Gender and Diversity at E3
May 2004




There is a lot in the press these days about women gamers and "gray gamers" and how broad the games market really can be. Needless to say, we still have a long way to go.

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There have been steps forward - but companies like Microsoft and Eidos take a great leap backward when they employ porn stars to promote their games. That is - games that don't feature the stars or their porn in any way.

I get it, tho. Even just signing autographs, Tara produced quite a line...exactly what the analysts and chain store managers are looking for. At least, so far.





I'm not against sexy or even physically exaggerated characters - I just like it when exaggeration is an equal-opportunity thing, and different body types are explored. More variety, more choice, more expression. Give us some Crumb or Coop women, some Tom of Finland!

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Even something as Hallmark as this collection of canned styles and attitudes is ok (tho I'd find it more appealing if there were more than 1 person of color for every 20 or 50). Anything is better than the uber-masculine, homo-erotic power fantasy of titles like "The Shield" (more on this game in the general pix).

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Still - there aren't a lot of powerful characters for us girls to grab on to without either donning leather halter tops, pointy ears, or demon fangs. Or crossing over to occupy a faceless male body.

What would the faceless female represent? Can you even imagine a faceless female avatar?

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Nice to see G4 interviewing booth babes this year - sure to get the scoop on the most important trends in the industry. At least some of the publishersare starting to give their props sensible footwear.

I pray for their arches every year.



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 This scene fascinated me.

 And who are these guys?  

Babe wranglers?

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The Playboy bunny could not jump while playing Harmonix's Anti Grav. "I'll pop out!"

Greg turned to me while she was playing and smiled. "She's pretty good!"


Not only did 25 To Life look and feel generic...the cops vs. gang SOCOM-style gameplay left me feeling queasy. "Thug Life", "Urban Lifestyle" and "Gritty Feel" are some of the phrases you'll see in previews for this game. I found it offensive.

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The striptease sections of Rumble Roses were also pretty pathetic.

I wish someone would spend the money to build some really high-quality, sexy, alluring characters, and then -  write a game/story where that sexiness was motivated and compelling, part of the action. Not tacked on to motivate the player like a carrot on a stick.

From an IGN preview: ...many of the maneuvers are said to leave opponents in, what we will call, "compromising positions".


I have no idea what these two girls were doing at the show.. perhaps their mom works for a developer or publisher?

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How strange it was to see their excited, fresh faces in the sea of bad night-club lighting, to hear child voices over the din of competing techno soundtracks.

What are we doing to encourage these girls to keep playing as they get older?


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The gameplay in LL certainly won't scare them off with its complexity.




I did like the trailer for Resident Evil Apocalypse... disguised as an ad for anti-aging creme that turns women into famished, killer zombies.

Ah well. See you next year.