Ladies storm EA campus

Women in Games International launches conference agenda with March event, Electronic Arts' main campus is site.

Nothing like a tirade from one "EA spouse" to kick-start an approach to gaming wherein the contribution and perspective of women is more overtly (and intelligently) recognized. Regardless of the inspiration, the Electronic Arts campus at Redwood Shores, California, will be the site of Women in Games International debut conference.

Helming the event, titled From Production to Profit: Creating and Marketing Games for Women, is the accomplished game designer Lucy Bradshaw, longtime member of the team at Maxis, the studio founded by Will Wright and brought into the EA fold in 1997 via an acquisition. Currently, Bradshaw is Spore project lead (and holds the title vice president and head of production and development at Maxis).

Bradshaw's presentation, The Secrets of The Sims Success, will delve into that franchise's DNA and explore the hold it has on gamers and its ongoing success at retail.

Others participating in the conference are Sheri Graner Ray and Ernest Adams, with additional speakers to be announced in the coming weeks. The event will be held at the Electronic Arts facility on March 6 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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42 comments
ranger_waha
ranger_waha

An interesting topic. As far as I can tell, more men then women play video games. Why? Dunno. Can't think of a non-sexist reason. I'm not saying that NO women play VG but there's a moderate to impressive distance between the numbers I'm sure. As far as video games being either "male" or "female" in nature, I'm going to point something out. Let's take a movie, say, Snakes on a Plane. Is this movie male, or female? It contains horror, humour, and pop culture references. It is Unisex. You do not have to be male to enjoy it. The same applies to Video Games. There is no warning sticker on Gears of War that says "Warning, male genitalia required for play". When you cater a game entirely to one gender, it sucks. "The Guy Game" and "Barbie-useless adventure 5" are examples. Ifwomen WANT to play video games, they have a lot to choose from, but I think that companies should think twice about catering to a gender, and remember the trash games that comprise the Males Only genre. So we must examine why girls in general dislike Video Games. Well, socially speaking, girls are more...well, social than guys. To a lot of the guys here, sitting in your room in front of your tv, swearing at n00bs over xbox live sounds like fun. Try that one on one of the women you meet during the day. High school is a good place. think you'll get a positive reaction, 9/10 times? No. So if girls like to be social, a step forward would be to place heavy emphasis on multiplayer, I should think. THough there are already huge amounts of multiplayer games, they tend to center around murdering your buddies. Somehow, girls I know just don't seem to get off on this. I'm sure this sounds wrong to the girls on the board here, but think about it, you already play these games, so they aren't marketing to you. The companies need to change the slogan to something along the lines of "Marketing Video Games to people who don't like Video Games".

Vergil_117
Vergil_117

Normally when they make a game targeted to females it tends to suck, such as barbie games... Besides I know quiet a few female CS players and elder scrolls players that also female. Two games right there are normally thought to be male only.

ZMasterX
ZMasterX

I think that girls should like video games, but not many girls are interested. I am not a sexist person but maybe that is not such a great idea. Girls should have as much of a chance as guys but girls still do not play it as much as guys do.

artiebillymac
artiebillymac

but most girls & women dont like bloody gory type games so its hard to make games for females but they should make games that make guys & girls buy to play the game together.

cubeman
cubeman

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

I think I've fallen in love with you Lexterminator. ^.^ Seriously, I don't get why men need some sort of special consideration. As it stands, every time I enter a GameStop I feel I'm going to grow a rod from the sheer amount of testosterone floating in the air.

lexterminator
lexterminator

cjcr_alexandru I will repeat myself: Why there isn't a Men in Games conference? Why does there need to be one? Males have already secured their spots in gaming and dont have to defend themselves every time they play a game or don't like a game for whatever reason, but females do. rvm444 The question here is: why? Why is it necessary to attract women to gaming? Because these businesses want to make money. If you only have half of the population playing your games, you wouldn't be satisfied knowing that you could have the entire population playing. The problem is, they can't figure out what females generally like in video games. So its commendable that some are trying... but its sad that some people have written it off. Males will always have their games, so why is it so bad that a company might want to try to get females interested in playing? Wouldn't it be better to have more bonding experiences playing games together than having yet another thing to keep males and femles apart? lol and sorry that the last sentence sounded so crappy...

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

Hopefully GameSpot will follow this conference closely, because I am very interested to hear what Lucy Bradshaw and Sheri Graner Ray have to say. Guys don't need to worry about having their gaming territory taken over...having games for women won't mean developers will suddenly stop creating shooters and slasher games. As the industry evolves, I think there will still be your average 'guy' game (which some women already play), and there will be your gender-neutral games such as The Sims, but there will also be a third category...your average 'gal' game (which some men will play). And if the developers get it right, the average gal game will not be in the style of Barbies and Bejeweled...it will probably be very story-orientated and character-driven, though. I think a lot of the guys dismissing potential games for women will be surprised with the end result.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

You hit the nail on the head, Jaeme. Here in the United States, men (at least the men on the boards - I REALLY don't believe that the losers here on the boards represent most men. Or at least I hope so). It's a cultural phenomenon: with the women's rights movement, men have become ever more insular, downright offended at any attempt by women to "encroach" into what is percieved as mens' territory. Take for example the resistence men have toward women competing in traditionally male sports such as basketball (where the WNBA athletes are almost always having homophobic slurs thrown at them. After all, we ALL know that female athletes are ALL lesbians... ). Video gaming is another area where men feel threatened by women gaming. Take the sexist piece of garbage ObiKKa, here. One of the quotes that gets me is... "They'll never play video games because they're fully-fledged chicks, which is simply the nature of them (girls)" This is how sexists think. To them, women were put on this planet for them to masturbate to, not to walk among them as equals. Therefore, it's threatening to them that women would dare ask to be better represented. This is the problem female gamers have to face every single day, and it's sickening to me. Oh, and ObiKKa? I'm American. "Yuko Asho" is the name of the heroine of Valis, a series of videogames released on the Turbo-CD and Sega Genesis in the late 80s and early 90s. And I see many, many more women in anime forums and shops than I'll probably ever see in game related forums and shops. At least, unless EA has their way. Goodness, I can't believe I'm rooting for EA.

Jaeme
Jaeme

The dirth of women in gaming seems to be an American phenomenon. I`m a Canadian and I know almost as many women who play games as men. Where I live gaming is the biggest single hobby (yes, because our winters suck), with a real cross section of the public into gaming. The recent release of the wii seems to have just blown the lid off the whole thing here. People of all ages and sexes are lining up DAILY to get ahold of a wii for themselves. It has really hit a nerve in Canada. I often will hear American women gamers complain that they are asked what their boyfriend wants when they are shopping for a new game. Here, the concept of treating a woman like that in a gaming store would be financial suicide. I can only say that the biggest impediment to more women gamers in the states is the rampant sexist crap I`ve seen on the boards, and what must be a pervasive cultural atittude towards gaming there.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Lol. You cheeky Gamespot journalists. That title certainly made me think of something else - a riot of women at EA campus, especially upset female spouses. LOL! stokesmo "i think the nintendo wii has bought alot of female players into the gaming world also alot a young children will be getting a wii for christmas which will get them into gaming and hopefully spure some future developers as they get older." My sister used to play Super Mario All-Stars & Mystic Quest Legends on the SNES, as I do when we were both very young (she's older than me). But then she's outgrown of it & never play video games. Most of these particular female children, that you're talking about, who play video games will eventually outgrow out of it, too, to become true chicks pwning guys' "that part" 111!!oneonone!!!11! SSC-Firestar True about the Sims, but it's the top sellers ONLY for the PC charts around the world. Console games sell far more than the PC games.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Well, YukoAsho, anime & comics aren't exactly appealing to girls, especially in the Western world. Perhaps you may have been misguided by the fact that you're a Japanese girl who only notice other kinsmen of yourself, and probably lives in Japan. Although, it must be said that many Jap girls over there in Japan are only interested in extravagant fashion & dolls, & not animes like the boys are obsessed. As for the games industry, it's very similar to the anime/manga/comic industry in many ways in that it mostly can only appeal to hard-boiled boys (just kidding). There are only few certain genres that the gamer girls do like, including roleplaying (FF, yes, & WOW), puzzle games perhaps, & even racing games. They also do like the permeated feeling of socialism in games, which is why many of them like to play WOW, and that it offers them the opportunity to create female avatars. The Sims is no doubt a very popular franchise with the females who play them. Funcom, the maker of the old Anarchy MMO series, and the 2 adventure games The Longest Journey & sequel Dreamfall, is making a MMO game based in the Longest Journey universes. So, I'm sure that that premise will be a hit with the girls, not only boys. They're currently prepping Age of Conan: The Hyborian Adventure, another MMO game. However, remember that there is no way that any game developers, publishers & other people involved in the video gaming industry can do to convince the majority of chicks to playing video games as much as we all do, and as much as watching movies & listening to music. I mean, come on, they're hooked on Myspace blogs, etc, & they can input their favourite music video/song to listen to on their blog. They'll never play video games because they're fully-fledged chicks, which is simply the nature of them (girls) so that they do their own things as well as trying to attract the guys, which they're very good at, thanks to how God & humankind has structured the nature of it. There will only be few Nintendo fangirls, perhaps a fair number of Japanese gamer girls, & very few other gamer chicks/clans who play video games hardcore-ly. I wish success to the Spore franchise & I'm in awe of this Lucy Bradshaw because of her position(s) in the Maxis team, & leading this game on with the third famous Wright. Wilbur & Orville Wright brothers were the other ones, who've created the first proper motorised plane. Essentially, it isn't the fault of the male-dominated game developers who still mostly cater to the male audience. Though, many of them are taking notice of the slowly expanding female audience, such as giving greater avatar customizability, social community environments in some games, casual games on the Net for the soccer moms, etc, etc. But males are extremely easy to sell the commercial video games to, of which these games of course makes lots of money. Females are typically slow adopters in many markets including technology (except for the music players, & laptops) and video games. Moreover, we boys are always very excited about the upcoming lineup of these such games for the next-gen consoles, PC & handhelds.

SSC-Firestar
SSC-Firestar

Women aren't interested in games in America? So, how about you tell me why there are 3-5 Sims 2 titles in the top 10 sellers every week, when data says that 40-60% of Sims players are women? Women are certainly interested in games, just not always the same ones that most men like. Oh, and on a personal note, my wife definately spends more time gaming than I do, so there.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

I will repeat myself: Why there isn't a Men in Games conference?

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

First off, any industry worth its' weight in salt would try to expand its' demographics as far as possible. The movie, music, and ANIME (of all things!) industries out-pace the video game industry by leaps and bounds when it comes to bringing in women. The problem is that the retailers, developers, and publishers are almost completely dominated by the sort of guys who've never seen a woman outside of a .avi file, and have no idea how to get women interested in what should be the easiest thing to get them into (I think anyone here would agree that playing a game is more intellectually stimulating than staring at the idiot box watching Hollywood garbabe). That EA, Square-Enix and Blizzard are the only two companies that can reliably bring women in (with The Sims, Final Fantasy and WoW respectively) is a damned shame. Of course, I don't see it changing any time soon. When publishers think that the best way to expand the demographic is to make crappy Totally Spies and Bratz games, it deserves being pigeonholed to men. We don't want My Little Pony crap, and we don't want to be treated like we're too stupid for anything deeper than "Bejeweled."

TryMe01
TryMe01

a 6 hour event, it better not all be speeches... zzz...

ChimTheGrim21
ChimTheGrim21

I agree with Kinglink2 (2nd comment). He hits the spot right on. Women simply aren't interested in games in America. They exist, but they are few and far between.

KickinIt_ftw
KickinIt_ftw

@1SleepyGit: "He does have a point though, you always get these events geared to one group or another but never a 'straight, white male aged parade...'" ^That's just silly. They have that. They're called fraternal orders - like the Elks. For the record, if you subtract every event celebrating minorities during the calendar year, 'Straight, White Male Day' would still end up lasting for roughly 320 days, anually. On topic, I'm all for gaming events aimed at women. Preferably events that actually try to get a feel for what female gamers are looking for in a product, instead of patronizing them. There are more girl-gamers out there than a lot of people realize. Demographicaly, women outnumber men as far as online gaming is concerned. To not consider them as a viable market is embarassing.

rvm444
rvm444

I don't think working 60 hours a week is something a woman can't do. The question here is: why? Why is it necessary to attract women to gaming?

kinglink2
kinglink2

I think most of you are misunderstanding the confrence Not hard since there's little information about the confrence. On the other hand, a lot of studios would be HAPPY to hire women, the problem is not women are discriminated against (and I don't think that's what they think) I think the problem is women don't want to be part of the games industry, or the technical arts as a whole. There are some who try to join up, and I applaud them, but honestly not many are interested in it. Even worse is the fact that games industries expect 60 hours week and as a woman that's hard to take (as a guy it should be hard too but female's goals arn't always the same as male's goals.)

rvm444
rvm444

If women want to work in the industry..then let them. I don't think each developer has a pair of armed guards keeping those of the feminine persuasion out of their workspace. Is it so necessary that we have more women helping to create games that we need a conference for it? Is there some form of procreation necessary to hatch the next Grand Theft Auto? This boils down to yet another pointless excursion into a bunch of liberals trying to stoke outrage where there needn't be any.

lilibat
lilibat

This is geared towards women in the gaming industry. What most gamers out there who aren't tied into the industry don't realize is that there are very few women who work within the industry as compared to men. There are also a lot of attitudes and practices within the industry that grew up around it being pretty much entirely male. This discourages many women from wanting to work in the industry. It is actually a problem within many companies and work is needed within the industry to even the playing field. Not only so that women who work within the industry have a less hostile work environment, but also for the benefit of the industry itself. While the female gamer demographic is growing, there is so much room for game companies to grow on the female entertainment dollar. By the way, I do work in the industry as do many of my female friends.

kamicolo
kamicolo

great! Sad that our society is like this, that a conference for women has to be held. Any negative comments, and you will sound like a sexist. Don't ya love women

Lauryn2000
Lauryn2000

Mmmm.......when Assassin's Creed comes out ... "GUYS"...remember there was a women at the helm of "THAT" game development...........the gaming industry is mostly men...why are some you whining like you're "man-hood" is being threatened.......please.. one lousy conference for women isn't going to "tarnish" anything.....good grief.......worse than a bunch of whiny lil girls.

bizuit
bizuit

Oh great Madden is going to be even crappier now that the women will be at EA and the guys that make madden will have one more excuse not to work

1SleepyGit
1SleepyGit

@Sandlynx9 He does have a point though, you always get these events geared to one group or another but never a "straight, white male aged 18-30 parade" except by the KKK and other rascist organisations because anyone else who would try something like that would be labeled as rascist, even if it was just intended as something equivalent to Gay Pride. Then again, they have more or less banned St George's day here in England because celebrating our patron saint might be considered rascist because it involves the english flag. Now watch my comment get deleted.

kinglink2
kinglink2

So a company who is know for extremely horrendeous hiring practices, and a totalitarian control over the industry is the site for a female gaming confrence, rather then... oooh anywhere else? Hell Las Vegas with booth babes would be more appropriate for them. EA is just trying to get a better rep from the sounds of it. "We're a family company" Yes EA, but we still know how you consider employee's familys as being second only to your brands.

djenhancr
djenhancr

"Men in Gaming Conference" LMFAO!!! To those who typed that...need to go back to school. F-ing losers. It's called the CES...and pretty much any other Video Game Conference out there in existance! Dumb @$$E$. It's about time Women got in on the Video Game Industry more...the divorce rate should decrease now. lol

Maeros4
Maeros4

oeh may i come? no just kidding, allthough it would be nice to hear a woman's idea about the business

Sandlynx9
Sandlynx9

"I find it kind of sexist that there's a "Women In Games International" and not a guys one. Must be great to segregate society even more . . ." What a dumb comment. Do you realize that MOST people that play games are guys? This kind of event is to try to get more girls into gaming and try to make the idea of a video game not so stupid to them. Making girls realize that games can be fun too... thats not segregating society thats pulling the two groups together.

Guest_1001
Guest_1001

I find it kind of sexist that there's a "Women In Games International" and not a guys one. Must be great to segregate society even more . . .

rvm444
rvm444

So when's the Men in Gaming conference?

stokesmo
stokesmo

i think the nintendo wii has bought alot of female players into the gaming world also alot a young children will be getting a wii for christmas which will get them into gaming and hopefully spure some future developers as they get older

Raeldor
Raeldor

It's always good to see gaming open up to a broader audience. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Spartan4001
Spartan4001

From the title, I thought this article would be about a mob of female gamers rioting on the EA campus over the whole microtransaction thing. Oh well.

jsrco
jsrco

This is amsuing.... almost as amsuing as the fact that the Wii remote can be used to surf porn as of Friday. But ya... yay for video gaming ladies!

DreamworkS12
DreamworkS12

The only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the gun show... ;) -The Legend of Ron Burgundy :p

jazilla
jazilla

gaming for ladies, for the ladies, ladies at ea, wigi, womens games, female demographic