Will Complex Character Dramas Appeal to Female Gamers?
Posted on September 28, 2005Newsweek has an interesting article about how game developers are focusing more on women and developing games with more of a social and element element to them. Of course, there are amny women that love playing first-person shooters and action video games but this particular Newsweek article focuses on game companies that are trying to develop games for women that aren't already active gamers. The article says some females have been attracted social worlds in games like the Sims. Newsweek says a Sims producer told them that some of the female Sim players are what are known as dollhousers and a few of the men sound like dollhouse ruiners.
Virginia McArthur, a Sims producer, tells Newsweek, "We have what we call our deviant players. I hate stereotypes, but they're usually male, and they like to create chaos."
She says some deviant players will put Sims families in hiomes with no door and windows. They face certain death in this scenario.
She also says a lot of women players are "dollhourse." McArthur says, "They like to build their dream house." After the house is just they way they want it "then they can spend all their time socializing."
The article also says women are drawn to highly interactive MMORPG's like the popular World of Warcraft game. The most interesting part of this article is the discussion of a game called Facade that uses artificial intelligence to simulate real emotions in the game's characters. Facade bills itself as a one-act interactive drama.
Facade sounds like it may a little too dramatic for most people but these algorithms used to generate complex character behaviors and emotions will probably be incorporated into many virtual worlds in the future. The more real the non-player characters seem the more interesting the games can become. It will take a lot to pull the daytime Soaps crowd from their television sets but it could happen and the game company that figures it out could bring in huge revenues.
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