Women In Games Conference Addresses Female Audience

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Emerging Business Models

Girlgamer_1Women in Games International (WIGI), a non-profit organization in the interactive entertainment industry, will introduce its first game conference, “From Production to Profit: Creating and Marketing Games for Women." The conference will be held outside of San Francisco at Electronic Arts' Redwood City, CA headquarters from 1 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday, March 6. EA's Lucy Bradshaw, vice president and head of production and development at Maxis/Electronic Arts, will keynot the conference. The half-day of panels will focus on an under-served market--female gamers.

Conference sponsors include platinum sponsor Electronic Arts, and series sponsors Game Developers Conference (GDC), International Games Developers Association (IGDA), Mary-Margaret.com, Girls in Games, ThemePark Studios, WomenGamers.com and BusinessWire.

WIGI representatives and industry experts will discuss the future of game design and game marketing as the female player marketplace matures and expands. The conference consists of two keynote addresses, panel discussions and roundtables with top experts in the field, and a post-conference networking reception, sponsored by Electronic Arts. Panel and roundtable topics include “By Design: Building Games for Women Who Play,” “The Medium Is the Message: Marketing Games to Women who Play,” “Meet the Producers” and “Introduction to Careers in Gaming” and many more.

Bradshaw will open the conference with a keynote speech entitled, “The Secrets of The Sims Success,” in which she explores how The Sims found initial popularity among a typical gaming audience and then crossed over to mainstream success as male gamers shared the game with their sisters, mothers, girlfriends and wives. In discussing this, Lucy will explain which aspects of the game appealed to this audience, and give examples of what developers and publishers can learn from "The Sims" success.

As Wii and Nintendo DS has proven, female gamers are out there. Bradshaw's "The Sims" has over 50 percent of its audience as female. EA's Pogo.com taps into a huge older female demographic, as do EA Mobile's games like "Tetris." But this is just the tip of the interactive iceberg. Female gamers, especially younger ones, are looking more than just games based on Barbie and Bratz. I think conferences like this are good for the industry to grow. There's no better way to expand the mass market than cater to the tweens, teens and older female gamers who have grown up gaming. Unlike boys, who have hundreds of options, female gamers have had few. But that's something that should change.


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