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Women are not all alike

You may think that’s the dumbest subject line you’ve ever seen, but it’s something I have to tell people over and over again… and they never listen.

Often I am asked “what are the best games for women?”

I used to try to answer that. Now, I simply refuse.

There are no “best games for women” any more than there are “best games for middle aged Asian men.” But for some insane reason, the industry keeps trying to put all women into one lump category.

I was on a panel last year at Casual Connect in which I was told I would be asked one question. The question I was asked was “How do you market to women?”

MY answer, “You don’t.”

When I was at SOE, I was told who my market was. I was told how old he was, how much education he had, what his household income was, how many consoles he owned, what he was currently playing, what he had played last.

Now, if I need that information about my male market, why would it be ANY different for my female market?


So, at the end of my talk at Casual Connect, I had a person who was very highly placed in one of the casual game companies follow me and corral me in the restroom.

“I just want to thank you for your comments!” she said. “That was the best and most useful information I’ve heard here all day.

I thanked her for her kind words and thanked Casual Connect for giving me the opportunity to speak, but in my head I was thinking

Really? REALLY?! Oh come on, folks, this is marketing 101.

We learned that women are just as diverse as men back during the days of women’s suffrage. The PRIMARY objection to giving women the right to vote was the fear that women would be this one, massive voting block that would unbalance the entire election process.

Because OBVIOUSLY women will all vote exactly the same, right?



Women are NOT one massive hive mind. We have as many different opinions, ideas, wants and dislikes as any other group of humans. We do not vote alike, we will not buy the same games.

THEREFORE, if you do want to market your game to a female audience, then for cryin’ out loud.. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Find out everything you can about the specific demographic you are aiming for… and that can’t be ALL women any more than it can be “all Hispanic men!”

Get out there, identify them, get as much detail as you can, and then design your title to meet their identified entertainment needs.

That’s how you market for women!

Published inRandom Musings

One Comment

  1. Honestly, it’s not just women who the industry misrepresents by treating them as monolithic – the male gamer is almost as likely to be treated as one “block” who can be treated in the same way, at least in my experience. Demographic data is treated by some developers as some strange kind of evil, and most marketing departments seem to have one basic bag of tricks and thus gear development towards titles that fit that narrow approach.

    Perhaps, however, the situation becomes worse for women since the industry employs proportionately so few, thus making them “exotic”. Nonetheless, I would be inclined to see this problem as an endemic inability to think in market terms (or an assumption that to think in such terms is ‘wrong’) rather than expressly a gender issue.

    Case in point, how often does Michelle Hinn get asked “what’s the best thing we can do to get disabled players into our audience?” – as if disabilities were all the same! It’s a funny old species we belong to… 😉

    All the best!

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