24 Feb 2015
Bring on the Cute Stuff
Which elements of any particular game are the most influential in your decision to play it? Is it the controls, the game world, the storyline, or something else? For me, regardless of anything else, it’s the artwork. A game’s art style plays a very important role in determining whether I’m going to pick it up and play, or not. And I don’t think I’m alone.
Allow me to confess that I am, in fact, a woman. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but just a typical woman who enjoys games. I started playing games when I was very little, and I still remember the name of my first game. It was Rayman, and I’m still a big fan of this franchise. It was a fantastic game, and I was immediately attracted to the look of its artwork and graphics.
These days, Rayman might not look very impressive, but for a game released in the 90s, it was absolutely amazing. Especially given that most other games at the time looked like this:
There were a ton of classic games that came out in the 90s. But as a little girl, I just couldn’t bear to look at all the monstrous characters featured in a great many of them. Perhaps male gamers would appreciate this style, but for me, no thanks. I’ll stick with Mega Mind 3D Pinball. I suppose that this is a factor in why so many 90s gamers were male.
It’s not a pixelated style or an issue about frame quality either. Super Mario was massively popular between girls. To crack this market, games need bright colors and cute characters (very important), and a cool name can’t hurt either.
I’d like to discuss League of Legends, the most popular PC game in the world. I have been playing LOL for over 2 years, but before I began, I played DOTA for almost a month. Both DOTA and LOL are MOBA games, but as soon as I saw LOL, I left DOTA immediately. Not only is it easier for beginners, but it’s far more graphically appealing. Let’s compare:
See the difference? The overall tone of LOL is much brighter than DOTA. Plus, the recognizable minions and beautiful champions drew me into the game much more intensely than with DOTA. Also, most importantly – I can change skins for my champions!
This champion above is named Teemo. He’s one of the most frequently chosen champions for female players. Teemo himself is already cute enough, and with those extra skins, he’s impossible to dislike.
Nowadays, many people play mobile games. It’s been demonstrated that 60% of mobile gamers in the US are female. I’m very glad to see that more and more game developers have been making games that can appeal to this user base. It’s nice to have more choices.