Friday, October 12, 2007

College Women on Gamers: They Giggle

I came across this on Wired: Giggling Girls Fail Videogame-Related Quiz, in which college-aged women are asked a series of somewhat spoofy questions on games and gamers. The responses are generally preceded by a giggle and a "what's that?"

According to Wired, this video is from the folks at

I find these young womens' clueless responses interesting, especially in light of the rise in gaming culture and the onslaught of Gamers that is about to hit the corporate workplace (and perhaps is, right now, as we speak) -- at least according to Karl Kapp who wrote an entire book on it! (You can read my review of Gadgets, Games & Gizmos for Learning).

Will young women be speaking a different language from their male counterparts? Will they be left out of the Guild Master corporate cult?


Cathy Moore said...

The video seems less harsh when it's seen in its original context, which is interspersed through episode 2 of Pure Pwnage. The show makes clear that its gamer star is a bit of a loser, and the cluelessness of the women actually underscores the gamer's loserdom--he has little hope of getting a girlfriend.

I ended up watching several episodes and enjoyed their commentary on the void between games and the real world.

That said, I'm a little concerned that the gamer mentality is sometimes presented as important to corporate culture and that as a result women should get into gaming. This seems to echo the stale pattern in which women adapt to a male-dominated business culture.

It makes me wonder what happened to those books that claimed that women were having a strong influence on corporate culture. Which is correct? We've made the workplace more flexible and caring, or we need to understand the joke behind "Boom! Head shot!"?

Janet Clarey said...

I'm a bit of an über a-hole when it comes to stereotypical representations - the giggly "girl" (which is the name of this episode) just lights my match. Cathy's excellent insight on the message: gamer=loser/loner is probably lost on the "typical" ; ) gamer (did I mention my über a-hole tendencies?)

What about Women Gamers? Here are some interesting facts...

Thirty-eight percent of game players are women.
Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (23%)

see more at...

I say no...let's not let society or corporate culture tell us what language to speak. Boom! Man shot! I can dance all day.

Cathy Moore said...

Go, Janet!!!

Based on other pages on the ESA site, it looks like they've included puzzles, trivia, and other games in their definition of "gamer," so I still wonder if that many women really are "gamers" in the popular sense of the term.

Most of my knowledge of gaming comes from Pure Pwnage and some (male) gaming friends. From that limited perspective, it seems to me that in popular culture, "gamer" doesn't mean "solitaire player" but means instead "someone who plays immersive games that involve alternate worlds, strategy, exploration, blah blah blah."

I play geography games, but I'm not a gamer. To me, there's a big difference between dragging Latvia to the correct place on the map and spending hours delving deep into a mythical world to achieve a higher state of being.

If we say that gaming experience will become important in business, do we mean the ability to drag Latvia to the right spot on a map, or do we mean the ability to lead a team of co-gamers deep into enemy territory? I think we'd see a gender difference in the latter case. But then I'm feeling stubborn today.

Janet Clarey said...

I see exactly what you're saying and on a day where I was less likely to spontaneously combust (and you were less stubborn ; ) we could probably agree to depends. Depends on the leader, not necessarily the gender of the leader which we know is likely to be a guy -statistically- when we're talking about immersive combat environments. Put me in a immersive environment on life skills, navigating corporate culture, etc. and I'll probably hold my own. But this raises a whole different issues on game designers...who again are mostly guys. Sigh.

Cammy Bean said...

Karl Kapp defines gamers as anyone who has grown up surrounded, and thus influenced, by the pop-culture of gaming. So even if you don't play the shoot 'em up games, you might very well have good friends who do. And thus, you are changed.

Personally, I think the whole "gamer" term should be discarded. There are too many associations with it (thus the Pure Pwange video).

If Nintendo is right (see my post from a few days ago), women are outpacing men in the use of the Wii. This is a game console -- but is doing yoga on the Wii a "game"? Or is it about getting bendier and more in-tune with one's inner self?

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