(OOC) CK’s Blog Banter #17: What Women Want…
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?
EVE has a slightly lower female population that other MMOs. I gotta say, when I first heard this statistic I was saddened (and as usual angered by the mind-destroying shiny evil that is WoW and my need to wipe it off the face of the planet). While those unenlightened will simply point out that gaming isn’t a “girly” activity to begin with, I’m usually quick to point out that not only are female gamers numerous, but also some of the most skilled… and scary… hi, Mynxee…
In fact, I can credit my induction into the Ushra’Khan, as well as our numerous good runs in the Alliance Tournament to a woman. Women are strong, smart and vital. I don’t really think EVE is doing anything at all to scare away women specifically, as EVE already scares away many gamers that those of us in the know view as weak (We view it as thus, because they are). But, how can EVE package itself to at least get more female gamers grabbing a trail account and giving a rookie ship a spin?
Funny enough, after consulting with a few women I know who don’t play EVE (some gamers, some not) and asking them what can be done, the general consensus came down to money and looks. The chauvinistic joke here would consist of a few guys snickering, nodding their heads (maybe even some women nodding) and maybe a high-five or two. Money as in industrial activities, and looks as in the visuals and customization of said visuals.
I think the general feeling that Incarna will provide a pull to female characters is probably a correct one. Not just for women either. I think there’s a great many gamers out there that find that the lack visual customization and ability to leave your ship is a turn-off to some degree. Incarna (properly advertised which I’ll get to in a bit) will pull in a lot of fresh blood.
Going back to my research, I’ve also found that the majority of women that I spoke to seem to be more interested in racking in isk and collectibles that getting into the pew-pew. Now I’m not going to get into how to tweak the industrial system to make it more friendly, firstly because I’m not knowledgeable enough about all its intricacies, and secondly because I don’t think it can be geared towards either gender. What do I mean by collectibles? Other MMOs and social gaming/media giants (Gaia Online, for example) make a fortune off of new shiny things that do nothing but look different than other things. This whole WoW (*spits*) pets thing that Blizzard has made millions of dollars off of in a matter of days make my point beautifully. “Rare” is a very powerful word and there’s only a very small handful of examples of rare items in EVE. Even rare bling for Incarna character models should have an impact.
EVE Gate should be yet another good selling point when it goes live, as women tend to treat social networking a little more hardcore than the guys do from what I’ve seen. The continuing steps being taken to allow capsuleers to do almost anything other than fly in ships and walk in stations outside of the EVE client will certainly help in making EVE play as casual as anyone would want it to be.
One thing that can also be done is tweak the presentation of the fiction a bit. Space is a cold place and the fiction is suitably dark, but the line between dark and sterile is apparently getting lost in the first look (Excel-in-space doesn’t exactly help that at first glance). I’ve been to enough cyberpunk/synthpop raves to know that the future can be very down, dirty, sexy and weird. Unfortunately we can’t really dress up our ships yet, but fashion outside of your pod can be a big selling point to female gamers who might just spend more time outside of their pod than in them.
That brings me to advertising. When Incarna launches, CCP has a wonderful opportunity to change people’s opinion of EVE in a fundamental way. Being sure to show strong women in a variety of roles and looks, as well as making EVE seem more alive and teeming with life beyond the pew-pew will grab a whole new audience, women included. Showing off the slow majesty of wide open space and huge ships pounding each other to bits is wonderful to people who are already playing the game or have an existing interest in that sort of thing, but when Incarna launches, so much more can be done to fill that galaxy in with the living, breathing energy it craves.
To be perfectly honest, a lot of the things that would make EVE more fun for women would certainly make EVE more interesting to me. None of these things would detract from the existing game in any way and they all would make being a capsuleer more visceral.
There are some things that we capsuleers can do in meatspace. Find female gamers and introduce them to EVE, not just the PvP but also industrial pursuits, the fiction and the growing community. Tell them about Fanfest and the Sisters of EVE tour. Tell them about the Hellcats and the crazy Amarr Empress. Tell them about EVE Gate and Incarna coming up. Let’s not let the all-too-accepted stigma towards carebear professions cloud our ability to show off the best game ever made. Also, ask her out, because gamer girls are a real thrill to date.
Lastly, a bit of a PSA to cap this off. A good number of us have people in our lives that have become known as “EVE Widows”. These amazing people stand by us as we indulge in our drug of choice and often get nothing in return other than the knowledge that someone they love is happy. The reason they’re called widows is because they are by and large, women (as those doing the gaming seem to be by and large, men) and left on their own while the other roams the stars, seemingly never to return. So, take note of them, treat them right, thank them profusely for putting up with you, and if you’re going to Fanfest in March, tell them about the Sisters of EVE tour and bring them along. Maybe someday they’ll want to fly with you.
List of Participants
- The Ladies of New Eden
- Is EVE a man’s world?
- Sorry, No Pink Spaceships Here Please
- EVE Blog Banter: Chicks ‘N Ships
- Eve Blog Banter: The Girls Who Fly Spaceships
- It’s not about fluffy bloody Kittens people!
- Space Boobies Are Bad, m’kay?
- Special Blog Banter: I Like Girls
- Special Edition or making Eve More Casual
- I wish my wife played EVE
- Is there something special about women?
- CK’s Blog Banter
- The Female of the Species
- EVE Online Can Appeal to Women By Adding Casual Content
- Blog Banter: The Ladies
- Women Who Want EVE
- Tech 2 stilettos
- New Eden doesn’t need to change for Eve – Adam needs to get over himself
- EVE Online and… women (sorta)
- Think Outside the Spaceship
- EVE’s monthly banter – Women, women, women
- Girls Just Wanna Have… Guns!
- Draco Horizons (Blog) <– Needs to add intro (with links) and list of participants
- Don’t change Eve for me!
- Where Are Teh Laydeez of EVE?
- Where Are All The Wenches?
- EVEquality: The Rise of the Female Gamer
- Women? In MY SPACESHIP? Is she from Mars as well?
- Blog Banter: Captain Kirk Hates Eve
- The Female of the Species
- The Ladies of New Eden
- EVE and the X by X Genetic Succession Unit
- Sociability V
- Girl on Girls in Space
- What women want (in Eve)
- Time Is On Our Side
- Roc Appeal <– Needs to add intro (with links) and list of participants
- Women in EVE
- Getting In Touch With Our Feminine Side
- It’s a woman’s world (they just don’t know it yet!)
- Women in EVE – Can it be done?
- You’d Rather Be Playing The Sims, Right?
- Blog Banter #17 – Women in Eve
- How To Get The Betty’s
- EVE: WTB girls?
- All about EVE
- Ladies to the gunfight
- Hell hath no fury
- The Ladies of New Eden (An Analysis on How Men are not from Mars, and Women are not from Venus)
- EVE Blog Banter 17: The Ladies of New Eden
- The Ladies of New Eden
- Getting ladies to play Eve Online
- Why Don’t More Women Play EVE?? <– Needs a link to the original banter post in the intro
- Getting Girls to Play EVE
- Et Tu, Brutus? » Blog Archive » Girls, Girls, Girls.
- Why I don’t play Eve Online | Restokin
- Ladies of New Eden | My Blog <– Make sure to add a list of the other participants!
- The female podling « Ore, Pirates, and Pods
- Tinkers Blog: Ladies in Space
- Ideas on How To Attract More Female Pilots <– Make sure to add a link back to the original post!
- Ladies of Eve – Blog Banter
- Your agent has ended your mission for not attaining more women <- More links to participants please!
- Let’s Fly, Ladies!!
- Bringing the Sisters to EVE
- EnerlaNET Forums – 52 days of Eve Online
- In Search of the Sisters of Eve
- EnerlaNET Forums – Be a man! Fight back!
- Getting more Eves in Eve Online
- Making Bannan Peels Relevant: Gender Inclusiveness in CCP’s EVE Online
- Daughters of EVE
- Women in Eve
- “Prove It”: Women In EvE
- It’s Hip To Be Square: Taking Videogames Out of the Basement
- The X-Factor
- The Ladies of New Eden… A Blog Banter Entry by Cattie
- Question: Tell Me What You Think About This? <– Needs to add intro (with links) and list of participants
- Ain’t No Sunshine
- What Women Want…
- Lady Vengeance, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pew-Pew