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Thursday, 26 January 2012


On 19th January 2012 our group presented the response to the question from Rebel Play.
The design of our Prezi was simple, we decided to make it look like a crossword so that it was visually stimulating and to show how each area interconnected with the other.
The Prezi worked well, however in hindsight it was too simple and lacked detail and relevant images and information, with more time we would have experimented with it and thus expanding the different possibilities and avenues.
The presentation itself went well, each team member expresses their ideas and views clearly and concisely. As a group we realise that we could have been more rehearsed and therefore more prepared for the final presentation, due to time restraints we were unable to time it and thus we over ran by 2 minutes.
In a group discussion a few days later we contemplated our use of the wiki which was set up, initially we were enthused and excited to use this as it would have allowed us to match our different areas together more smoothly and this is something we would definitely look to do in the future.
As well as this it was evident that although we had conducted a lot of research and investigative skills our presentation was lacking an adequate conclusion. This is something that we rectified for the final online submission by linking each section with the two questions. It worked well and added a structure to our final piece.
Overall I have enjoyed this group work, I look forward to future multi-platform interaction and team work.

Survey Results

Our group conducted a questionnaire on SurveyMonkey, this allowed us to reach a wider audience. We gained some interesting responses to questions, a few of which are detailed below.

We asked:
Do you think that games consoles appeal to a specific gender?


  • One the most part, many games are masculine ideals: sport, war, cars etc
  • Men seen to play video games a lot more than women, well at least in my circle of friends.
  • due to the type of games associated with their "big releases" such as xbox and call of duty
  • Popular console games tend to sell because of violence, with many of this season's releases being testosterone powered First Person Shooters, or if it is a game with a female character, they will be dressed in a way that will make boys but the game. There is nothing to say that it isn't for girls, girls can play games just as well as boys, but games get targeted at boys primarily.
  • Most popular games are violent
  • tend to always be games appealed to male gender as in action adventure, explosions and fights
  • Microsoft seem to market more towards the male gender, by advertising a lot of war, and battling games (with mostly male characters) However, Nintendo DS and Wii seem to be marketed towards the female gender by featuring female artists such as the Saturdays playing nintendogs etc.
  • Aimed more to men than girls in how they're created and how they're promoted
  • Seem to appeal more to boys.

Out of the following, which do you feel has the least realistic female representation?

Lara Croft
Grand Theft Auto
Resident Evil 0.0%0
The Legend of Zelda
Halo 0.0%0
Beyond Good and Evil 0.0%0
When asked why people stated that:

 The only females I ever saw on GTA were prostitutes!
Due to the animation and behaviour of female characters, very futuristic
Out of the given options, Grand Theft Auto paints most women as prostitutes. At least Lara Croft and Jill Valentine from the Resident Evil series are painted as strong, independent women that, if not representitive, at least gives a good role model. In Halo, the only woman is Cortana, who is computerised, but it doesn't really say anything about gender.
Half the world female population aren't prostitutes
Grand theft auto seems to present women as unrealistic as possible eg. Prostitutes. This doesn't portray the majority of women in reality what so ever.


By using a combination of Prezi and Screenr here is Group 6's final presentation:

Our group decided to investigate the ways in which Rebel Play can appeal to women through their games, by carefully looking into areas such as advertising, the representation of women in games and the representation of women in society. 

Advertising and Marketing

Advertising is key to any products success, any campaign has the potential to make or brake sales. In recent years, niche advertising has targeted individual consumers. Reaching out to people in their homes via a multitude of platforms sets up a viral fan-base for games.
Nintendo Wii have pulled this very idea off successfully.

Perhaps Rebel Play could introduce this along side their games, by targeting different audiences via specific adverts they will gain a larger spectrum of potential consumers.

Aesthetic Analysis

The latter part of the question related to games console aesthetics. As a group we thought that we should focus on the games as well as the distribution.
There has been a cross over between games and films in recent years, this has been evident through the graphical development as well as the need for a story. It has translated its way to the advertisement and product design, games now offer a feature trailer and they have been beginning increasingly similar to those which market films.
This has created a new age of game, as they are becoming accept as the norm for past times within homes. It also creates fandom, with new games launch being anticipated weeks in advance, they have also began to target these fans via niche advertising. Targeting specific players via host websites and according to their likes and dislikes. Rebel Play could also adopt this, and thus create a multi-platform gaming experience. Therefore the many different aspects of Web 2.0 can and should be integrated into games, augmented reality adverts could also help the gaming communities become part of the game in real time.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Portrayal of Women

Research showed that the most iconic characters who are female in games are Lara Croft, Princess Peach and Zelda.

What about fighting games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield? Almost all of these women have been incredibly sexualized; they take on the incredibly passive role in just about every game. Women in games are treated as eye candy or simply as an object to be saved, but this isn't new. Cast your mind back to Disney films, which usually portrayed a princess who needs to be rescued from something evil by a handsome prince. This is a fairy tale, therefore could it be said that games are the modern extension and edition of the fairy tale?

Many people, including Edgnet states that:

“Gaming is gaining among women: women own the casual and social gaming areas and have gained on male gamers generally.”

“Women over 18 represent a greater portion of the game playing population than 42%”

Gumbovision states that women gamers wear an electronic burka, “they are afraid to show any gender or identity for the responces of being immediately vilified, berated or fawned over as an ideal instead of a person.”

“Over sexed, blond portrayals of women should be outliers instead of the norm.”

“Men are often proportioned just as outrageously as women.” The clothing that characters wear says a lot about their character, male avatars with torn trousers, scars or a specific tone will often have a more sophisticated back story than female avatars that are over-sexualised and are there to be beautiful.

One female gamer discussed her difficulties in being a gamer; she mentioned that there was an Asian aesthetic. “If you are a good gamer then you must be Asian”. Although stereotypes exist, it is usually the minority who exploit this and fall to sexism and verbal abuse within the gaming community.

On the other hand, why should games present a real representation? They, after all, are escapism from the real world. If male characters are unrealistic would that stop a woman playing a certain game? Out of the 10 women that I have asked 99% said that it would not stop them from playing. One even noted that games often use aliens or creatures, “how realistic is it being eaten by a zombie”. This moves me on to my other point, gaming adverts and games themselves are becoming like films. The way they are marketed appeals greatly to the film audience, and so the cross over between the two is becoming increasingly blurred.

Aside from combat and fighting games there has been a huge increase in fitness games, Nintendo have owned this market with the Wii. The ability to get fit without leaving the house has become popular across the globe. Nintendo use a wide variety of adverts to appeal to several different markets, and the games that run with the system can be personalised by the user by creating a Mii character.

I contacted a member of the Nintendo Company to ask some questions about their campaign and how they identified that they needed to target more than one audience and had this response:

Hello Laura,

Thanks for contacting Nintendo of America. I’m sorry for not replying sooner. We’ve been receiving larger than normal email volumes, which has impacted our response time.

While I would like to be able to assist you with your project, I don't have access to the type of information that you're looking for. Due to the number of similar emails that we receive, we're not able to assist with school assignments, and we're not equipped to track down the official responses to your questions that you're looking for. We do, however, appreciate your enthusiasm and curiosity.

It may interest you to know that all of the information we have available is posted on our website at If you visit our site, be sure to check out the "Corporate" section. This is where we have posted Nintendo's business-related information, annual reports, and a company history.

Also, several books and articles have been written on the video game industry. "Game Over” by David Sheff and “The Ultimate History of Video Games” by Steve L. Kent were written several years ago, but are excellent resources on the video game industry.

Although we regret being unable to assist you with your request, we're confident that you will find the listed resources useful.


Alain Dao
Nintendo of America Inc

Understanding Digital Games

Social media is a huge part of our lives, a site such as Facebook currently has:

·         More than 800 million active users

·         More than 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day

·         Average user has 130 friends

With unlimited access, personalisation and the idea of "freedom of speech", has social media become the left wing portal for society? Ideas, values and beliefs are discussed readily across many sites which is why I looked to at people on Twitter, a micro-blogging site where users can discuss current issues and share their own ideologies with the world.

A simple search of "Women in games" came up with millions of Tweets. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the “noise” of social media, what information is helpful and what isn’t.

However there was a lot of useful links, websites and facts.
Here are a few of the best ones I found:
·         @DiscoverIndia shared an article entitled:

Gamers: Women not allowed?” By Owen Good

A gaming convention had banned women due to issues of violence, I found this interesting and even though it was from America there is a huge issue of verbal abuse to women who play games. Why is this? Is it because there is a typecast image of a female gamer or do men just feel threatened?

Later, they clarified that:

"We actively discourage gamers from being the kind of misogynistic jack wagons seen in the Reddit post, and such behaviour should not be tolerated. Frankly, we don't like that kind of player either. So far as this event goes, it is a special event designed specifically for male gamers. Further, it is meant as a getaway designed to help said male contingent become better men both for themselves and for those who love us."

            There was an interesting comment below this article from @FauxBrau

“That’s because women are a minority in gaming, and don’t possess the same privileges that men do. Man all gaming together is common.”

            Another simply wrote that:

                        “Sexism works both ways”

·        Defend Your Research: What makes a team smarter” By Anita Wooley and Thomas Malone. It discusses how there’s little correlation between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members. But if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises. Therefore with online gaming which promotes team work, are men more likely to win if a woman is on their team? On the other hand is it not just down to practice and skill?