Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Women and Going Beyond the Game

From my personal blog:
While it seems to me that many more women are playing traditionally "male" video games these days, there is also a group of women who go beyond the game in ways that, according to James Paul Gee and Elizabeth Hayes, are important to 21st century learning.  An in depth look at this phenomenon and what we can learn from it is described in Women and Gaming: The Sims and 21st Century Learning.
 Read the rest here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What Do Women Want in Games?

I happened to stumble across this article by the well-known game designer, interactive storyteller, and author Chris Crawford called What Do Women Want (Again)?
I’m intrigued by the renewed interest in this old problem, and dismayed by the complete lack of progress I see. The games community just keeps spinning the same old wheels, getting the same old wrong answers. Really, folks, some community memory would behoove us all. Nearly twenty years ago Midway addressed the problem by creating Ms. Pac-Man. Their market data showed that more women seemed to play Pac-Man than other games, so they put a bow on Pac-Man’s head and voila! the first woman’s game was created. This unpromising beginning has set the standard for all subsequent discussion, a standard that has been rigorously adhered to.
This was written back in 2001, and I can't help but wonder how much progress has been made.  Certainly some I would think, given that it seems more women are playing games than ever before.  Perhaps the advent of social games on the Wii and Kinect have helped by getting more people over the "I'm not a gamer" hump.

What do you think? What games are well designed for the female audience? What games do you adore?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Games for Change Festival 2011

I just got back from New York City for my first visit to the Games for Change Festival. In its eighth year, this year’s festival was held on June 20-22 at New York University.  I wasn’t able to attend the entire conference, but thanks to live streaming I caught most of the Tuesday talks I would have missed otherwise.  (You can watch the archives of the live stream, too!)

I wrote a complete blog post summarizing the event on my own blog, which was also syndicated on BlogHer, which I encourage you to check out.

Here are some other great resources to learn more about the event: