Warning: beware of extremely random thoughts provoked by today's reading!
At what point of the game-buying process do girls drop out? Do girls ever think, "Yeah, I'd like that game?" How many girls are driven off by the technical requirements - not that girls are scared of them, but that they don't have the hardware? Why do the games get into girls' hands at such a lower rate? Audry Taylor asks why girls will play endless Solitaire but not start up a computer game that requires any kind of installation. How many are driven off by the hassle factor? This seems useful to know.
Are women less willing to participate in activities that don't have an apparent (or purposeful) point?
Follow up: a recent brain study showed that people are terrible at self-reporting exactly what parts of a game they found fun. What brain study? Where?
Can you have tragedy in a medium in which you also have control? Case in point: Aeris in FFVII. Was that a game-like experience? How did players react to that moment?
20% of all (off-the-shelf - an important distinction) video-games are sold through Wal-Mart, and that fraction is only going to grow. How does the demographic of Wal-Mart buyers differ from other game-store buyers? There are plenty of people looking at what Wal-Mart is doing wrong (bowdlerization, censorship), but is Wal-Mart doing anything right in terms of creating a different culture of games? Do people who buy games from Wal-Mart play differently from people who are a larger part of traditional game culture?
It would be interesting to look at representations of age in video-games, which are clearly a medium aimed at youth.
Discussion on the women-dev list about The Longest Journey: is playing the game without playing through the puzzles still playing a game? Theoretically, no, but experientially, yes. How much choice can you take out of a game before it no longer feels like a game? Is the illusion of choice enough? Is the possibility of failure enough? When do players stop thinking a game is a game? How universal is the perception of "game-ness"?
Gus's research on who calls herself (or himself) a gamer: is the line of being "a gamer" versus someone who "plays games" different for men and for women? How is it different? What is most important: time spent playing games, priority of games over other hobbies, variety of games played, skill within playing games, participation in gamer culture?
I need to look at Shadowbane - evidently it's doing something interesting in terms of small-scale games (with lots of player management capacity) within a larger-scale game. (Has anyone here played?)
Is it really true that there are MUDs where you gain XP based on the number of lines in a pose? (And is this where some of the more grievous thesaurus-abuse comes from?)
Can we look at the game development process and compare it to the process of writing and making a television show? What is and isn't useful about the comparison?
Whew. Sorry for the brain-spew, folks. It's nice to be back to work, and to realize that taking some time off has really helped clear my head. :)