Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Blog Banter Reviewed

The response to the special edition Ladies of New Eden Blog Banter has been huge. This post is for those of you that don't have time to read all the blogs, or who are struggling to remember who said what. If I've missed you out, or you think I've misrepresented what you said, write me a comment. This post will be added to as I read through the blogs.

Women Are Different!

Ombeve kicked off the Banter by stating that the problem we were up against was a sociological one. There are fewer females in Eve because the majority of females are not interested in gaming or the sci-fi genre. Astral's Eve Trial by Fire agreed, and suggested that maybe the key difference was that males enjoy destructive gaming while females prefer constructive gaming. It was thought that Planetary Interaction might encourage this urge to build. The same thoughts were shared by Learning to Fly who suggested that Incarna was another addition that might also make the game more accesible to females. Vikings of Eve felt that a woman's desire to create and nurture, rather than destroy, was not catered for in Eve.

No Change!

The mood was lightened by Evoganda. Who sarcastically suggested such measures as kittens and a 'Nagger Class Cruiser' to attract females to the game. But ended seriously by suggesting that game changes for the sake of attracting females would be bad. The Nomadic Gamer also thought that game changes were not an option and instead looked for the playerbase to change by becoming much more welcoming to females.


However, many blogs were in favour of actual changes to game design. A number of key Eve issues that hinder females enjoying the game were picked up by The Ghost Report. These included a lack of individuality amongst players and a cumbersome and non-immersive UI. Linked Dreams added to these issues the lack of combat support roles and not being able to bond with your ship as you might an avatar in another game. Along these lines, Diary of a Garbageman suggested a larger focus on 'career paths' was needed to both aid and monitor player training.

Go Casual

Some blogs felt a game like Eve was just too 'hardcore' for general consumption by women. In particular Vive Virtual who felt that, as a result of their upbringing, women would be predisposed to dislike a harsh and complex game like Eve. Eve SOB talked about his experience of trying unsuccesfully to get his wife to play Eve and suggested that the lack of females may be due to the game not being casual enough. Garhead took this idea and ran with it, suggesting a number of ideas for Eve to encourage casual play.

Stay Hardcore

Mandrill disagreed with the idea of making the game more casual. Changing the game or marketing towards women was felt to be condescending and was a product of stereotyping female gamers. This was a trap that The Hydrostatic Capsule also refused to fall into, but instead stated that the liberty all players, regardless of gender, have, to rise all the way to managing vast alliances, would be an attractive prospect to female gamers. WfSeg claimed that making the game more casual could possibly alienate existing players who prefer Eve as it is.

Go for Visuals

The visual aesthetic of Eve was the key issue that need improving for Prano's Journey, who also issued a plea for the remembrance of Eve widows, the wives whose husbands played Eve all day long. Record of Alva Dyson agreed that visual changes would be worthwhile, such as bright ship colours and glittery module effects. Being a woman and having never played Eve, Draco Horizons also suggested a large list of female-enticing game changes, many of them cosmetic, that would convince her to play.

Go for Marketing

Making cosmetic changes was a view opposed by many, who rather thought that Eve was fine, but the way it was marketed needed changing. Errant Thoughts was one blogger who felt that rather than adding glitz and glamour, the non-combat activities in Eve needed greater publicising. Life in Low Sec expanded on this by appealing to CCP to market Eve more intelligently towards females, who might be attracted towards roles in Eve that are kept out of the spotlight. A similar view was held by Where the Frack is my Ship?, who used the examples of several notable female Eve players who were involved in different aspects of the game. A Little Bit of Blue also championed this idea and highlighted the importance of playing with friends in order to overcome the learning curve.

More Gentlemen Needed!

Bloggers weren't unanimous in blaming CCP, some targeted problems with the playerbase. Rantuket was one who placed the blame squarely on the head of CCP for bad marketing. But while La Vie d'une Capsuliere agreed that Eve marketing needs to change, it was also claimed that a male dominated playerbase could be intimidatory and repellent to women. Along these lines Max Torps warned CCP against making Incarna too male oriented and 'seedy', but rather take time to enhance the position of female role-models in Eve. Depths Unknown echoes some of these views when claiming males in Eve often act in a way that females find repulsive and that only the toughest of females can survive. Using many in-game experiences Talk Nerdy to Me highlighted the challenges some women could face as a result of trying to join an uncompromising male culture.

What's the Big Deal?

Eve's Parity Bit had just one question, what's the fuss about? If females like the game, they will play it, if they don't, then that's fine.


  1. Love this idea! Please keep it up!

  2. Added the link to my Fan page, right here. Become a fan if you aren't yet!

  3. This is a fantastic review! I like how you've grouped a lot of the responses. It is letting me go through and look at similar articles and weight the merits of each!