Gender Disparities

The difference between gaming for men and women
Girls Gaming

Games for young girls

As a female toddler, someone probably gave you a  barbie or doll to play with.  Perhaps you would have styled their hair, fixed their make up and dressed them up.  Maybe even an easy bake oven to make treats for the tea parties was somewhere in your playroom.  As you got older, you may have gravitated towards playing house.   You probably still had the dolls because how do you play house without babies?  By high school, you were probably inviting your friends for sleepovers.  I bet you even did each other’s hair and makeup before you headed out to the shopping mall.

As an adult how do you get your game on now?  When you want to relax and play a game, what do you play?  If you do a Google search aimed at for gaming for girls what you will most likely find are games for “doing” hair, makeup, shopping, and cooking.  Nothing seems to have changed from our toddler days.

When do girls get to grow up?

Games for women

Girls GamingThe Google list of games for girls includes the Kim Kardashian app that is another form of the Barbie doll.  It’s played the same as when you were a little girl.  You sent Barbie off to work. You style her hair, makeup, and clothes to go out on a date.  What’s the difference?  It’s clear.  I’m spending MY money on virtual items instead of my parent’s money.   The game reportedly amassed as much as $1.6 million in as little as 5 days after it’s release.  I doubt anyone is going to spend $4.99 a month to sponsor and watch a player “kill it” on the fashion scene at the local nightclub.  Will there be corporate-sponsored tournaments to see who can style the best hair, do the most fabulous makeup or be the best cooking chef?  I seriously doubt it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have spent many hours building my little sim life.  I’ve purchased every expansion for both Sim3 and Sim4 ever released, and I have enjoyed every minute of building those lives and watching them evolve.  These games are running in the background as I’m doing other “more important things”.   I check in on them once in a while to make sure they are going to work, paying their bills and in general making sure that they haven’t burnt down the apartment yet.

But let’s take a look at the more popular side of the coin.

Games for men

Young boys play cops and robbers and war games.  They play soccer, baseball, and peewee football. The games evolved into including Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and World of Tanks.  NBA 2K, FIFA and Madden are currently the most popular sporting titles.  Men compete in tournaments where millions of dollars can be won by the top competitors in these sorts of games. For some men, gaming has become a full-time job, and they are well compensated for it.

Let’s build a new future

I want more games featuring women. Doing what we do every day.  And no, I don’t mean grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and chasing after the rest of the household.  I want games featuring someone like Barbara Ann Allen Rainey.  She is the first US Naval jet pilot.  I would “kill” to fly a jet and dog-fight someone like Lt Katarzyna Tomiak-Siemieniewic,  the first Polish female to pilot a MiG-29.  Now that would be a game!

We are leaders. We have broken through glass ceilings to become CEOs of big businesses.  Women save lives every day and can do the same things the men do (usually better).  So why is it still such a struggle to be represented and counted here among our male counterparts?

A new initiative

Facebook has recently started a new initiative for “Women in Gaming”.  Awesome!!  I am now starting to get excited!  While this is good, it’s only one side of the story.  The initiative is for those women who are behind the games.  These women are programmers, editorial managers, and managing directors.  They are not gamers.  This is a definite step in the right direction, but I want to see more women in gaming, in front of the screen as well.

The challenge

Hey Facebook!!!  I got some news for you.  Do you want more diversity and more women in the gaming industry?  Start sponsoring the women who are in front of the computer playing the games.  We make up approximately 48% of your masses. You will get more girls interested in technology and the gaming life when they have role-models to look up to.  Women who are already doing it.   No longer will it be considered a subculture or something for males only.  Start putting your money where your mouth is.

That goes double for the rest of you sponsors and big gaming giants!

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