women-friendly MMOG now online in Korea...

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Eiji
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women-friendly MMOG now online in Korea...

#1 Post by Eiji » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:30 pm

to risk sounding like Fat Albert....
HEY HEY HEY!!!

I was poking around some sites for game developers when I stumbled
onto this...
its a new game from NCSoft (the guys who made "Guild Wars" and "City
of Heroes")

the site is billing this game called "Alter Life" as a game designed
with women in mind (although men are welcome and not excluded)
so far..its only available in South Korea (where NCsoft's corporate
offices are at), but maybe we can petition them to bring it here?

heres the link to check it out...

http://www.ncsoft.com/eng/ncgames/al_intro.asp

have fun..
"Who's the more foolish? the Fool? or the Fool who follows him?" -- Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi

"if you could tune into the fantasy life of a 9 year old girl, you can make a fortune in this buisness" -- George Lucas

JackalAndromeda
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#2 Post by JackalAndromeda » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:53 pm

Bugger, I was afraid of this. 'For women' means it's all about the social aspects. I have to admit that the socializing in MMOs is the part I pay the least attention to.

If you want a game to appeal to women, add more zombies. :wink:

One of your goals is to make your avatar famous? -__- Fame was the aspect of Maple Story I didn't care for. Actually there was a lot about Maple Story I didn't like, mainly the fact that you must play a character of your gender. Advertising that you're a girl on an MMO like that one is not a good idea.

It just doesn't appeal to me for much the same reasons the Sims doesn't interest me. After I get done with the character customization, I wouldn't have anything else to do. I don't quite take to the idea that a woman's game = talk, raise something, dress that something. I like to make strong chracters for fighting in games, not a character where my only progression is social. It sounds too much like High School, which I didn't like much either.

Sorry to sound so down on this, it is very nice that game companies are paying attention to women and are honestly trying to make an appealing game for them. It just doesn't interest me. : /

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#3 Post by musical74 » Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:52 pm

Sad to say, but somewhere along the way people (guys) assume women like the social aspects more than anything else...I know for a fact that this is untrue, but...

If they made social aspect just a part of the whole thing and included other aspects that had equal weight, I think it would have a broader selling base.
A friend is one that walks in when the world walks out.

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#4 Post by Eiji » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:49 am

I understand your concern Jackal...

but I for one really go for MMOGs.... its fun, and most of my in-game friendships often have spilled over outside the game itself (I remember my times on Anarchy Online where I often did things for the Clan I was in.. like make their webpage...in return I got enough game money to buy a cool plane called a "Yalm")..
"Who's the more foolish? the Fool? or the Fool who follows him?" -- Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi

"if you could tune into the fantasy life of a 9 year old girl, you can make a fortune in this buisness" -- George Lucas

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#5 Post by Sai » Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:22 pm

..... I wrote out a reply then my browser crashed -_-

Anyway when I first looked at it I immediately thought: Pickup Grounds. I can imagine boys going "What, a whole game full of girl gamers!? SCORE!" And joining up to chat everyone up (then quickly realising they're all chatting up other boys). Because believe it or not there's still many out there that believe girls can't play games (unless it's a dolls dressup game) and others just think "WOAH A chance to score easier, I gotta bag me one of those rare girl gamers" (and of course they're both sadly mistaken).

Jokes aside. The actual game seems a little pointless. Upping social aspects in MMORPGs is a lovely idea to broaden options but then totally scrapping the battle and other aspects of such games limits things and suddenly lessens options. I made great friends in MMORPGs and had a lotof fun with people but I also had a lot of fun out collecting stuff and battling (which can also be done with friends but doesn't *have* to be which is good for when your friends aren't around). Options, options, options. Everyone is different and options is what they need.

The whole "be popular through your avatar" idea is rather redundant when all MMORPGs have that aspect already except in more ways than one. E.g. equipment can be admired for aesthetic value or statistical value. But in a game where you have no need to battle the statistical value goes out the window. And you might as well go on Gaia forums if you just want a pretty avatar (Never used those forums but a big aspect seems to be about getting aesthetic trinkets for your avatar). And "taking a walk in the park" will probably get boring after the fifth time. They will have to come up with a big range of mini-games to replace the monster-centric and battle statistics aspects of MMORPGs, in other words stuff that inspires a competitive multiplayer challenge. That page doesn't tell you what all the world and features are so it's possible they've already got this in mind... but this is my personal opinion based on whats conveyed on that site.
Plus not all girls are focused so much on teaming up. Not every girl feels the need to be with someone else and therefore asks for an escort to the toilets all the time xD So options for solo play when your friends aren't around gives a game a lot more life span to it. So I'd be wary of this "Girl game = Social fest" the developers seem to of taken.

It's nice that they want to bring attention to the fact that girls play games but I don't feel that isolating them and trying to label and pin them down as some kind of separate 'thing' to market to is necessarily a good way of going about it. It will just increase the stereotypical view that girls can't be up to par with boys. It's hard to believe in this day and age but I have come across boys that simply refuse to believe that a girl could ever beat them at a fighting game, and I mean they seriously would probably die of shock and shame if it happened (oh how I wish I even played fighting games at that time so that I could of beat them! But fighter games are boring against the computer and I've got noone to play against -_- ). The idea is that girls can only play dress-up games.
Recently I saw on a gamer news programme here a report on some Counterstrike (or some similar game) girls tournament (girls vs girls). And they interviewed some people. Some girls were saying it's great but until they stop isolating the girls and girl teams actually face off against boys then it's uneven, less of an achievement and people will assume the girls are too scared to challenge boys on "their turf".

So I think the real challenge is making a game that appeals to both aspects, social or otherwise. There was an old Korean MMORPG (which was by a different developer but NCSoft funnily enough bought the rights for it until for some reason it officially died out, MMORPGs are a dime a dozen in Korea) which wanted to have elements like dating, chat cafes, clubs, mini-games and other stuff for those who like socialising but also having monster battles, guild wars and all that. And a lot of customisability aesthetically with clothing sets etc. So instead of running to a corner and piling these social options in a game isolating girls, they should just build them into existing games. And break down gender barriers, true 'socialising' isn't just with one gender. A lot of the friends I made were male (not all though). True this game isn't going to ban males, but I can't see a lot of boys wanting to play a game that's purposefully yelling "LOOK I'M FOR GIRLS"

Anyway sorry I went on a bit of a rant o_o;; I wish the game all the best regardless....
Last edited by Sai on Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#6 Post by mikey » Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:03 pm

Sai wrote:Anyway sorry I went on a bit of a rant o_o;; ....
Well, I might as well rant myself... I'll make it brief though.

[rant]
I find that guys want to pick up gamer girls or (worse) convert their girls into gamers *solely* for the purpose of this one single line:

"My girlfriend plays games."

That's all there is to it, if they are telling you differently, they're lying. Period.

[/rant]

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#7 Post by GLACIER » Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:50 pm

Sad to say, but somewhere along the way people (guys) assume women like the social aspects more than anything else...
trying to label and pin them down as some kind of separate 'thing' to market to is necessarily a good way of going about it.
This isn't the fault of game developers/publishers, but rather a response to what market researchers have been saying. Within the industry, there're several female commentators/developers who perpetuate the same claim - that games have to be more social and less competitive in nature to lure women. One conclusion is that developers tend to make the games they like (i.e. guys have an instinctive desire to destroy things and to engage in fierce competition, but most women don't. They prefer teamwork, communication, slower-paced play, etc.), so having female designers make original games should solve the problem.

Last year, Gamasutra published a somewhat inflammatory article (which attacked the hiring policies of the industry and reinforced said stereotypes) that sums up what many people have said.

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20041 ... s_01.shtml

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#8 Post by JackalAndromeda » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:04 am

Eiji wrote:I understand your concern Jackal...

but I for one really go for MMOGs....
I understand that some girls may like this kind of thing a lot. I'm just saying that I personally am not interested.

I am the type of girl who likes to destroy things in video games. I like fighting and shooting games (especially the kind where the scenery is destroyable) My favorite games are RPGs though, especially the Nippon Ichi games like Disgaea because their plot and art are wonderful and the gameplay is only as linear as I want it to be. Katamari Damacy is great as well, I like goofy, quirky games.

I can sort of understand where the companies are getting the idea that this is what girls want though. They try to make 'girl games' more like the Sims, because that had a huge appeal to female gamers. Lots of girls I know who don't play any other video games play the Sims.

Having more women create and design games may help, but it may not. If I made a game it would be like the kinds of games I like to play, which are all male designed. Since I like the aspects of games that are generally considered the 'male' aspects, even if I did make a game it wouldn't be noticably female oriented.

I guess my point is that the games 'for men' are the games I play already, and the general gameplay of the 'for women' games isn't what I'm after. Girls really do play video games, even despite the fact that they are mostly designed by men. I'm just thinking that the kinds of games may not be the problem, but the way that A) Game are presented to women and B) The way women gamers are treated have more of an impact on their desire to play video games.

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