"…we shouldn’t be having to hide online, and this is unfair. I should be able to tell people I’m female and not expect crazy to come out of it."
‐ Arianna Reiche
A while ago, I came across an article that Kotaku posted by Arianna Reiche, Paul Reiche’s daughter. It is about harassment towards female players in online games and how women should not need to hide their gender.
Her article states some interesting statistics:
- "A 2006 statistic from the Consumer Electronics Association revealed that women ages 25-34 were out-playing men in “casual” (non-console) games by 30 per cent."
- "...in the UK, women have been projected as made up 48 per cent of World of Warcraft players"
While I cannot personally relate to this article, I understand the issues Arianna raises and I have seen other players say offensive and vile things to female gamers. I do report abusive people online whenever I can.
It is issues like these that make it difficult for me to talk about video games with women. If I mention games such as Call of Duty or Mass Effect to a man, I can at least have a decent conversation, even if that person doesn’t play video games. However, if I try to talk about this to a woman, it will have a complete opposite effect. Of course, this also raises issues towards how strongly these games are marketed towards men versus women. On the other hand, I have played Mario Kart with female friends and family and was lots of fun.
I thought briefly about Greg Johnson’s studio, HumaNature Studios. Greg is a personal friend of Paul Reiche and created ToeJam & Earl. HumaNature is a studio that is interested in creating games that “appeal to non-gamer types and women”. From what I’ve read while writing this article, they have finished creating a Facebook app called Deko-Deko Mail.
I also thought about the Nintendo Wii. I remember it was being marketed as a console that would convert non-gamers to gamers and encourage families to play together. It’s Nintendo WiFi Connection was designed to deter harassment; for example, nobody can send out text messages or speech unless both parties add each other’s lengthy friend code. To block another person from sending messages, all the player would have to do is remove their friend code. Casual games that appeal towards women have been selling well on the Wii.
Check out her article. It shows an example of the bad side of the gaming community and how women should not have to hide who they are.