Video games no longer a male domain as women seize their chance in the virtual world

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  1. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    Video games no longer a male domain as women seize their chance in the virtual world

    By Emily Piesse
    Updated yesterday at 7:09pm
    [IMG] Photo: Kate Raynes-Goldie wrote to Nintendo as a teenager, asking it to show female gamers in its adverts. (ABC News: Rob Koenig-Luck)

    Kate Raynes-Goldie wrote her first video game when she was just 14 years old.

    It seems less remarkable these days, with coding taught in primary schools — but back then, the video game industry was in its infancy.

    "I used to write letters to Nintendo … saying can you please have girls in your advertising because I play, I have a Gameboy, I play video games," Dr Raynes-Goldie said.

    "I didn't really realise, I think, how important it is that if you can't see it, you can't be it."
    Dr Raynes-Goldie — who has worked in the games industry for the past 15 years — is now one of a group of Perth women making inroads in the traditionally male-dominated field.

    The former university lecturer runs a game and technology consultancy and is the founder of Playup Perth, a regular event where game developers road-test their products with players.

    Dr Raynes-Goldie said the industry was much more supportive of diversity than it used to be, and that was reflected in the games being produced.

    "I remember when I was younger, you could only play games that would have a male protagonist," she said.

    "You didn't have any choice about who you were going to play.

    "Now, you can basically pick your character and have them be any ethnic background, any gender, any sexual orientation — and you never had that before."

    More girl gamers than developers

    Women now comprise 46 per cent of all gamers in Australia, according to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) — a figure that has remained relatively steady for the past eight years.

    However, among those employed in game development, women remain in the sizable minority, making up just 19 per cent of workers.

    Women also play less than men — about 77 minutes per day, on average, compared to 89 minutes — but they play more casual or socially-oriented games.

    "They do tend to be busier than men. They spend less time sitting on a couch I guess, although that's a bit of a stereotype in itself," IGEA chief executive Ron Curry said.

    However, Mr Curry said women gamers outnumbered men among 35- to 44-year-olds.

    "At that stage of life, women are getting freed up a little bit from other duties that they have and they're starting to experience games," he said.

    "They're starting to play with their kids and they're starting to be introduced to what an online game is, or [what] casual gaming is."

    Moving on from 'the only woman in the room'

    Vee Pendergrast is one of a growing number of professional women who game when opportunity permits.

    Ms Pendergrast founded Stirfire Studios, the Northbridge-based video game and virtual reality developer.

    The company behind the Freedom Fall and Symphony of The Machine games recently failed to attract support for a $7 million intial public offering, but is planning to go back to financial markets soon.

    "I run a business [and] I work a lot of the time so for me personally, I'll probably only play about six hours a week," Ms Pendergrast said.

    "I wish I could play more and I enjoy portable gaming when I'm travelling, as I often have to jump on a plane and go off somewhere."

    Stirfire co-founder Lisa Evans — a PhD candidate who studied astronomy before venturing into 3D animation and games — prefers to be on the other side of the console.

    "I've always been a bit more interested in making games than in playing them, which I think is actually quite common for women — especially from a slightly older generation, because there weren't so many games that catered to us," she said.

    "I got my first job in games in 2003 and I was very used to being the only woman in the room at that time."

    Cultural power of video games

    [IMG]
    Something weird happened to video games that prevented them, for decades, from acquiring the same cultural clout as their film and music counterparts, writes Brendan Keogh.

    Ms Evans said the industry had changed a lot since then, with women now expecting to be treated equally.

    "There's been all this effort put into getting women into STEM, and I think it is paying off to a degree," she said.

    Developer Sofie Mather is one woman reaping the rewards of that cultural shift, having worked in the games sector for just four years.

    "Coming into the industry as a woman, I was constantly supported and pushed forward," she said.

    "I always felt like people had my back, both men and women.

    "It is tricky in Perth, but the more we smash the stigma that surrounds video games in general, the better."

    Stirfire creative director Lisa Rye, who worked on Freedom Fall, said developers had a key role to play in stamping out sexism in gamer culture.

    [IMG] Photo: Stirfire's creative director Lisa Rye says female characters are becoming more relatable. (ABC News: Rob Koenig-Luck)


    "The games which are coming out these days … tend to have female characters that women can relate to and less emphasis on sexualising every single female character, and so it makes women feel more comfortable to play games," she said.

    But Ms Rye said certain types of games — particularly some multi-player games — posed more of a risk for women in terms of harassment.

    "It's also partially up to the game developers to make sure there are appropriate tools for reporting harassers," she said.

    "To make women feel safe in those environments, you really need an ability to step forward and know that something will be done."

    [IMG] Photo: Lisa Rye (L), Kate Raynes-Goldie, Lisa Evans, Vee Pendergrast and Sofie Mather are some of the women involved in Perth's gaming industry. (ABC News: Rob Koenig-Luck)

    Games a 'safe space' to build resilience

    Megan Pusey spends up to 15 hours a week playing solo and multi-player video games, and she is about to parlay that into her professional life.

    The former high school physics teacher and Scitech learning consultant is in the early stages of a PhD, investigating whether video games can be used to build resilience in teenagers.

    [IMG] Photo: Former teacher Megan Pusey plays video games to relax and challenge her brain. (ABC News: Emily Piesse)


    Ms Pusey, 30, said she had observed a lack of persistence among some of her students at a private girls' school.

    "I saw a lot of my students would make a mistake or come across something that they thought was too hard for them and give up, and say 'well maths isn't for me or science isn't for me, I can't do it'," she said.

    "From then on, they never even tried, so they didn't even engage.

    "I'm hoping that games can help them develop their skills that will then transfer across to real life."

    Ms Pusey said gaming was a "safe space" where the repercussions of failure "aren't high stakes".

    "Hopefully [they'll] carry that attitude across to school or life," she said.

    Topics: games---other, games-industry, games, games-industry-professional-gaming, perth-6000, wa
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  2. Neil Pye Forum Veteran

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    None of those women are fuckable.
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  3. LastChanceArmada Forum Veteran

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    "Women also play less than men — about 77 minutes per day, on average, compared to 89 minutes — but they play more casual or socially-oriented games."

    Good God. Is that 89 minutes a day, every day, for the whole rest of their lives?! I would not be surprised at teenagers; I'm just wondering what the mean/median age of gamers is?

    I played more than my share of video games on the Apple II and Commodore Amiga (some in the arcade too) but had pretty much grown out of it by college age. As irony would have it, the last game I played "seriously" (not counting a little ironic Galaga or Ms. Pac Man if it presents itself at the laundromat) was Battletoads (so of course the recent resurrection of it as an ironic meme was particularly wacky to me.) I know lots of people play games but it seems like "gamers" are just a small subset of the population; is this a true statement or not? I can only imagine that if they'd had the sort of technology now back 30 years ago when I was playing that I'd be even more immersed in them.
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  4. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    theres lots of middle aged gamers nowadays. guys my age(30 range) id say theres more gamers than non-gamers. last time i was visiting hometown several yrs ago it was prtty much daily occurrence for my friends to get together to play xbox. none of them r nerd types just regular guys.

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  5. Giada MAGA

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    I had a 19 year college student house sit my pets, she met her current boyfriend via xbox.
    I can't tell you the last time I played a video game, maybe 2013, when angry birds came out? But, that was on my phone.

    @Johnson: 228,394 Points (do you have her #) yes. :lol: BUT...she's Canadian, could be Fitz's long lost sister, she's from the same region. :lol:
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  6. Johnson джонсон

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    Fone games are not video games. How many wimmenz play PC and console games?
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  7. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    Girls suck at vidya for the same reason they suck at sports and driving. Poor handeye coordination and slow reaction time.
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  8. Johnson джонсон

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    wut about beach volleyball.
  9. Giada MAGA

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  10. Giada MAGA

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    I'm not paying $2.99 to download Crash to my phone. :lol:
  11. Mandalore in recovery from sobriety

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    A lot, dude. America has become so disgustingly lazy, obese and self indulgent that a surprising percentage of the basement-dwelling chud subculture is now female. The gender gap is shrinking among suburban grocery store workers who feel that things like health insurance payments are major obstacles to dropping $350 to pre-order the special edition of the newest Call of Duty eleven months before it hits stores. I was going to add that there are some cute female gamers, but its only fair to admit that I have shockingly low standards and my opinion on that simply cannot be trusted.

    Geek chicks have incredibly low self esteem even if they're thin and reasonably attractive. Most of them don't believe that you're simply trying to fuck them. They think its a mean trick or some kind of a scam. And if you do manage to fuck them, they aren't usually much good and they flip the fuck out when you dump them. The hambeasts, however, all think of themselves as jaw-dropping beauties and won't take no for an answer.

    Anyways, the point I was initially planning to make before I started hitting the vape is that ugly losers -who tend to be physically or psychologically incapable of a normal sex life- tend to gravitate towards an ersatz reality where they can forget that outside world and pretend to be significant. Bitches are no exception.
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  12. Giada MAGA

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    What's a geek chick?
    IMO, my pet sitter is much better looking than any of those pics posted.
    I also wouldn't consider her a geek she just likes to game.
    She probably got into it b/c she has a younger brother.
    I'm not a gamer, so no, idk what I'm talking about. :lol:

    @Mandalore. No, I'm not posting her pic.
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  13. rasputin Forum Veteran

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    I suspect that females are attracted to gaming for the social reasons -- that's where the dudes are. If the lives of the younger generation are now almost completely happening on their phone, the jump to computer/console gaming with their voice comms is not that far away.
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  14. Yakoff Jizzrael Bar Regular

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    This is very good news. Now fat neckbearded socially retarded male gamerz have some equally homely, dumpy women who they can suck up to, worship and maybe have sex with in their typical geeky beta male way.

    Actually, scratch that. Those women are still gonna get the D from assholes like us. Or at least they'll fantasize about us while 300 lbs pimply face dota champion is sticking his virgin penis into them
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  15. Mandalore in recovery from sobriety

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    It's hard to deny the allure of modern games. The fantasy world is so detailed and immersive that its easy to get lost in. And it's easy to "do" really awesome things. I spent about 5 hours today forging a half-decent lantern out of some scraps of mild steel bar stock, and I still felt like it should have looked way better. Everybody kinda just told me "meh...", except for this crazy older chick who would tell me how amazingly inspired and wonderful it was if I took a shit on her dining room table during supper. It only took me about 10 seconds to make a sword in Skyrim, and that one came out just perfect. Several townsfolk even told me what an impressive new weapon I had.

    What do you mean, "what do I mean geek chicks", Giada? The bitches who dig video games, comic books, science fiction, high fantasy - all that shit. Some of 'em are just naturally drawn to that stuff, but most choose to base their identity around a subculture where they feel safe being surrounded by other homely and socially awkward people. The only other place where such wretched creatures can hope to feel normal is among Juggalos, and nobody with an IQ much above room temperature can stomach that for more than a couple minutes. If you gotta choose between fat people in cardboard armor occasionally mumbling "Winter is coming" and fat people dressed as thorazine-dodging clowns who constantly shout,"Whoop whoop! Nin-jaaaaaaaaaaaa!"... its not a very difficult choice.

    When did not knowing what she's talking about ever stop a woman from asserting that everyone who disagrees with her is stupid?
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  16. Giada MAGA

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    :facepalm:

    At least I'm honest and admit I know nothing about gaming.

    Which is more geeky for a woman to be involved in, gaming or Comic Con?
    https://www.comic-con.org/about

    Ya know, your medieval costumes/swords are borderline...
    Do the females in your life participate?
  17. Johnson джонсон

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    There is nothing geeky about Comic Con wimmenz. It's basically another Halloween for them, dressin' up hawt and partying. So gaming, for sure.
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  18. Giada MAGA

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    Idk about that. Unknowingly, I had the misfortune of staying at a hotel that was hosting a Star Trek convention.
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  19. Johnson джонсон

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    Are you implying Star Trek fans are geeks? :frown:
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  20. Giada MAGA

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    All Trekkies, but you. :lol:

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