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Brenda Laurel on making video games for girls

Brenda Laurel on making video games for girls

Comments (100)

  1. the barbie ones? the my little pony ones? those are for girls soo…games like COD are pointed towards boys but who says girls cant play?

  2. fuck yeah brenda, you are the shit.

  3. Boring person, boring games. Ugh. I don't want to get into this but, its laughable.

  4. great video! she makes some very nice points! there's different games out there for different people, I especially found it interesting that there's people out there that spent that much time researching young female gamers. If 7 year old girls find this interesting then its great that this company took the time out to create this for them!

  5. I had this game as a girl; it was definitely one of my favorites.
    Unfortunately, about a year after this talk, the company folded because they were criticized for being "sexist" for thinking girls didn't want action games like boys did. Excuse me? They just did 2 YEARS of research with girls all over. I think they satisfied the demanders' needs/wants. But the games that are popular today feature objectification of women/violence against women/no female characters at all–and that's not sexist?

  6. Lots of girls seem to love Fallout 3. Now Fallout 3 doesn't really seem to fall within her idea of a 'girl game'.

    The subjects of games are like those that of movies. Both men and women love James Bond simply because it caters to both needs and converges on that. If people like Brenda Laural got to decide who sees what movie then all movies would be like Bridget Jones Diary.

  7. "we've touched several hundreds of little girls"

    lol j/k, this is interesting food for thought

  8. Yes, all hail and glory to me, The One True Slag. And now, Sisyphusorianus, the old gods are dead, so stop rolling that rock up that hill and stand with me to be glorified by the cries for freedom of oppressed males everywhere.

  9. That woman is upset because she CAN'T beat any Grand Theft Auto games, achieve Gold licenses in any Gran Turismo, beat any Tomb Raider,Halo etc… HAHAHAHA!!! Go play Nintendogs you fool!!!

  10. Saying that girls cannot play the current games is pretty sexist. There are many games out there that are not targeting any gender at all. Any RPG is pretty much universal, age or gender. In fact, the majority of WoW gamers are female, there was even a quake 3 arena tournament for girls only.
    Any of the pre-existing games for small children, are made to target ALL small children, not just the boys. She obviously does not know enough about the video game industry to talk about it.

  11. I think change will come when women become more involved with writing software.
    People write good games because they enjoy playing what they write.
    Women must take some responsibility and posit positive role models for female geekiness.
    coffee, junk food – you cannot leave code half baked – it must all be thought out and kept working in mind and in the development environment : it is the law.
    Women, get pocket protectors.
    being spotty is the new black.
    dorky and geeky IS sexy and smart.

  12. Aye GTA also seems to be something girls suprisingly love. And really, I mean every generation of it, from the original to whatever will be next.

  13. Video Games are for boys , Washing , Making food etc. is for girls 🙂

  14. Um…

    This vid is from 1998.

    Pretty mush all that existed back then was shmups, platformers, puzzle games. The only game for girls was like Barbie's Happy Adventure or w/e.

  15. Certainly not gay, it's just nice to have made contact with a like mind, with which I'm familiar. If you'd like I can send you a personal message with some reading materials and places you can get involved to help effect change.

  16. I was OBVIOUSLY talking to MassZombicide… just look at his comment and you'll see it was directed towards him.

  17. get off the computers and make me a sammich bitch, men are playing.

  18. I know I'd never buy something like that, but then, I'm a guy. I want a game that lets me compete and beat the crap out of someone else. Girls, on the other hand, are much more group and emotion oriented, and games like this would probably appeal to them.

  19. They prefer games that let you emotionally beat the crap out of someone else with words ;]

  20. He doesn't cover topics, he just reads off news blogs and makes an unfunny joke

  21. Males enjoy sports more than females, yet female sports are given equal funding at universities

  22. This talk sucks ass.

  23. This was assenine and tragic. Is supplying girls with targeted products humanistic? I am saddened that intelligence is being spent, and asked for, in this regard. This was banal infomecialism of the worst order and reflects our modern detachment and consumerist degenereation.

  24. why isn't she screaming about too few men talking with each other on Facebook or other social portals?
    Instead she is advertising her product using TED…

  25. "Reviewers that give negative reviews certainly don't like children." lol

  26. "So we're real and we've touched several hundreds of thousands of little girls."

    Also heard at NAMBLA, amirite.

    D:

  27. Kind of bizarre seeing this; most TED-talks are about contributing to the "greater good" – this on the other hand was alot like "So, I noticed noone was exploiting little girls in the gamingindustry"…

  28. the presentation is from 1998……..

  29. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. She's degrading and generalizing half the world's population with comments like "how can we give a little girl the comfort with the technology that little boys have because they play videogames?". Congratz. And it doesn't matter it was in 1998, it still sounds ridiculous.

  30. Yeah, it should be noted that this was from 1998, it makes it more significant back then. I just think the vid is a bit dull because of her delivery, she seems a bit sarcastic and really tired. Still, a decent TED talk and something different for once.

  31. She is reminding me of Madeline Kahn. In voice and delivery, not in content.

  32. "a certain flavor of feminist." haha

  33. "we've touched several hundreds of thousands of little girls". I knew there was something a little odd about her line of research, but damn…

  34. That game looks boring
    It looks like a game designed based on a thousand interviews and not based on a fun idea.
    And…why games "for boys" can be fun, and games "for little girls" should be educational??

  35. I think we should give females more credit and say that they probably don't need games specifically designed for them. Video games are something that seems more culturally acceptable for males than for females. Yes, both sexes think differently, but not that much, not so much that they would need a game designed specifically for them.

  36. Well, there's Wii… Music…

  37. Poor attempt at a joke there. First of all if that is all you get out of these talks why do you listen? Second, the line you quoted included "touched sever hundreds of thousands of little girls". Since NAMBLA is the man BOY love association your statement makes no sense.

  38. Mega Drive! Yes!!

  39. Arcane, that's true because you gave great examples of well thought and crafted games, that are actually not gender specific nor brain dulling. Barbie games and the like, however, are not very appealing to those who prefer more sophisticated games.

  40. Yeah, you're right. I missed that one.

    Other than that, why would you assume this is all I get from them? I have that type of humor. I find these things funny. Being patronizing and snobbish only makes you look even more ridiculous than me and my tasteless jokes. Thanks for trying to call me on it though. I appreciate being corrected by petty people on the internet.

    But now that I think of it I didn't get much more out of this talk. It was amateur hour anthropology to say the least.

  41. vorcil, it seems you're only thinking about the end result: you and your niece playing Halo and having a lot of fun. But the subject here is not the end result, but how to achieve it. What Laurel and her peers were doing in _1992_ was a market research, for God sakes! It was a fact back then that the video game market was focused on male clients. They spotted a blank space and worked on it. The first research is always very rough, it's a first step after all. It's a never ending development.

  42. If your niece and other girls/ women like Halo nowadays it's because through continuous research and application certain appealing elements were introduced to such games; be it by their cultural background or massive media influence, personal taste is not isolated from external influence. It's way more sophisticated now than just using pink or guts and guns all over the packaging, really.

  43. She assumes two fallacies here.

    1) That all male gamers and creators think the same way.

    and, 2) That she is right.

    Briefly, 1, there are many men who don't like the tomb raider characters, and there are many people who play more games then just the factory cut FPS. Decision games have been around forever, RPGs and they're geared towards both sexes.

    2, just because you put in the time to research does not mean that you have the most correct data. Not all girls want the exact same thing.

  44. Wee ones shouldn't be playing this lady's shit, they should be playing point and click adventure games!

    I don't know if there are any left…

  45. ummmm not everyone likes imposed paradigms, not every girl is from south cal.
    and you forgot about the revolution that mario bros created, the cute factor did attract girls.
    jerk
    sounds similar to what neil gaiman says about women in comics, with the advantage that he has written material that appeals to girls, to both genders in fact. And the non gender defined.

  46. As a scientist I appreciate her incredible thoroughness, but I think she is trying to deduce more than is possible from her studies. I doubt that the games she proposes will have a positive effect on girls or that girls will really be attracted to those games.

  47. Purple Moon was acquired by Mattel in 1999. Laurel wrote a book about that experience entitled Utopian Entrepreneur.

    and what does this tells us?

    This comment was considered 'spam' the first time. Funny, I thought it was factual.

  48. There are plenty around and more being made as I type this.

    Try googling.

  49. Hey, some of the best gamers IN THE WORLD are girls. lol

  50. hate to tell you different… the sims franchise is geared to girls… HEAVILY. I played the sims online… 100-1 female to make ratio.

  51. girls have more need for social interaction i notic that with my little sister she doesnt mind being busy on the computer but only if it is to chat whit other poeple

  52. lol Final Fantasy games and Kingdom Hearts pleases both Male and Female Genders =D haha

  53. Why do we need girl zombies? Who will cook for us while we are playing our games?

  54. I know. plus sims is better that this fuckin shit

  55. This is stupid, and sexist.
    Her attitude towards regular games is despicable, and her image, of how girls are supposed to be, is very narrow-minded, biased and distorted.

    …not to mention her attitude towards anyone who criticizes her.

    Also, she presents her arguments, in a very dishonest manner. That points at her judgement and/or honesty, being highly suspect.
    In other words: She is a seriously unreliable source.

  56. Not only is this chick biased, but she's too wordy. I'm like three minutes into this and she hasn't gotten to the fucking point. Also, I think this game is ancient, the description says this is from 1998.

  57. I actually watched the whole thing. I am honestly surprised that this woman is actually making games, as opposed to hunting them down and burning them. She represents the Jack Thomas train of though and puts it into a new spin.
    Rather than calling for an outright ban on games she seeks to change the fundamental experience of gaming for a select portion of gamers. Little girls DO play video games, and not this poorly animated and horribly written garbage.

  58. 10 years ago, fair enough. Times have changed. 10 years ago I can see that, now girls play the same games boys do. The Sims, Mario, Little Big Planet, just to name a few. The question I have for you is do you STILL play computer/video games EB88? If so which, and if not why? I am just curious.

  59. Dont be embarassed. Some of the older ones are the best. You have a DS, so I reccomend getting Chrono Trigger. Hands down one the best RPG games ever made, originally came out on the SNES, then the PS1, and now the DS.

  60. THERE IS NO GIRL GAMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. when is rocket armagedon coming out?

  62. 5 stars just for Rockett's Tricky Decision – I loooved the fuck out of that game when I was younger. Don't really give a shit about all the blah blah blah.

  63. Sure, you and many other girls played more hardcore games as children. Many many other girls, though, didn't.

    Many girls don't have any contact with games in their daily lives, because of prejudice, lack of familiarity, whatever. She's talking about games for the plenty of girls who are not gamers. Sure, looking from the games previews in this video they weren't all that high quality games, but apparently her target audience was looking for the experience rather than the technical specs.

  64. Wow, booooooooorriiiiinngggg. She sits the entire time!

    Talk about the results, not the boring as shit specific research details.

  65. 6:20 "We've touched hundreds of thousands of little girls"

  66. The problem with making games for girls is it's the same as making games for boys… only less profitable because boys are a more developed market.

    You'd best served by making games that appeal to anyone regardless of gender…. assuming you're trying to open markets.

    This is why I know who Shigeru Miyamoto is and never heard of Brenda Laurel before.

  67. Exact quote from 6:22

    "We've touched several hundreds of thousands of little girls."

    That statement was not well chosen. But it was funny nonetheless.

  68. yeah, she does. I mean, the whole time, she just sits there legs crossed with a scowl on her face like she doesn't even want to be there. She might be sick though in this vid, since she does take odd pauses and seems washed out and a bit out of breath.

  69. Know what you mean, Softy.

    Seems like she didn't get any good computer game in her childhood and now she needs to prove she knows more about little girls than anybody else.

    Nonetheless, I still think it's a good talk, and it's nice to see people aiming for girls on games. We all know girls like you (who love Halo 3) are the exception.

  70. Maybe the concept of video games for girl s is useless, maybe a video game for girl would look like facebook and be much less interactive and satisfactory

  71. I always found games aimed @ girls very condescending & steered clear.I think the 1st game I played & had no problem with it being more marketed towards women was probably The Sims.that was because it didnt force fluffy sickeningly girly stuff down my throat. Boys games dont have everything coloured blue or have graphics hugely male dominated, they make there graphics as realistic as possible. It was when Girls games did this rather then being biased I started playing them

  72. Ok this is wack… I am a girl who love to play VG and i hate games where you run around with a puppy or something and dress them up lol. I love GTA God of War and the LoZ games. Kingdom hearts is a swet game. Facebook isnt a game lol. You cant pick what girls like to play them they selfs pick of what they wanna play.

  73. Do you think there might be girls that are different to you?

  74. so you're saying girls need to play thet stuiped dress up a puppy game.

    Yes everyoene is dfferent DUH but why do girls only have to have the stuped dress up a puppy girly girl game!

  75. I think you should hang you;re self ^^.

  76. maybe you should interview girls who like video games to see what they like about them…i went to purple moon and it looks like you made virtual barbies. with my experience girls like RPG's and coop games..take a look at RE5 and Champions of Norrath.

  77. Did I say that girls need to play "thet stuiped dress up a puppy game." or "girls only have to have the stuped dress up a…"?

    No, I did not.

    What I said was that some girls might be different to you and like the "dress up a puppy game" instead of the "whack him with an axe game" a boy might be interested in.

  78. I think the problem with this isn't that they're trying to make (or WERE trying to make–how's Mattel been treating you guys, Ms. Laurel?) games to cater to young girls. It's a problem that these games are billed as GIRL games. As if these are the only kind of games that girls could possibly enjoy.

    I played Purple Moon games as a little girl. But I also played games like Suikoden and Silent Hill. Not all girls are made alike, so calling the genre "games for GIRLS" is counterproductive.

  79. that game looks so boring

  80. A lot of these posts sound like 2nd grade boys: "That's lame! It's for GIRLS!"

    Yeah, some girls played PC and console games (I was one of them). But that group appears to be the minority. Maybe that's b/c young girls (like young boys) can be hyper sensitive to gender roles. Whatever the reason, young girls are not as computer savvy as young boys, and that should trouble the feminists here. Give the girls a game that gets them used to the computer. They seem to like it. What's the harm?

  81. Nothing is worse then a fool that thinks themself wise. Fuck this bitch.

  82. I dont think Rockstar need to be too worried:) I wouldn't class this as a videogame either but a cartoon with passenger seat interaction. Wont be seeing this on a Ps3 anytime soon lol

  83. Many TED talks are brilliant, some are good, other are so-so
    ..and a few fill me with utter disgust.

    This piece of sexist drivel is one of those few.
    I especially hate the part, where she accuses anyone who disagrees with her, as being sexist (while shedding some crocodile tears).

    She has an utterly misguided view of what girls like, and how and how much, girls and boys differ.
    Also games aren't mainly made for boys. Most of them are made for men.
    And some are made with females in mind too.

  84. The graphics look shitty even for 1998. There were so many good 3D engines around at that time if I remember correctly. She needs to work with video game experts to make the proper product, otherwise she's wasting all that good research

  85. Ok, well yes, she did come off a little (hear-a lot pretentious), but she did have some good points. PLUS, the end was epic and hilarious!

  86. She may not be pretentious in real life at all. She is giving a talk…she may have just wanted to come off as knowledgable.

  87. Well intentioned point but both boys and girls have many of the same interests.

  88. The thing that fills me with disgust is how people are calling Brenda Laurel a feminazi even TODAY because she decided to make games targeted to a demographic that wasn't Belligerent Teenage White Boys.

  89. Buy women's clothing now if you're a man. Buy men's clothing for women if you're stupid.

  90. just lightly saying " feminists "  tsk tsk tsk… the true definition of feminism is true gender eqaulity, not female superiority. making it seem as if it is about female superiority will only turn the definition into the female superiority thing, which is not what feminism is. 

  91. twenty eight?? … xvii is not 28 ,its 18 … geez. i dont think she knows anything that she is doing. a girls game she says, and its bout high school drama.. woow… >.> 

  92. I really hope you don't see the work you did with Purple Moon and the games you made as having been a failure. Maybe in the eyes of the corporation or whatever, but it should be said that the best video games are beloved and special/legendary-edition-ized for many years to come. Games that last speak for themselves.

    When your Purple Moon games came out, I was 9 years old and we had just gotten a new Mac desktop computer. I think at that point I had played on the SNES (90s one), and maybe the old black-and-white gameboy, so I had a pretty good learning curve when it came to gaming and new technology and I saw the computer as the next thing to master and understand so I could use it to play games and browse the web and everything. It was such a fun thing to learn how to do, and I have been an avid PC gamer ever since. But the first computer games I ever played, aside from Glider Pro, awesome game that came with our computer, were Rockett's New School and nearly every subsequent game. I still have them, I'm sure. They don't work on my MacBook Pro, but I keep them anyway because of how big an impact they had on me as a kid. So your games have lasted and held up in my mind.

    I never once thought that video games and computer games were not a thing that I should be doing simply because I was a girl. I had two younger brothers, and I did what they did. They were both pretty consistent casual gamers, mostly Call of Duty and MMORPG shooting games like that, which I was never really interested in. But I never had any trouble whatsoever finding games that I was interested in. When we got a Nintendo 64, I played Banjokazooie and MarioKart and 007. When we got a Playstation 2, I played Kingdom Hearts. Now, I play games like Fallout and the Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect and other smaller, indie games like Limbo and Life is Strange. I know what I'm interested in – storylines, good characters, choice-based games with social and relational consequences. I consider myself more than just a casual gamer and would never let industry stereotypes define or limit me. Your games helped to shape that in me.

  93. lol what a dumbass, videogames are already for both male and female

  94. "We've touched hundreds of thousands of young girls"
    Taken out of context, that could potentially sound really, really bad

    Wow, you can really hear and see the contempt she has for those male gamers and that brand of feminist. Esepecially for that kind of feminist.

  95. That's all well and good but who'd want to make a game like that? I'm sorry but I wouldn't buy a gossip based game like that for a girl.

  96. The problem with the concept of designing for any child demographic is that it is not about what the child of that demographic wants, but what their parents think is appropriate/acceptable. It involves condescension. And even if you never talk to the parents, your research is going to be colored by what they want through those kids. If all parental figures involved are open to their children's natural proclivities (which most aren't) then you're getting the real data from the kids. So really, they made games that the majority of the parents wanted for their little girls.

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