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I am a software engineer, former game programmer, and game collector of retro games of the 8-bit era on up.
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Ok, here's a topic I'm going to throw out there and see if anyone's interested. I was discussing this with someone on another site but it's really devolved into an anti-male bashing, which I pretty much loathe.

I'd like to explore the notion of "Male Privledge" in gaming. Does it exist? Does it perpetuate stereotypes. Is there a bar to making games that appeal to women that doesn't exist for men or is it just an industry that is largely appeals to men?

I was discussing this with a person an another website and their argument was it's because it's a male dominated industry, and thus sexist games like MW3, BF3, Zelda, Mario, etc. exist.

I did use games like Persona, Heavenly Sword, Cooking Mama, as counter points but it was totally ignored. I pointed out that if many female hero games like Heavenly Sword fail to get support from the female gamer community, is it ultimately up to the male gamer community to help prop it up, even if it's not appealing to them? This seemed pretty counter intuitive.

They also seemed to imply that there was some bar to women creating an industry for it through programming a game and through entrepreneurship creating a market. I don't believe that to be the case, but then they cited that society somehow was creating a social barrier to this happening? Women makeup 60% of the US intelligentsia in upper level education, I find it hard to believe that not one of them is capable of programming a game and successfully selling it to a female market.

I also had a hard time identifying what a female gamer would want in a female game. I'm male so what appeals to me is a product of my gender and upbringing. I got the impression this person I was having the discussion with felt that a female choice should be given to a game like MW3 that allowed women to engage in a combat role. My impression of why this occurred was because the military and combat arms specifically is a male dominated area. I thought a game attempting that sort of thing was attempting to portray the modern image of the military at the time, and was accused of adhering to some gender specific programming. I simply regard it as being realistic, the military is primarily men and thus that's how they decided to portray it. Is it sexist? Perhaps, but then so is the military, but that's not the fault of gaming. Is it any less sexist that all child care and cooking games are geared towards females? Most likely, but my ultimate conclusion is that it's more a function of capitalism and market demand than an overt sexism in game design, and that companies are just making what sells, and people are buying them accordingly. Back to Heavenly Sword relationship to female gamers, if women were such a large portion of the market, should not much of that market supported the game? Is it the fault of men if it doesn't get support of women, or is there some gender predisposition outside of gaming that determines the market?