to male gamers."

She adds, "Women who read these magazines do so because they have to. There's nothing else. They must cross a lot of boundaries. They are willing to read a magazine that is not directed at them and may even be derogatory about them with features that highlight women's bodies constantly."

READ MORE.. (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1427&Itemid=2)


www.next-gen.biz

Trinity34
29th Oct 2005, 03:08
Seems this lady is causing a big controversy, here is a reply from magazine editors.


Updated: 10/27/2005 at 02:08 AM
Women Excluded? Editors Respond
By Christian Svensson

Yesterday, Suzanne Freyjadis-Chuberka gave a presentation at the Austin Games Conference that accused games magazines of excluding women. Today, the editors of some of the largest US mags respond to the allegations.


Kristen Salvatore
Managing Editor
Computer Gaming World

"If women aren’t finding game magazines to be a good entry point to gaming, it could be that we as game journalists aren't doing a good enough job of reaching out to people who haven’t played games before…not necessarily women who haven’t played games before. If it's equality we’re really striving for as women, then constantly claiming that our needs are different doesn’t further our cause--and you can't assume that sexualizing a game character means that most women will be put off by her (or that most men won't). If a gaming magazine wants to stay in business and maybe do its part to strengthen our social fabric at the same time, then its editors shouldn't be thinking about whether or not we're reaching male consumers or female consumers, but whether or not we're reaching the largest possible population of gamers.


Andy McNamara
Editor-in-Chief
Game Informer Magazine

"Game Informer doesn't make the games, we just report on them. To say that we intentionally cut out a segment of potential readers is a tad absurd. We talk about games, in a fun and entertaining context. There are no gaming babes in Game Informer magazine. No swim suit issue.

"Overall the argument over what female gamers want or don't want has been a long one, and one that I don't think anyone has found an answer to. I don't think there is an answer to the question either, I think that if developers and publishers make good games, and we make good content, the players and readers will come regardless of sex."


Dan Hsu
Editor-in-Chief
Electronic Gaming Monthly

"At Electronic Gaming Monthly, we have a bit of that "chicken/egg syndrome." Only 7% of our readers are female. Is that because female gamers aren't as likely to pick up a videogame magazine, or is it because we don't target female readers? Plus, what does "target female gamers" mean anyway? More coverage on Barbie games? I don’t think that's what they want. From the feedback we've gotten, our female readers are just as interested in "guy games" like Halo or Soul Calibur as their male peers. I do feel our editorial language is pretty gender-neutral, though. We don't necessarily write with a male readership in mind, plus, we have our Managing Editor Jennifer Tsao to keep us in check in case any "boy jokes" sneak their way into the copy. So yeah, we don't really feel like we need to defend ourselves here. That's more for those swimsuit-issue videogame mags to do."


Chris Slate
Editor-in-Chief
PSM

"Suzanne Freyjadis's argument against marketing and magazines seems to stem from her opinion that today's games have the potential to be equally appealing to women -- and that marketing and press are ignoring this to push their own "boys only" agenda. That's just not true.

"Sure, the games industry is (finally) starting to broaden with some titles that aren't focused on just the guys, but -- excluding The Sims -- those games represent a very small section of the market. The overwhelming majority of games sold today are still primarily built on male fantasies. While a growing female minority are also enjoying these games, their numbers aren't yet big enough to make them a target audience.

"As Editor-In-Chief of PSM, it simply isn't within my power to affect who plays games and who doesn't. For a magazine to appeal to its most likely audience, it must closely reflect that audience and the subject it covers. Since a large majority of PlayStation gamers are male, that's who we write for. Likewise, if the best-selling games are filled with half-naked girls blowing stuff up, that's what will naturally be reflected in our magazine.

"The real issue is that game publishers still haven't learned how to consistently appeal to the fairer sex. Obviously, they'd love to double their consumer base -- they just don't know how. In such a high-stakes industry, everyone is scared of thinking outside the box.

"Things are getting better, though -- just slowly. We will get to a point where there is a much stronger balance of broadly-appealing games, and then it will fall to marketing to get the right message across. And when the gaming climate does change, gaming magazines will be smart to follow along.

"But we're just not there yet."


READ MORE.. (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1435&Itemid=2&limit=1&limitstart=1)


www.next-gen.biz

CatSuit&Ponytail
29th Oct 2005, 09:16
Chris Slate
Editor-in-Chief
PSM

"The overwhelming majority of games sold today are still primarily built on male fantasies.


Well, I am glad he was honest enough to say it. ;) :p

I was playing the demos for F.E.A.R. and Fahrenheit yesterday. :eek: Niiiiiice! I just wish there were more half-nekked girls blowing stuff up. ;) :D

Sophia Leigh
29th Oct 2005, 11:09
he adds, "More women could be playing the games as they exist now. The industry could grow even with the current games library that we have, if the games were presented in a way that doesn't just appeal to this one sector of the population."

This is so true. I'll be honest, I originally bought Tomb Raider 1 for my husband and had no intention of ever playing it because everything I had heard about Lara Croft and Tomb Raider were thing directed at males, e.g big boobs. We owned the game a few months before I played it and I only played it because I was off work sick and completely bored (I'm glad I did though, within an hour of first playing it I was hooked).

So many people don't realise that Tomb Raider is for females too, a friend of mine recently used my computer and saw the Lara Croft wallpaper and instantly assumed that my husband had put it there. :rolleyes:

Trinity34
29th Oct 2005, 15:25
Well, I am glad he was honest enough to say it. ;) :p

I was playing the demos for F.E.A.R. and Fahrenheit yesterday. :eek: Niiiiiice! I just wish there were more half-nekked girls blowing stuff up. ;) :D

Yes I am glad he said it too. Did you see what the Official US Playstation Mag said?


The bottom line: If you love PlayStation gaming and want to keep informed, OPM is for you."

Looks like they just want to advertise. :rolleyes:

maniac44
29th Oct 2005, 16:59
From what I've seen, most of the people who work in marketing departments (both the game industry and general marketing) are women.

susan
29th Oct 2005, 19:07
I used to buy gaming magazines but stopped because of all the laddish chat.


... may even be derogatory about them with features that highlight women's bodies constantly.So true. Some of it was truly pathetic.

The official PS magazine was much more female friendly than the others I tried but even they slanted towards a target audience that obviously didn't include me - not just decidely male but quite juvenile in places too. And underneath there was always an excluding attitude to women of "girls don't like their boyfriends to play games" or "girl gamers = SIMS", which I have never played.

It's like in any situation - if you get repeatedly ignored and/or insulted you'll stop turning up. Then when they do their surveys they discover "no female readership" it's just as expected and the status quo is maintained yet again. :rolleyes:

dhama
29th Oct 2005, 19:49
I agree about the 'laddish' attitude Susan, and i'm appalled by it... too many times I open a computer mag only to find the womans roll is that of eye candy for the men... god forbid they should know anything about PC's :rolleyes:

And why is it that women wear less in the future and men wear more...? maybe it's because women have become much more thicker skinned than men over the whole issue..... :D

Mind you, i'm glad in a way--- I'd rather see a scantily clad woman pointing at the latest piece of hardware or the latest 'shoot-em-up' game than a man anyday.. LOL :D

Sophia Leigh
30th Oct 2005, 00:18
From what I've seen, most of the people who work in marketing departments (both the game industry and general marketing) are women.
Maybe but from what I have seen, its men writing the articles. My husband sometimes buys these gaming magazines and will show me if they have Tomb Raider Articles in them.


"Suzanne Freyjadis's argument against marketing and magazines seems to stem from her opinion that today's games have the potential to be equally appealing to women -- and that marketing and press are ignoring this to push their own "boys only" agenda. That's just not true.

Obviously it is true, here is the opening paragraph from an article featured in issue 8 of Play Magazine (they refer to themselves as Australia's best Playstaion2 magazine)


It's time to make you understand that Tomb Raider, the game that Prodigy blamed on the delay of an album and the first to make the cover of The Face, is the Greatest PlayStation Game ever. Trouble is, you're most probably thinking about Lara Croft's tits.
enough said :rolleyes:

Trinity34
30th Oct 2005, 01:57
Maybe the problem is the lack of female game designers.

WraithStar
31st Oct 2005, 18:43
If there is a problem, I'd tend to say it's more toward the marketing end. TR, for example, has good game design, but I never saw an advertisement for it that wasn't centered around Lara's body. Consequently, I only ended up buying TR when it was on sale really cheap a few years later and I felt like seeing if it was worth all of the hype. I usually end up buying a lot of games *despite* the advertising rather than because of it. I personally am hard to offend, so I just don't pay attention to advertising and I get whichever games look like they will be good according to my own standards (gameplay, story, graphics, clever puzzles, good environements, etc.). I suppose a lot of other women aren't as oblivious/apathetic about the advertising as I am, though (at the very least, the woman who wrote that article wasn't :p). Personally, I don't really care since I will just buy games I think I'll like. I guess it's just a question of whether or not the game advertisers are doing the right thing to get the most customers. That can be debated on forever since there is no way to know how a game would have sold if it had been marketed differently.