Monday, 19 April 2010

Sorry, No Pink Spaceships Here Please

Welcome to a special installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always good fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's Blog Banter is on the subject of women, who at present make up only 5% of Eve's playerbase. The big question is:

What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?

My personal Eve experience doesn't qualify me to speak on this subject at all. The corp I belong to has one female that I know of, and she is the sum total of my interaction with females in Eve so far. But if you were hoping for a short blog post, then I'm afraid I am going to disappoint you. Here then are my views, backed up with zero evidence or experience.

To me, this whole question hinges around a key game design issue. What is the motive behind creating a game? Do you design a game to appeal to a certain group of people, or do you design a game because you think the core idea is good? When Eve was dreamed up, was the initial motive to create a game that would appeal to sci-fi loving, space-hooked, young males? Or was it not the case that Eve was created because a huge, massively mutiplayer, open-market, harsh, cooperative, spaceship simulator was just an amazing, bold and daring idea?

You see, when you decide to make a game, it should be based on the merits of the idea itself. It should have nothing to do with needing to fill a gap in market, or trying to appeal to a specific type of person.

A demographic should be created for a game! Not a game for a demographic!

So what has this got to do with females in Eve?

My point is this. Don't change Eve purely to appeal to some demographic, whether it be females or pre-adolescent kids or grandparents. Instead, change Eve to make it a better game! This is surely the only variable we should consider when making a game change. Now sometimes making the game better will induce a change in the demographic. For example the inclusion of tutorial missions made the game more accesible to younger players. That's brilliant! But making all ships have 100% insurance might also have the same demographic affect, that doesn't make it a good game change!

The truth is that I'm not a huge sci-fi fan. I have only a cursory interest in spaceships and space travel. If Eve was created to appeal to a demographic, then it definitely wasn't aimed at me. Instead I play Eve because it is a fantastic game, full of innovative ideas and creative game design.

So, I'm really sorry females but I'm not going to start suggesting game changes purely so I can see more of you play Eve. That's not a sacrifice I am willing to make. But before you label me as a cold-hearted and a close-minded individual; changing the game to suit a demographic is only half the story.

The other half is you, or me - all of us. The community.

Eve is a game that requires player interaction if you want to get the most out of it. The game is great, but would it be even half as good without the community we are part of and the interaction we enjoy? This is a key part of Eve, just as important as the game itself. So although I've ruled out changing the gameplay purely for the sake of attracting females, I have no objection to the community doing all it can to increase and boost the female playerbase.

None of us play this game just because we are sci-fi loving spaceship nerds - most of us probably aren't. We play the game because it is fun and it has an active and vibrant community that gives us both camaraderie and friendship. There is no reason why any female shouldn't be attracted to this.

So my advice is keep interacting. Keep blogging. Keep chatting. Keep twittering. Keep showing that there is more to this game than spaceships.

The strength of our community will attract female players, and hopefully some of the changes to make Eve better will also do the same. I'll leave you with one last thought:

Any gaming community that has the strength and cohesion to even begin to address this subject sensibly and at length is surely on the right track.

Other Banters:

1. Ombeve - The Ladies of New Eden
2. Astral's Eve Trial by Fire - Is Eve a Man's World?
3. Evoganda - Chicks 'N Ships
4. The Ghosts Report - The Girls Who Fly Spaceships
5. Eve SOB - It's Not About Fluffy Bloody Kittens People!
6. Max Torps - Space Boobies Are Bad, m'kay?
7. Learning To Fly - I like Girls
8. Garhead - Making Eve More Casual
9. Prano's Journey - What Women Want...
10. Rantuket - I Wish My Wife Played Eve
11. Eve's Parity Bit - Is There Something Special About Women?
12. La Vie d'une Capsuliere - Banter
13. Linked Dreams - CK's Blog Banter
14. Mandrill - The Female of the Species
15. Diary of a Garbageman - The Ladies
16. Record of Alva Dyson - Women Who Want Eve
17. The Hydrostatic Capsule - Tech 2 Stilettos
18. The Nomadic Gamer - New Eden Doesn't Need to Change for Eve - Adam Needs to Get Over Himself
19. Errant Thoughts - Eve Online and ... women (sorta)
20. Life in Low Sec - Think Outside the Spaceship
21. WfSeg - Women, Women, Women
22. Depths Unknown - Girls Just Wanna Have... Guns!
23. Where the Frack is my Ship? - It's a Woman's World (They Just Don't Know it Yet)
24. Draco Horizons - Notebook Banter (click Blog)
25. A Little Bit of Blue - Don't Change Eve for Me!
26. Vikings of Eve - Getting in Touch With Our Feminine Side
27. Vive Virtual - Women in Eve
28. Talk Nerdy to Me - Where are Teh Laydeez of Eve?


  1. On the contrary! I always liked this short story, written very tongue-in-cheek by a female Eve player (took me some time to find it back):