This segment on the Today show, aired June 18, 2009, talks about how the games industry is increasingly focusing on girls and women in game creation and marketing. While the segment has its cringeworthy moments (floating talking head in a video game world, ew!), it mostly provides a good overview of current industry thinking about designing and marketing games for girls and women. Interviews with women on the floor of GDC are generally very good.
My daughter Tatum is shown in the segment (she’s in the light blue top with brown straps). She was invited up to Ubisoft in San Francisco for an afternoon during GDC for the taping of the segment. They were great hosts!
When Tatum was interviewed her about her favorite games for the Nintendo DS, one of her answers was Electroplankton. I was so proud. Needless to say, that wasn’t the right answer, and they didn’t show that in the segment. While the segment talks about the fashion designer game, the girls were generally more interested in the games about virtual pets.
A touching moment came after the camera crew had left, when Morgan, the Frag Doll interviewed in the segment, talked to the girls. She was super genuine about her interest in video games, and wanting the girls to know you could be a serious female gamer. She also touched briefly on her difficulty being accepted as a girl gamer growing up. That was great. Then she gave each of the girls their own Frag Doll t-shirt, which they loved. Tatum’s Mom was less enthusiastic.
About the author: Jim is Professor and Chair of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz. He has research interests in procedural level generation for computer games, as well as automatic bug prediction. His favorite games are Radiant Silvergun and Civilization IV. Read more from this author