How Can Video Game Makers Attract Women?
Last week, the Wall Street Journal was at Gamescon; one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. While there, Sven Grundberg posed questions about the role of women as both gamers, characters in the gaming world, and as members of the gaming industry.
The thing is, while gaming culture is portrayed as a "man's world" recent studies point to women making up 45% of the entire gaming population and make up 46% of the most frequent game purchasers. The question is less about "how can video game makers attract women" and more about "how can video game makers accurately reflect their player base." In a world where half of your target audience is under represented in a fair light, it is obvious why this false premise may arise.
In a lot of ways, the game industry has taken a turn for the better. The Last of Us, an award winning game by Naughty Dog, was heralded for having a strong female character in a leading role. Despite the footage shown at GamesCon, a lot of companies have moved away from having "booth babes" represent their brand.
There are strides that can be made to improve a better representation of women in games. The burden for that, however, rests solely on the shoulders of game designers who seem out of touch over with who their player base is.