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[OOC] Blog Banter #17: The Ladies of New Eden

My first Blog Banter in a long time, and it’s a tough one! As always, here’s the preamble from CrazyKinux himself:

What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?

So, not many women play Eve. Or do they? Even CCP don’t know. After all, how many people pay to play via other means than credit cards in which gender could be ascertained. With PayPal and plexes, to name but two other methods of payment, no-one has any idea.

I was at the last Fanfest in 2009, and it was absolutely male dominated. But there were only 2000 or so players there, out of a subscription base of ~300k (and I’m guessing at that), and I would imagine that most women who play this game do it incognito and wouldn’t dream of going to a Fanfest.

There is no doubt Eve is a male dominated game, but you could guess that by the fact it’s science fiction based. Without wanting to be sexist (I’m really not!) there are certain ‘norms’ that we can accept- men are more likely to watch scifi, and play scifi games, and less likely to watch Sex and The City. Whereas women tend to love Sex and The City and would probably avoid films like Serenity like the plague.

More importantly, how many women try Eve, then find it unappealing, unexciting or just plain not for them? How many guys do the same? I feel the game shouldn’t be changed to appeal to women, because Eve is the Eve we all love. Why should women be courted to play this game? Unless you’re the sort of weirdo (or very young teenager) who doesn’t know how to act around “girlz on the internetz!!!1″, it shouldn’t make a jot of difference if the person you are flying with has a willy or not.

I’m not sure how you could in fact change the game to appeal to women, as I have no clue, outside of my own experience, what women would look for. In my experience with ladyfolk, they like games like Tetris and Zuma, games you can pick up and put down without any worrying about persistence, skill grinding/ changing and suchlike. However, I do acknowledge there are a lot of ladies playing games like World of Warcraft, which has cutesy graphics and no real loss if you ‘die’.

Maybe girls have a lower tolerance for games like Eve that are complicated? I don’t mean they are less intelligent than guys, just that when they relax and play a videogame, they don’t want to be bothered with loadouts, POS refuelling, running gatecamps, CTAs, dodging pirates, local smack and generally spreadsheets online. They want to relax and have fun, and I suspect a girl’s idea of fun can be very different to the average Eve player.

I would love to know how many ladies try the game and stay, and try the game and leave- and why. Of those that stay, how many actively PvP and how many prefer PvE?

It’s probably not scifi that is the issue. Consider FPS games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series and Battlefield 2/ Bad Company series- they are not scifi, indeed are modern day, but I would guess are male dominated also. How come? Again, sweeping generalisations have to be made- women don’t like conflict in games? Their twitch skills aren’t as good? They are put off by guns? Something else?

I suspect video-gamers in general are mainly male (for now, but I think this is changing), because men are less bothered about being ‘geeks’, as they are (in the main) less bothered about their image, and more likely to have mates who are also gamers. A girl who games is unlikely to have many mates who also game, and so could be left out of social activities because she is busy gaming. Women are much more image conscious, and more likely to avoid being labelled as a ‘geek’

I am rambling a lot, but this is a complex subject and cannot easily be tackled. To summarise, I feel this is not an Eve problem, but a video-games problem. However, the Wii can be directly credited with bringing a lot of women into the video-games arena, and there has to be follow through, especially as laptops are more affordable. No longer are people consigned to the ‘computer room’, and being with other people in the lounge, even when gaming, has to be more appealing.

I could talk about this for hours as I find it very interesting, but it’s more of a sociological issue than just Eve.

TL;DR- don’t change Eve to get more girls involved- it doesn’t need it, and it wouldn’t make any difference. If it did, you’d end up losing a lot of guys as Eve’s core gameplay would change, and not for the better.

Other banters (will update as more are added):

  1. Is EVE a man’s world?
  2. Sorry, No Pink Spaceships Here Please
  3. EVE Blog Banter: Chicks ‘N Ships
  4. Eve Blog Banter: The Girls Who Fly Spaceships
  5. It’s not about fluffy bloody Kittens people!
  6. Space Boobies Are Bad, m’kay?
  7. Special Blog Banter: I Like Girls
  8. Special Edition or making Eve More Casual
  9. I wish my wife played EVE
  10. Is there something special about women?
  11. CK’s Blog Banter
  12. The Female of the Species
  13. EVE Online Can Appeal to Women By Adding Casual Content
  14. Blog Banter: The Ladies
  15. Women Who Want EVE
  16. Tech 2 stilettos
  17. New Eden doesn’t need to change for Eve – Adam needs to get over himself
  18. EVE Online and… women (sorta)
  19. Think Outside the Spaceship
  20. EVE’s monthly banter – Women, women, women
  21. Girls Just Wanna Have… Guns!
  22. Draco Horizons (Blog)
  23. Don’t change Eve for me!
  24. Where Are Teh Laydeez of EVE?
  25. Where Are All The Wenches?
  26. EVEquality: The Rise of the Female Gamer
  27. Women? In MY SPACESHIP? Is she from Mars as well?
  28. Blog Banter: Captain Kirk Hates Eve
  29. The Female of the Species
  30. The Ladies of New Eden
  31. EVE and the X by X Genetic Succession Unit
  32. Sociability V
  33. Girl on Girls in Space
  34. What women want (in Eve)
  35. Time Is On Our Side
  36. Roc Appeal
  37. Women in EVE
  38. Getting In Touch With Our Feminine Side
  39. It’s a woman’s world (they just don’t know it yet!)
  40. Women in EVE – Can it be done?
  41. You’d Rather Be Playing The Sims, Right?
  42. Blog Banter #17 – Women in Eve
  43. How To Get The Betty’s
  44. EVE: WTB girls?
  45. All about EVE
  46. Ladies to the gunfight
  47. Hell hath no fury
  48. The Ladies of New Eden (An Analysis on How Men are not from Mars, and Women are not from Venus)
  49. EVE Blog Banter 17: The Ladies of New Eden
  50. The Ladies of New Eden
  51. Getting ladies to play Eve Online
  52. Why Don’t More Women Play EVE??
  53. Getting Girls to Play EVE

~ by Ombey on April 19, 2010.

5 Responses to “[OOC] Blog Banter #17: The Ladies of New Eden”

  1. It’s a double bind, I would say. On the one hand the combat side of things (Yeeeah! Blow shit up!) is, as you say, not especially female-friendly. On the other hand, the production and manufacturing side is the most spreadsheet-like part of the game, and is therefore not particularly female friendly either.

  2. Much like (forgive the analogy) “dumbing down” games (see EQ2) changing mechanics to appeal to one subscriber will turn-off your long-term subscribers…who would likely have remained subs for longer.

  3. Remember Ripley in Aliens, now that was one bad ass woman space pilot, how about whats her name in Battlestar Galactica? lots of cool women in space, but generally women find better things to do with there off-time. provide a better way to deal with can flippers and they might decide to come on board.

  4. erm that would be Sex IN the city.. or have I totally screwed up the stereo type of the female population by getting that wrong?

    I agree most women are indeed shallow and watch crap like Sex in the city(?) ( sorry girls) and I also hate women drivers.. getting caught behind one in a busy T junction stresses me to hell )

    But (and I have always maintained this) I am kinda unusual in that sense.

    I LOVE sci fi, horror movies and TV shows (Stargate, Far Scape, Firefly, Constantine, Matrix ) and I HATE crappy chick flicks (Ugly Betty *yawn* .. and I honestly can’t think of any more universal girly shows)

    But I am the exception to the rule I know.

    Point is this, if CCP Games want to make EVE more female friendly they have to look at the success of games like The Sims or Second Life and take a page out of their book to some degree.

    I have gone into more detail on my own blog post on this topic.

  5. Hi Elizabeth- sorry, it is Sex AND The City ;-)

    I wasn’t insinuating most women are shallow (does it read that way?!!), just that they (generally) prefer their ‘relax time’ to be of a different variety than internet spaceships.

    Will read your blog now :)

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