Tuesday, 6 February 2007

for the love of the game

while the title is borrowed from a type of a physically challenging sport which uses one spherical ball being chased after by 22 men (or women but rarely both), the game i am talking about is the one that requires nothing more the extreme dexterity of fingers and the occasional ducking and swerving of the body which does not in any way have any impact on the end results. yup, it is another passion of mine which requires a significant chunk of my very limited time apart from blogging and clearing out those alerts namely video games.

while i am not going to bore you to death if you are not a gamer (gamers can discuss about tips and tricks, hidden
treasures and cheats for hours non-stop), i am going to give my opinion why
this favourite past time of mine is still mostly male dominated domains. videogame is such a big industry nowadays that it involves politics (href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1388657.stm">Peru's 'Vladi-videogame' sparks controversy), world cup tournaments, availability of this kind of facilities (Videogame
addiction clinic opens
) and even with the extreme end results (href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4137782.stm">S Korean dies after
games session). and yet, while the percentage is definitely increasing, not
many women plays games and the one who does don’t called themselves gamers.

below are my thoughts on why is that so. while i have never been involved in market research of games market, who knows somebody in those industry reads this entry (not very likely though) and it
adds one item into my resume.

time: this topic deserves an entry by itself. but my concept of time is basically defined not as something that you have but something that you make. which means that while everybody is given the same amount of time (24 hours/ day whether you like it or not), it is mostly up to your choice how you spend it. when people say that they are busy to do something else like putting up a new entry into their blog, it means that they have found a more meaningful means to spend their time. similarly, many women, young or old, would find more “productive” use of their time than spending hours glued in front of the tv or pc playing games. can’t blame them though. while single girls would be very busy thinking of how to best get dressed with whatever they have in their wardrobe while fending off those unwanted advances, wives and mothers would be very busy withthe domestic chores such as feeding the husbands who are glued to the tv or pc trying to explore new levels that has been achieved or killing that impossibly difficult big boss just to advance to another level.

money: the female species practically spends all their money on beauty sessions and beauty products like threading, slimming sanctuaries, moisturisers, masks, manicures and pedicures and long list of stuff that goes on forever. while beauty is definitely not the top priority to many gamers of whom not many are endowed with one anyway (if you see any smartly dressed, properly shaved and pleasantly smelling gamers in the thick of the action, please tell me) they prefer to spend their money on buying super controllers, driving simulators, memory cards and extension panels that is guaranteed to bring more satisfaction than those pointless, going-to-nowhere dates in fancy restaurants.

satisfaction: it bores down to one simple statement, the female species are hard to please, in many ways. while many men are thrilled and triumphant by fact they managed to being first in crossing the chequered flags, solve the puzzles and riddles, gathers all the bonuses and defeated that very difficult bosses to advance, little pleasures like that is simply not enough to excite women. they would just
snigger at such accomplishments and brushes aside such achievements with a mean “so what?” statements.

imagination: it requires a huge amount of imagination to get excited about a blocky robotic images of a scantily clad, generously proportioned women in the computer generated movies as rewards for advancing to new levels and completing the games. women simply just don’t have that kind of imagination even the computer generated images are big time studs like brad pi11 or kean0 reaves showing off their skins.

responsibility: even in a double-income, maidless household that i am currently in, the role of the male species are reduced to the second grade, non mission-critical tasks in the domestic chores such as doing the laundry and dishes, cleaning the car and watering the plants. all those vital household activities such as putting food on the table, preparing the kids and making sure they are up-to-date with their homework are still largely within the wives’ domain. those plants are not going to die without one or two days of water, those dirty clothes are going to pile up anyway and let those ants and flies share the spoils of dinner on the floor or on the dining table. men can always procrastinate those tasks until they gave up trying to upgrade their weapons and bases, getting through those seemingly impossible obstacles and beating that nearly invincible bosses giving them the much needed break to think their strategies over while clearing up the
backlogged domestic chores.

those merely five points mentioned above are just some examples of the obstacles that games marketers and developers need to overcome to get those female species to migrate en masse to the gaming world instead of simple solutions like shopping games (yes, they do produce those type of games) and pink consoles. and as for me, i am glad that there is only one person who are into this sort of thing in my household especially to keep those midnight hunger pangs at bay while i figure out how to slay those
huge one-eyed giant that keeps swinging his gigantic club at me the moment i got
close to him.

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