Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Call for radical rethink of games

Filed under
Gaming

Doug Lowenstein, president of the US trade body, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), said games needed to widen their appeal.

He was speaking at the start of the world's largest video games show, the E3 expo in Los Angeles.

The video games industry is big business. US players spent more than $7bn (£3.8bn) on games last year.

According to ESA, 75% of American heads of households play computer and video games, with the average age of a player being 30.

He berated game makers for failing to come up with products with truly mass market appeal, compared to film and TV producers.

A walk around the show floor at E3 illustrates the issue. There is a preponderance of action or fighting games which are aimed squarely at men in their 20s and early 30s.

There are also the obligatory "booth babes", as companies jostle for the attention of attendees.

"Our own industry, mainly through our marketing practices, reinforces the stereotype that most gamers are men," said Mr Lowenstein.

It is clear that women do like to play games. ESA figures show that a third of console players are women.

But many of these women are casual gamers, who play far fewer games, far more infrequently, than their male counterparts.

For this to happen, game producers need to think radically about the sorts of games they make, said the ESA president.

As part of this, games had to become easier to play, as often people are intimidated by the technology or the complexity of a title.

"If video games aspire to movie-like status, then games need to become topics of conversation at dinner parties and happy hours.

"And they won't ever achieve that if they are mainly the province of an elite few who speak their own language, congregate in chat rooms and LAN centres, and have an endless amount of time on their hands," he said.

One of the obstacles in the way of games becoming mainstream is the perception that they are aggressive and violent.

Games rated "mature" made up just 16% of all the games sold last year. The majority, 53%, were suitable for all ages, and 30% were for teens.

Mr Lowenstein said the games industry needed to take concerns about violence in games seriously. And he challenged game makers to stop relying on creating ever more violent titles in the pursuit of sales.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

Following GCC, Clang Looks To Default To C11

It looks like LLVM's Clang compiler will be defaulting to using the GNU's C11 standard for its next release. Earlier this month I wrote about GCC 5 looking to default to GNU11/C11 over GNU89 for its GCC 5 release. That change ended up landing in SVN so the GNU Compiler Collection is finally providing C11 support by default. Last week the LLVM/Clang developers began discussing a similar move. Read more

On a quest for a new logo and open design at Mozilla

Sean Martell understands this. As Art Director for Mozilla, he’s one part of a team behind Mozilla’s visual design. Lately, he’s been involved in redesigning Mozilla’s iconic logos. Instead of working behind closed doors, Martell and his colleagues have opened up the design process to get the help of the wider Mozilla community. Read more

OVH taps open source Power8 architecture, OpenStack for cloud platform

Hosting provider OVH has launched a cloud service based on IBM’s Power8 processor architecture, an open source architecture tailored specifically for big data applications, and OpenStack. OVH, which serves 700,000 customers from 17 datacentres globally, said it wanted to provide a robust public cloud service tuned for database workloads and has tapped a combination of IBM and OpenStack-based technologies in this pursuit. Read more