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Oct 14, 2004

Comments

1.


One area that really needs to be addressed asap however is representation in games. For MMOGs this is crucial. Avatars, just like our corporeal bodies, are prime mediators for identity and social interaction.

Why couldn't there be a protocol developed in the "worlds community" to enable avatar sharing. I could be what I want to look like. In this way folks could develop avatars, once, externally, and import 'em into different worlds. Perhaps there could be fees for importation - surely though many would be glad for this option. Yes, worlds could place constraints on costume and such. Perhaps you would have to download a template (skins) to tune your avatar.

The win, though, would be that once I developed a look, an expression, a model demeanor... I could share it and perfect it between my different incarnations.


2.

(can we finally start talking about all the men that seem to love socializing in MMOGs?)

Cheers.

3.

The avatar issue is in some ways really exasperating and in other ways a tough theoretical knot to untie. Richard's recent post pointed to the BBC article about the exhibition, where a caption to a picture of a woman and her avatar states "Chalmaine is a full-time mum but online she is a minx" -- I'm not sure her avatar reveals anything at all about her personal slider preferences, but the journalist seemed to think that was the case.

My reading in this area isn't extensive, but I get the sense that unpacking the sexual projection issues in game play could easily be a lifetime research project, and that it is becoming that for some people. Still, I don't think the difficulty means we can be complacent about the kind of nonsense that goes on at E3 and how that completely alienates potential markets.

TL> I continue to think it’s a mistake to frame this issue as one in which we need to create games for girls or women.

The ultimate effect of that would seem to be to create a "girl's game" ghetto niche, right?

But it's interesting to compare that with feminist theory (incl. waves 1-3) and to think about how we can square acknowledgement of a substantially different agenda for games (demonstrated, btw, by a *concurrent* separate conference on womens' games) with a desire to make those issues part of mainstream conferences...

Didn't Aleks sum it up about right:


The Women's Game Conference kicked off today with a room full of feisty broads next to three rooms full of boys. Never the twain, as they say, shall meet. Sigh

What's the answer to that sense of frustration?

4.

greglas (quoting Aleks)>Never the twain, as they say, shall meet.

Were men allowed to attend the Women's Game Conference? Or was it strictly women-only?

Richard

5.

Oh, men were allowed to attend, and I actually moderated a panel at it (T.L. was on it). But there were very few men there. I cannot recall if I saw a male there who wasn't actually helping the conference(speaking, organizing, volunteering, etc), as opposed to being an attendee.

6.

Raph>Oh, men were allowed to attend, and I actually moderated a panel at it

Hmm, in that case why was it called the "Women's Game Conference" rather than the "Games for Women Conference"?

Richard

7.

Richard> in that case why was it called the "Women's Game Conference" rather than the "Games for Women Conference"?

Because that's even more misleading. According to the website: "The Game Initiative's Women's Game Conference focuses on women in the computer and video game industry. The conference program includes career paths for women in the industry, gender inclusive game design and women and girls as consumers of games"

Schedule here:
http://www.womensgameconference.com/program.html

8.

greglas (quoting web site)>The Game Initiative's Women's Game Conference focuses on women in the computer and video game industry. The conference program includes career paths for women in the industry, gender inclusive game design and women and girls as consumers of games

Hmm, so actually it's a "Women's Game Conference" and "Games for Women Conference" and a "Women in the Games Industry" conference, all rolled into one.

Unless there was a "Men welcome" sign at the door, I can see why the number of men attending it wasn't all that high. I'd like to have gone to the "Games for Women" part (well, I would if I'd been in Austin, which I wasn't), but it would have been very hard for me to judge in advance the mood of the other two components of the conference.

Richard

9.

Sadly, I think there were two entirely structural and unplanned reasons for the paucity of men in attendance. The first was that when Sheri set up the time schedule for sessions, she used the AGC's schedule from last year as a guide, and this year, they changed their time slots, resulting in two schedules that didn't coincide, at least if people wanted to take breaks.

Second, the conference schedule for the WGC was not included in the schedule for the AGC- it was at a separate booth, which many people probably read as 'some other conference' and so didn't check out. I know it was confusing for me, as a steering committee member for the WGC, to see the separation and watch the unfortunate division go into effect.

I think it's a good reminder to games researchers that structural issues can really impact on audience awareness as well as perceptions.

10.

This year was our first conference and it was set up to "test the waters"; to see if there was an audience for such a thing, and if there was, what they wanted to see offered there. That's why the topics were so broad. We were hoping to get feedback on what people liked, what they didn't, and what they wanted to see more of next year.

And we got terrific information! At this time it looks like next year's conference will start the day before the Austin conference, and then will share a day with the Austin Game Conference.

For the stand-alone day, we will, once again, focus on a particular topic with the goal of producing a white paper, as we have done this year. (This year's white paper will be published early next month.)

For the second day, we will work closely with the Austin Game Conference and make sure:
1. Our schedules match up (Oy! What a pain that was! I'm so sorry about that!!)
2. that our rooms are more convenient to the Austin Conference, (we were kinda stuck down around the side of the building, away from the Austin Game Conference) and
3. that our curriculum supports and adds to the Austin's conference. At this time the requests have been for more panels on marketing and HR, and more panels on actual content as it pertains to women.

We had a great time and, actually, there were quite a few guys who wandered over into our area. They were very welcome. After all, this conference is open to anyone who is interested in the issues surrounding women and computer games!

Thank you to everyone who participated.. and if you're interested in participating next year, please visit our website http://www.womensgameconference.com.

11.

I think it's interesting this thread moved more toward asking the WGC for some answers (great to see the posts from both Mia and Sheri btw :) and not at all on some of the questions I raised about design.

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