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Thread: Survey Seeks Gay Gamers

                  
   
  1. #1
    Won Hung Lo wraggster's Avatar
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    General games Survey Seeks Gay Gamers

    News from IGN

    As the videogame world is increasingly under scrutiny by politicians, the press, and community groups, many in the industry are eager to knock down a few stereotypes -- whether it is that gamers are violent, lazy, hopelessly nerdy, or horny, heterosexual, and male.

    The straight gamer stereotype -- or at least part of it -- is being challenged by a new survey out of the University of Illinois to study gay, lesbian, and bisexual gamers. Recent graduate Jason Rockwood designed the survey, which is the first formal, academically-approved study of sexual orientation and related issues among gamers.

    The survey, which consists of 91 questions and takes 30-45 minutes to complete, is designed both to determine the presence of gay gamers and to learn about their concerns and gaming habits. The questions cover subjects such as gaming preferences, sexual identity, recent purchases, and online gaming activity.

    In addition to understanding the presence of gay, lesbian, and bisexual gamers, the study should also provide a real sense of what gay gamers enjoy playing. Rockwood said some gay gamers were concerned that marketers would try to court the demographic with na´ve stereotypes, similar to luring female gamers with titles like Barbie Horse Adventure. (We know plenty of girl gamers who like Quake.)

    "People had talked about being gay and being a gamer, but nobody had asked them to unify those two elements and people were excited about that," Rockwood told In Newsweekly. "Some people were hesitant though, because they didn't want to be stereotyped having games that were developed to be ridiculous toward the community. They wanted both sides to be taken seriously and if there was stereotypical content it would trivialize both identities of being gay and a gamer."

    Doubtless the survey will be refreshing to the many gamers who are also gay. More broadly, however, the survey is the first study of a specific gamer group -- for instance, no one has specifically surveyed female gamers, non-Caucasian gamers, older gamers, and such. While the industry closely tracks sales or readership of gaming articles, very little is known about which demographics are playing. The industry often acts on assumptions about its audience, while players themselves may not realize that many of their teammates or opponents -- or just fellow fans -- are not always male, white, or straight.

    "The main purpose of the survey was to be a census," Rockwood said. "Before we can ask more intelligent questions we need to know who we are dealing with. First we need to prove that homosexual gamers even exist. Yeah it sounds ridiculous, but that's where you have to start on something like this. This survey is an attempt to quantify the existence of an invisible minority."

    The survey is currently open to all gamers -- gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight -- at www.gaymersurvey.org.

  2. #2

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    Honestly, who gives a $#@! what sexual orientation you are?

    Does anyone remember when it used to be about the games?

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    Being part of a minority I was glad to have the chance to air my opinions, but after completing a page of badly structured questions that went on for ever (some of which seemingly overlapping each other in terms of point), I was then told I was only up to section 2 of 5 (or something.. cant understand roman numerals). I then shut down the browser window... jesus I havent got all day to do free market research. Maybe they will deduct that gay people have busy lives.. or maybe its just me heh

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    Im not gay but this seems alittle racist or sexist or whatever. Are they trying to stereotype a whole group of people? Just because you are attracted to a certain sex does that mean you are inclined to play a certain type of game? or maybe you just like the games everyone eles does. BTW is there going to be a survey to determine what kinds of games black people like also? or midgets? I think this article should be taken down because it is in very bad taste. You CANNOT stereotype an entire group of people... its been tried before and look at the results.

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    *keep your homophobic views to yourself*

    souLLy

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    Why does it matter the sexual orientation? Because game makers are devoted to the heterosexual male class of society. Games with ANY rating above E tend to have some overtones of sexuality and/or violence, all of which is aimed purely at the heterosexual crowd. We're bombarded with games like Need For Speed Underground, and Street Racing Syndicate, where the game is almost more about getting the "hottest chick" than winning races, and being the best driver you can be, or more importantly, be the best driver to get the "hot chick." Other games like Tomb Raider spurned an entire class of heterosexual nerds more bent on finding ways to make Lara Croft expose more skin, than caring about whether or not the gameplay was good enough to play(anyone know a gamer who owns the entire collection, despite 85% of all in the series being what most would consider crappy games?). And then there are the niche games like Playboy Mansion, Dead Or Alive, Extreme Beach Volleyball, BMX XXX, which further demeans women, and essentially sells themselves on the flesh they represent, than the gameplay. Of course there are some odd exceptions to the rule - the Leisure Suit Larry series has always held at least relatively high standards, and Fable allowed for gay relationships, though only M/M and it almost feels that they were added moreso for the comedy factor than anything real (were it not for me following the development cycle of the game, I would have chocked it entirely up to making a mockery of homosexuality in general - but in all honesty, was added in, more as an easter egg - of what shouldn't be, but is otherwise regarded as a bizarre nature).

    Then there's the subtle aspect - consider any medieval style game. The men run around in full suits of body armor, and the female heroes... showed everything the designers could get away with and still keep their rating.

    If sexuality were so detracted from games, then most of these titles wouldn't even exist. There is truth to the addage that sex and violence sells, and considering the majority of the crowd being heterosexual, that only continues the trend.

    It's not about the sexuality, it is about the games, but until developers learn that, it will continue to be about the sexuality. Sad to say, this kind of survey, at its best, will likely only spurn "gay friendly" games, wherein the main character, Liz, has to work for some organized crime ring to save her life partner Denise. Or Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball - All Male Revue. If done well, perhaps the first one might actually garner some sales more on the merit of its gameplay than its lesbian heroine. But nothing, absolutely nothing, can resurrect a game like DOAXBV from the ashes of sexual frustration, and poor gameplay, no matter the sexual orientation.

    So I'm not going to do the survey, and I'd encourage others not to as well, despite their sexual orientation. I want to see games more focused on exactly that.. games.. I want to see the games with more possibilities, and less in my face flesh. I want to see games with more in depth role play like Fable, with expanded possibilities of relationships, friendships, love... I want to see a game called "Volleyball" be about Volleyball, and not jiggly jugs. Rockstar at least knows this. Table Tennis, be it bargain or not, is an impressive show on what can happen when gameplay is the driving force of a game.

    Perhaps developers will begin to realize a growing market sector outside their hetero population, and decide to make a game that more people can enjoy, realizing sexuality itself, may not be the driving force they need to sell their games. I don't expect it to, though. At its worst, we may very well be looking at Brokeback Mountain - the official Game of the Movie. Even IF it's a good movie (haven't seen it, so I can't properly judge), some ideas simply shouldn't be turned into games, and this would only be the creation of developers hungry for the gay market.

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    I aplaud Nintendo for their gay platformer Mario Bros. Two "plumbers", around each other all the time, with princess as their *** hag.

    Doomy you say "Just because you are attracted to a certain sex does that mean you are inclined to play a certain type of game?" .. well maybe, who knows? I guess thats why they're doing a survey to find out. If there were 2 vollyball games.. one with hot guys, one with hot girls.. I think I know which one a gay guy would buy/leech. But FFS do they need a survey to work that out?

    Like I said before though, I'm not a mule for hours of free market research. If they want my extended opinion they can pay for it, or devise a more FOCUSED survey that doesnt make you fall asleep half way though.

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    *sigh* talk about taking political correctness a bit far. Does it really make a difference if gamers are gay or not?

  9. #9

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    I think that's the point of the whole survey. Although, personally I think it's to find another market to exploit. The gaming market is so oversaturated now that if you don't have a budget of about $2mill your game will never get commercial space. Unless your a successfull development house, then you can produce games on a $200 budget and people will still love them because they are told to. And most games are designed to sell, it doesn't matter how much you hate it, the heterosexual male IS the majority of game purchasers, so of course most (especially games with no substance) are going to be marketed toward that crowd. This is why games way back when were more fun than games today, it's hard to get porno into 8- or 16-bit sprites.

    Ok, I'm gonna stop the ranting now. But there are alot of games out there that have nothing to do with sexuality, in fact, I'm gonna go play one now. It's just violent, but no sex, Counter-Strike: Source.

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    this is turning weird, lol.
    im not gay, but, everybody must be treated equal no matter what sexualoriental it is, or physical appeearance.
    that makes me mad about people who treats others like $#@! cause of it. i poop on them XD

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