Welcome to the seventeenth 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 a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
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?
What do you know, I'm going to pile into a bog banter. Sorta. Because in all honesty I have no clue what would work and what would not. I think this is mostly a problem that will solve itself with time. The truth is that EVE attracts an older demographic (on average). The lack of immediate rewards and the need to plan really disadvantage the younger less mature players. Not to say that this is bad. But the fact is that the older you go, the less acceptable it was for girls to be considered "gamers". And let's face it if you play MMOs you're a GAMER. We're all other things as well (human beings that is) but you can't dodge that label if you play MMOs. The more mainstream gaming gets the more acceptable it is, but it remains that the proportions of women comfortable with that label gets smaller the older you go.
To a certain extent this is something that will solve itself with time. But EVE is probably fishing in a smaller pool of potential (female) recruits than it would be if it was accessible to a younger audience. Also there seems to be something about the "hardcore" edge of things that seems to be less attractive to the distaff side of the population. Try and find a female board wargamer - they exist but they are MUCH rarer than women in EVE.
As for how to attract more women to eve? Apart from the obvious "Finish Incarna" there's probably not much. Part of EVE that slows it's growth in general is the hazing new players get having to deal with griefers in high sec. CCP's attitude is that it's part of keeping the feel of a dark and dangerous place. Personally I feel low sec and null sec do a great deal to keep that feel without the need for a hazing mechanism to filter out the newbies. I'm always astonished that few people can spot that for what it is (and figure out ways around the issues). Even the military has finally recognized that it's counter productive in the long run and simply brutalizes the troops instead of making them better at their job. But hey, I'm not a game designer. It does keep out a lot of people who can't handle it or figure a way around it, but you have to ask yourself "is this necessary?". I can't help but think this is also one of the main reasons we have less women in EVE.
For the rest, I'd pay particular attention to post by Mynxee and Shae Tian and any other female blogger. They would certainly have a better idea than I would (even if they protest that their opinions only apply to themselves).