Girl gamer

Girl gamer

A "girl gamer" is a girl or woman who:

* Works in the game development industryFact|date=December 2007, or
* Regularly engages in the practice of playing video games, role-playing games, or other games (colloquially referred to as "gaming"). This can be from the most casual interest to the most serious professional gaming, where female players often draw extra attention due to their rarity.

Women in gaming

The role of women in the games industry -- as professionals and as consumers -- has received extensive academic and business attention because women represent approximately half the population but buy a small share of all video games. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Report on the sales, demographics and usage data of the gaming industry. | date= | publisher=Entertainment Software Association | url =http://www.theesa.com/files/2005EssentialFacts.pdf | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-08-15 | language = ] Finding the reasons for (and potentially changing) this demographic drives most of the research and professional initiatives in this field.

The great majority of the people who work on game development teams are males, particularly in the technical fields such as programming. Various reasons for this have been debated (see external references below), but some companies have made a concerted effort to recruit more women to create more balanced teams. The motivation behind these efforts is sometimes ethical, sometimes culture-based, and sometimes based on the desire to create games that will appeal more broadly to both men and women.

The average age of game buyers has moved from the late teens to the late twenties from 1995 to 2005 and household penetration of game systems has grown dramatically. Along with these changes has also come a rise in female consumers. All of these factors have increased the financial stakes in video game sales, and focused even more attention on the remaining untapped female gaming market.

In recognition of the importance of this issue, the IGDA (an association of companies and individuals in the games industry) has formed a SIG on Women in Game Development (link below).

This is a very active field of discussion and the topic of dedicated conferences. A browser search on the words "women games conference" will produce a list of recent and upcoming events.

According to a study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2005, women now comprise 43% of all gamers. Despite this large and growing number, many gaming companies and also many gamers fail to accept and acknowledge females as gamers and as consumers or employees in the gaming industry. Studies show that women tend to play games with less emphasis on violence and more focus on cooperation.

Pioneering women in games

The once-secret Intellivision game development team, referred to as the Blue Sky Rangers, included several of the first female game programmers in the video game industry. During the 1980-83 prime of the first video game Console wars female programmers on the Intellivision team included:

* Julie Hoshizaki ("Thin Ice")
* Judy Mason
* Minh-Chau Tran ("Pinball")
* Ji-Wen Tsao ("Shark! Shark!")
* Roberta Williams ("King's Quest")
* Mary Margaret Walker

Notable female gamers

* Sheri Graner Ray, a game designer, an employee of Sony Online Entertainment and the Cartoon Network, and a keynote speaker at the Sex in Video Games conference. [cite news | first=Nicole | last=Girard | coauthors= | title=Explaining the disconnect between women and video games |date=2006-06-12 | publisher=ZDNet.com | url =http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/applications/0,39020384,39274581,00.htm | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-08-15 | language = ]
* Morgan Webb, co-host of popular video game review show X-Play on the gaming television network G4
* Anya Savvateeva, also known as VeNema, is a Russian Pro Gamer who currently plays for the Russian team Megapolis was the runner up in the public polls during the Miss Video Game 2007 Competition. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=veNema Profile | date= | publisher=missvideogame.com | url =http://www.missvideogame.com/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=1426&Itemid=41 | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-08-15 | language = ]
* Vanessa Arteaga, was first pick in the Championship Gaming Series videogame league list of players.
* Emily Booth, former presenter of Bits and current presenter on digital videogame station XLeague.tv.
* Stevie Case, also known as, Killcreek, a Pro Gamer, who is renowned for defeating John Romero in a Quake Deathmatch.
* Kelly Law-Yone, also known as Tipper Queen, is an American Pro Gamer who currently plays for Team Pandemic. Kelly is noted for her exceptional Guitar Hero skills.
* Jade Raymond, video games programmer and producer of the famous Ubisoft game Assasin's Creed.

Footnotes

References

* Bryce, J. and J. Ruttner, "The Gendering of Computer Gaming: Experience and Space", in S. Fleming & I. Jones, Leisure Cultures: Investigations in Sport, Media and Technology, Leisure Studies Association, 2003, pp. 3-22. [http://les.man.ac.uk/cric/Jason_Rutter/papers/LSA.pdf]
* Bryce, J. and J. Rutter, "‘Killing Like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’Visibility’", in F. Mayra (ed.) Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings, pp. 243–55. Tampere: Tampere University Press, 2002. [http://www.digiplay.org.uk/media/cgdc.pdf]
* Cassell, J. and H. Jenkins, "From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games", Boston, MIT Press, 1998, pp. 54-56.

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3496963.stm BBC News Girl gamers strike at the boys]
* [http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/03/10/news_6120206.html Article on Game Developers Conference 2005 panel on Women in Games]
* [http://www.cncseries.com/articles/?72/ "Girls in Command and Conquer" @ CNCSeries.com]
* [http://www.pcworld.ca/Pages/NewsColumn.aspx?id=a7fe9b8a0a010408019ac931643ebf2c Women video gamers: Not just solitaire]


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