October 11, 2006

Girls and Kenny on WoW

by Mary Flanagan · , 1:51 am

According to “Game News”‘ report on the Nielsen Entertainment’s third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study (released 2 days ago),
there are roughly 117 million “Active Gamers.” Women make up nearly two- thirds of all online gamers, but men still outnumber women in the overall video game universe by more than two-to-one. Check it out. Nielsen conducted the study online with 2,200 “Active Gamers” — those 13 years or
older who owned a gaming device and played games at least once a week.

And while they are all boys, and therefore not in the majority online, check out episode 1008 (# 147) “Make love not warcraft” of South Park, which takes place mostly in WoW. OMG.

8 Responses to “Girls and Kenny on WoW”

  1. andrew Says:

    You can watch the whole episode here. OMG I was dying. It’s so good.

  2. josh g. Says:

    What do they mean by “men still outnumber women in the overall video game universe by more than two-to-one”? Are they referring to character gender?

  3. josh g. Says:

    Oh, duh, I guess they’re referring to the total number of gamers, not just those playing online.

    Don’t you love when you realize the answer to a question the moment after you ask it?

  4. Patrick Says:

    “This could be the end of the world… of warcraft.”

    The episode was interesting in its representation of gamers having no lives, making me think that the solution to more gender parity at large is less grindalicous games, though thats pretty obvious and most online games that are played by women, like casual games, aren’t as time consuming. Still, its interesting to see that extreme of things as the focus of the representation. I guess an episode about middle-aged women catching a game of Zuma at lunch wouldn’t be as funny.

  5. josemanuel Says:

    What does grindalicous mean?

  6. mary Says:

    like everything in south park, I think gamers having no life is spoofed just as much as anything else. Recall that the father-son bonding as important, and the social aspect of gaming is equally celebrated!

    re: gender in the study, the study refers to the players, not the characters.

  7. mark Says:

    This study provides some sorely needed raw data, although I wish they had broken it up a bit more. People who play games at least once a week is a pretty broad definition of “gamer”, and doesn’t really distinguish between people who play games regularly and consider it one of their major hobbies, and people who play, say, a game of Freecell now and then. It’s sort of like giving data on “music aficionados” and not distinguishing between the avid music nerd and the person who listens to the radio on the way to work but has never bought a CD, and all the gradations in between.

  8. Patrick Says:

    Jose, “grindalicous” is a term I borrowed from Damion Schubert to describe games where the primary loop of play involves lots and lots of repetition, yet, as WoW attests, these games can still do insanely well.

    Mary, thats a good point. What I found most interesting about the game is that a phenomena outside the magic circle is the focus of the conflict, rather than something designed into the game itself. The Blizzard board member protests that the game wasn’t designed to allow rampant PK’ing, yet it happens. It suggests that maybe the real meaning of gameplay comes from what the players bring to the game, rather than something sturcturally inherent.

Powered by WordPress