How to Design Games that Appeal to Both Genders
Designing a video game isn’t an easy task, and it’s even harder to design one that makes everybody happy. Nonetheless, video game developers mustn’t alienate any part of their playing community, which extends to ensuring gamers of both genders can fully engage with the game.
By doing the necessary research, it is possible to create a more inclusive and enjoyable gaming experience for all players. Whether it’s finding video games for couples to enjoy together or you just want to try something new, here are some things to look out for.
The Most Important Factors to Consider
It’d be lazy of us to say that men and women are entirely different and want different things from a video game – that wouldn’t be true. That being said, numerous factors should be considered when designing an inclusive, enjoyable video game. Despite this, we think it’s safe to say that gamers, no matter their gender, enjoy well-designed, challenging, and immersive games.
Consider the Genre of the Game
It’s been widely accepted within the gaming industry that internal data shows that female gamers tend to be more attracted to video games that focus on collaboration and the social aspect. This is a stark contrast to male gamers, who are said to prefer competitive and individual games. While this isn’t a one-size-fits-all example, it highlights the need for game designers to ensure their games include all of the necessary fundamental aspects that both genders want.
Characterization Is Key
Let’s be honest, the gaming industry has done women incredibly dirty over the past couple of decades, and it should be no surprise to learn that more gamers tend to be men, likely due to this. Women are often massively underrepresented in video games, and there has been a trend to include women only as plot devices or as an object with heightened sexuality. There is a clear need to create female characters treated as equals who serve a genuine purpose in games.
Don’t Neglect The Plot
When it comes to creating a good video game, irrespective of the intended audience, a good plot should be central to the work that’s done. A game can be as inclusive as humanly possible and designed to appeal to anyone and everyone, but if the plot itself is terrible, it won’t be played by either gender. It’d be wise for developers to create and finetune a well-developed storyline and include exciting characters in the game and action elements that will keep players engaged.
Show Some Personality
No two gamers are the same. While it might seem like a good idea to create something that appeals to both genders, it’s important to remember that a player is unique and that relying on outdated stereotypes, male- or female-related, can do severe damage. Instead, it’s a good idea to take onboard feedback from the gaming community, listen to what people want, and then give it your own personal twist. People invest themselves in things that are fueled by passion.
Popular Games That Have Been Able to Appeal to Both Genders
As we’re sure you’ve gathered by now, creating an interesting and exciting game that can appeal to all members of the gaming community isn’t an easy task. Despite this, here are some examples of video games that have managed to do exactly that.
Arguably the most popular and played video game of all time, Minecraft has universal appeal, and that’s because of the points raised above. It doesn’t rely on lazy stereotypes and instead focuses on being a game that is so easy to engage with.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This open-world action-adventure game features a strong storyline and well-developed characters, which appeals to women. At the same time, the game’s action-packed gameplay and challenging puzzles have been shown to appeal more to men.
This team-based first-person shooter game features a diverse cast of characters, each with special abilities and backstories. What this game does especially well is include female characters that are playable and have unique personalities and clear advantages.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
While this game might be a little more popular among female players, you’d be surprised at how many men also play the game. It’s perfect for unwinding and has a Minecraft element without the extensive building aspect. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.