To: The Game Industry
From: Gen Katz, Editor
Topic: Tipping Point
Date: Feb 2003
Dead of Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball (DOAX) by Tecmo is a great game, good physics, easy controls, fun to play – but you never will get women to play it in spite of the wardrobe of bathing suits and the female friendly relationships. With a little more sophistication on the part of the design team they could have doubled the game sales. This is the latest, but not the only game to offend women. I can understand titillation as a selling point for a game but I propose that with some minor mods, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Put a woman on the team as a consultant – or borrow a girlfriend to look in on it. A woman has an uncanny accurate sense when the action becomes offensive and a turn-off. Now will be the time for redesign. There will be a point where it can be sexy enough for the guys and not offend women – what I refer to as the “tipping point”. It may take a couple of go-a-rounds and it might even involve some learning – but trust me, everyone will be better for it. What will be considered will be things like the “jiggle” or “bounce” factor. This is not a fun experience for women. Jiggling is generally avoided because it hurts. Guys – imagined some of your more private parts weighing 5 pounds each – now jump and jiggle – see what I mean.
Next – clothes painted on is a cheap shot. Don’t lay it all out there – a little cover can be exciting. I’ll let you in on a little secret. A white shirt is one of the sexiest pieces of clothing around.
Now, we all know how great we look in black – but pleeze, there are other colors. Would it hurt to give a look at the fashion magazines? Even James Bond likes to change his attire.
By now women pretty much accept Laura Croft – but it was Angelica Jolie that was responsible for that. She is a woman of realistic and good proportions, athletic, smart, a little too hung up on her father, but anyway. It was the movie image that made the game Laura palatable. Some of us would like to look as good as she – and some of us almost do. Would you guys like her any less – if her bra size went down a size or two? I know we would.
There are some well dressed, well played female protagonist – Cate Archer in You Only Live Once is sexy and she is clothed. The game is fun for both men and women.Gladius has Inga – a Scandinavian Valkieri – I haven’t seen her in action – but her outfit – is just the right length – interests the men, pleases the women and it is not skin tight. Check them out at www.Games4Women.com and click on Picture Gallery of Female Protagonists.