The Feminine Angle
Gamification and the game industry have one thing in common namely the feminine angle is often under-represented. The ladies in both fields that do stand out, have excellent information to share and have contributed significantly. Personally I believe there are some significant differences between men and women, which are put to one side when solutions are designed. So in this new Friday theme, we will look at some research studies as well as observations from the ladies perspective.
Pre-conception about what boys or girls should be doing starts from a very early age, from the colours blue and pink respectively for nursery rooms and onwards to cars or dolls and so on. A recent study of toy stores found that in the isles for the toddler age range for girls you would find mostly passive toys and for the same age range in the boy section action or activity related toys. Personally I was never much into dolls, but I did love roughing it with my uncles and as soon as I could read, books were my toy of choice.It doesn’t stop with toys. In school typically boys were pre-destined for science related course choices and girls towards languages and social subjects.
Society conditioning and social pressure to conform to the accepted, seems to be the key source of these differences. There is little evidence to support a big difference in ability between the genders, yet looking at statistics of women in science and engineering tells us a clear picture that it isn’t a first preference choice for the ladies.
When we draw that picture further into the working world, we still find in a lot of countries and organisations that men outnumber women by a large percentage and the further you go to the top in management, the fewer women you will find and those that are there typically earn less than their male equivalent.
I think these statistics are something to keep in mind when designing enterprise gamification solutions. In my experience a lot of enterprise structures are very paternalistic in nature and overlook some of the balance a feminine touch could bring to the equation. In my work in executive coaching with high achievers a lot of my male clients preferred the fact that I brought a different often more holistic point of view to their business. I believe there is an opportunity to build gamification solutions that encourage and stimulate both sides.
What have you found is the difference between the genders when it comes to play and games?