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Non-Playable Character: Gender in video games

by Archives March 23, 2005

This week, it’s time to be a little unconventional. With that in mind let’s start off with a little word association. The rules are simple: think of the first thing that comes into your head when you read the following word.

Here it is:
Gamer.

If asked to associate a person with this word, chances are the person you envisioned was male. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this. Chances are, you’d probably be right in thinking that.

At least, according to the marketing types of this world. And if the videogame industry has proven one thing over the years, it’s that we gamers are an extremely difficult bunch to market to. The specialty channel G4 and the horribly mainstream Incite magazine are just two examples of corporate flops in the last few years. But that’s not the point here. The point is that apparently, women don’t play videogames, at least not to the level of involvement that guys do. We’re not just talking Barbie games here, either.

Believe it or not, there are lots of female gamers out there who can go toe-to-toe with anyone playing so-called “guy games”. The problem is, there just aren’t enough. Why?

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