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Old 01-29-2009, 04:10 AM   #1
Kleothera
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Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

This basically started from a bit of a semi-flame incident on another board,
http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/in...346-hello.html

however, it was suggested that the issue deserved an independent thread.

Basically, are the experiences of men and women in a MUD different? What do men and women look for in a MUD? Why are there apparently more men than women in the MUDing community (although this may not hold for all MUD genres)? Are there some ways women may have an advantage over men in a MUD? Are there some ways they are at a disadvantage? Any differences in game play that you may have noticed?
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:38 AM   #2
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

Firstly, there is no such thing as a typical MUD- both in terms of theme and quality- therefore what anything I say may not hold for many people who play a different kind of game.

Are there differences in experience?
Yes there are.

What do men and women look for in a MUD/Differences in game play?
I agree with NW in the original thread, women do tend to be attracted to a more RP oriented, less hack and slash oriented gameplay. Its not really about men being more oriented to abstract thinking vs women who do other-stuff as nasredin suggests in my opinion. I wouldnt think MUDing to be a very abstract experience (unlike chess in his original post). What may be taking place is a bit of left-right brain thinking where the male player is oriented to a more mathematical-aggressive game play and women are more into a social mode of gaming. I don't know, while I may have been trained as a development psychologist a decade back, I dont claim expertise on this particular issue.

I also find that the presence of other women tends to attract more women which reinforces itself. I am female, my clan tends to get a disproportionate number of female players. There are clans which don't get a single female. I have no way of knowing how much of that is because the climate is attractive to women players to begin with, or is it because this nice older female player is in it, therefore, I want to join it too. I guess they arent really mutually contradictory either.

Advantages and Disadvantages?
In my opinion, the situation is mixed. On one hand, there IS a clear advantage that female presenting players have in a MUD. I cant quote the exact reference from Bartle or Pavel Curtis on this, but I know they have written about it as well. Guys tend to be more helpful to female players- thats one reason why (in my experience as an admin) a lot of (especially younger) men create female characters. A lot of guys tend to be truly chivalrous. Of course, there are also other men (and I am sure every female player has had this experience, as every women using a chatting program and having a clearly female name), female players DO get propositioned for netsex (with varying degrees of smoothness, including my own personal all time favourite- "Male Newbie: Hello" "Me: Er Greetings, Youngling. Newbie performs social to ascertain the character's gender. Newbie: Are you really female IRL? Me: Huh, Yes, so? Newbie: Want to marry me?). I have created male characters at times to avoid unwanted attention when I just wanted to play free from all sorts of males trying to be "nice". As an ordinary player, however, I tend to think all things being equal its probably easier to be a female player than a male. Providing one develops a thick skin to some unsavoury elements.

The situation becomes different when it comes to taking positions of power- be it mortal leadership or as game staff. I think there still IS something of a glass ceiling in place. A female staff member (in my experience), finds it harder to be taken seriously by his/her colleagues, and experiences some of the usual stereotyped views that a female boss experiences IRL. There is also the problem of breaking into some of the male coder cliques (again, I am perfectly aware that this is a situation that isn't uniform everywhere) which places people who aren't part of the boys' club are at a disadvantage. And no, I am not saying ALL women have this experience and that these limitations cannot be overcome- I am a female admin of the highest rank in my game who has spent 10 yrs on the staff. At the time of speaking ALL clan officer positions in the clan I am associated with are filled by females. I am just saying it can be harder for women than men to be seen as firm (without being called bitches) and fair (without people raising questions about favouritism). I have managed to stick around myself, but god I have seen a lot of female staff members lose interest (although, family obligations- which are often greater for women than men- also took a fair toll in this regard).

Why are there more men than women?
Personally, I think its because (especially in the beginning), men computer geeks formed the backbone of the internet community. While this has since changed, many of the developers remain men and tend to think from the game mechanics (rather than social skills) point of view. I KNOW I have very little hard evidence for this and I can fully expect the male admins of NewWorlds, IRE and Aardwolf and all the other superb games with a good social interface tell me that I am wrong- I am not talking about these exceptional games that set the industry standard. That is probably the weakest argument that I have made so far. However, there is WAY too much adrenaline on some MUDs. Lastly (something that I mentioned earlier), family responsibilities. Women players tend to have more of a responsibility for the household and eventually often tend to get entangled in handling a full day job, kids and a husband that doesnt leave with much free time to make one's way up the MUD heirarchy.

I end with a disclaimer- I don't know if I am right about any of these things- its one of the issues that probably could do with some hard research cutting across MUD types.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:04 AM   #3
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

> Its not really about men being more oriented to abstract thinking vs women who do other-stuff as nasredin suggests

> the male player is oriented to a more mathematical-aggressive game play and women are more into a social mode of gaming

> Women players tend to have more of a responsibility for the household

Perhaps, I used a wrong term in my post (being not a native English speaker, I make mistakes occasionally). What you write about the "typical" differences between male and female is almost exactly my definition of 'abstract' vs 'substancial'. There must be certain distinctions in our personalities, too - for me, MUDding is mathematics, same as chess; while human interaction is an art. Certainly, art and science are done by different left-right parts of the brain. By the way, writing this post is science, too; but if we ever meet in person and have a small talk, that's art.

Responsibility is another important keyword - I had that idea myself but failed to find a properly wording for it and omitted it completely in the end. The men tend to show responsibility when they have a senior position (be it a CEO of a company, a president of a cournty or a housefather) that implies it. In a less important position, a male is more likely to say "It will do as it is" and go to a bar or play a MUD, while a female, no matter how tired she is, may still decide to do some more office job or housecleaning.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:53 AM   #4
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

I have some faint memories of reading another discussion of female-vs-male MUD experiences, either here or on topmudconnect. Perhaps it was buried within a discussion on a different topic, I can't remember now.

The quick google search didn't find the discussion, but the following link may be of interest, too.

"Gender differences",
"You Can't be Too Careful",
Richard A. Bartle: Anecdotes, Set 1

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Old 01-29-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

As with any type of discussion like this, I'm going to make a lot of generalizations that don't fit everyone in a specific gender set because that is nearly impossible:

What do men and women look for in a MUD/Differences in game play?

Generally, I think that more men are better at the mechanics aspects of the game, though you can always find a few women who stand out. Combat or mechanics where you can fail and fail large, often cause stress and sometimes panic. Men and women often react to stress very differently due to hormones, usually the specific hormones of cortisol, epinephrine, and oxytocin. When women become stressed, levels of epinephrine and cortisol rise, but we also release a lot more oxytocin than men. Oxytocin lessens the effects of epinephrine and cortisol allowing us to be less "stressed" since it is a relaxing and stress-reducing hormone. Men also release oxytocin but in much lower amounts allowing them to stay alert and with heightened senses and putting them in a more "fight" rather "flight" status. So, the biological differences between men and women probably play some part in this. These hormones also play a good part in our "befriend", "flight" or "fight" states, which likely explains why women are drawn more toward the social roles in multiplayer games. (As always, there are exceptions to this.)

Socially, men are put in competative, high-stress situations more often than women simply due to sports. The sports centric cultures of the world are disproportionately male, which gears them easily towards things like PvP and hack 'n slash mechanics.

Advantages and Disadvantages?

When it comes to min/maxing and munchkining game mechanics, I think that men usually have an advantage. My husband and I are both avid gamers, and we might be similarly skilled when it comes to actual skill and strategy, but he trounces me in min-maxing everything down to figuring out the highest xp/sec ratio. (Hey, I never even bother to figure that out.) Again, I'm not really sure why this is, though I could probably look up a lot of biological factors and apply it. All I know is that when we were both asked to draw a bike just from memory, my bike wouldn't have been able to go anywhere since I didn't have the chain connected to pedals. His bike, while insanely ugly, would have been operable. He just thinks about the nitty gritty while I tend to look at the big picture. So, if I have him min-max my character, I have a good chance of competing with him in skill, but if I had to min-max my own, I'd probably lose out.

When it comes to social aspects of a game, though, I easily have more people to call on, but he'd put together a more skilled group. So, again, it comes down to mechcanics vs. social differences for us.

As for women being in administrative positions, it depends on the women, I believe. Two of our head coders are men, but we have more women than men on our team. When it comes to the heavy coding, we have more men, but when it comes to world building, writing and lore, our staff is almost completely women. We also have two women who do the project management for building and areas, and two who do basic coding. Ultimately, our team consists of more women and men, and everyone is treated pretty equally since they each have their own field of expertise. In the end, though, without the coders, all the writing and area designing in the world isn't going to do the game a bit of good, so the coders end up making the world go 'round.

Why are there more men than women?

Ultimately, I think this is a matter of social up-bringing. Girls are pushed more towards "girl" activities which does not include DnD, gaming, or high stress activities. Boys tend to rough house at an early age, and they really aren't discouraged from much besides not playing with dolls. (Though, they do get to play with action figures, which are basically dolls you just don't baby.) It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is because girl gamers have broken out of the "norm". All I know is that with most women I talk to on a day-to-day basis, they can't even conceive of what I do or why I do it while men are more interested and seem to think it's "cool". Gaming doesn't seem to be a "girl" activity, and girls tend to flock more towards activities geared towards girls. I think, possibly, a lot of games are geared towards men in general. (For example, Age of Conan had very little to appeal for a woman, in my opinion, and even though I play a ton of male dominated games that I enjoyed, I definitely felt that they went out of their way to cater to guys.)

I do, ultimately, get less gaming time than my husband because I do think of a lot of things like "Gee, someone needs to vacuum" or "Someone's got to get dinner on the table". Luckily, he usually follows my lead when I log off a game, but somehow, he usually finds more play time. (I think he stays up, but since he also gets up, I can't really say anything about that.)
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

Nasredin's post made me decide to go back and track down some literature and research that has accumulated on these issues. I was mainly looking for personal experiences- thanks to Milawe for getting the ball rolling, however, this might add some further fuel to the debate.

Differences in Gameplay:
Virtual Community Literature Review by Moya K. Mason
Virtual Community Literature Review
Difference in communication patters of men and women including greater use of socials by women, especially certain socials. Women less likely to use the hug social (compared to whuggle since it doesnt have a RL equivalent and isnt seen as having a sexual connotation. Also contains interesting thoughts about PK patterns by men- male players are least likely to kill a woman. If a male player was PKed it was always by the same woman.

Psyber Psychology: A Literature Review Pertaining to The Psycho/Social Aspects of Multi-User Dimensions in Cyperspace
Psyber Psychology
Women use emoticons more frequently than men, but flame as much as men. Women are 4 times as likely to initiate whuggles than are men. Men tend to use more physically violent imagery. Women are overall more affectionate towards other characters.

ftp://ftp.cc.gatech.edu/pub/people/a...ty-workshop.ps
Deals with the help that men frequently offer to female presenting players- either as an expression of lack of faith in the ability of women to do as well as men and therefore needing more help, or as a barely concealed effort to bribe their way into a sort of virtual relationship.

Gamasutra - New Study Dispels Asocial Online Gamer Myth
Refers to a study undertaken of the effect of MMPROG gameplay on RL relationships, including the gender dimension. Women were significantly more likely than men to be attracted to other players and were far more likely to go on to date them. Most women gave “therapeutic refreshment” as their main reason for playing, whereas most men stated “curiosity, astonishment and interest” as their reasons.

About women in online games:

The reference that this seems to constantly leading to is. I haven't read it and haven't really fully read the abstracts floating around either.
From Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender, Games, and Computing
Edited by Yasmin Kafai, Carrie Heeter, Jill Denner, Jen Sun
MIT Press, 2007

Gender Swapping on the Internet by Amy Bruckman
www.cc.gatech.edu/~asb/papers/gender-swapping.ps
One of the older papers on cross gender characters, why they are created and the experiences faced.

Another article on the same issue
Richard A. Bartle: Leaping into Cross-Gender Role-Play
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
When it comes to the heavy coding, we have more men, but when it comes to world building, writing and lore, our staff is almost completely women.
Does that imply there's not much scripting going on inside the areas? In my experience adding scripted area based quests takes up over 75% of the time spend on area creation once it becomes the norm, which I guess results in more men than women being drawn toward area creation.

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(For example, Age of Conan had very little to appeal for a woman, in my opinion, and even though I play a ton of male dominated games that I enjoyed, I definitely felt that they went out of their way to cater to guys.)
So what would typically appeal to women?
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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So what would typically appeal to women?
I guess,
a. For a start, less scantily clad gorgeous babes with biologically impossible anatomy

b. Less hack and slash. Women tend to avoid pure hack and slash- both because we aren't very good at mini-maxing stats (as Milawe pointed out) and because we often find it simply boring (these arent really mutually contradictory). I remember the time when my first character got into the top 5 ranks in the MUD (I was chasing a shot at immortality in a hurry at the time), someone commented that I was acting as if I had shifted gender- all that unwomanly concern with stats, equipment, damage.... ewww! Funniest bit was, while I was making a sudden spurt through the levels, I was actually getting bored out of my mind (that particular character of mine idn't make a single level after I got raised to the staff- that was 10 years ago!).

c. If not hack and slash, then what? RP, more social interaction and something that involves cooperative gameplay for something other than raids and more killing. In my experience, some of the best RPers in DE have been women (especially if we consider those who not just got involved in RP, but also set it up for others). Personally, I prefer RPing with random newbies with the idea that they get involved in the larger ongoing RP scenario to going to get an extra level just about any time.

d. Strong enforcement of no-harassment rules. Women need to feel safe from all sorts of virtual groping or being propositioned. Even one or two men can make life fairly difficult for female players, if its not nipped in the bud.

e. More and more realistic female heroes and characters in the game to which the player can relate to. Ultra powerful (usually male) heroes are impressive, but arent as much fun as someone with a weakness. I may also be totally wrong about this, but I think I have found female players to be more tolerant for moral ambiguities in RP, unlike male players who are more inclined to react with, "he was wrong and needs to be killed". This could, however, be a simple matter of emotional maturity as almost all older male players tend to be more tolerant of such shades of grey.

f. A game that already has female players (not female presenting males). Birds of a feather flock together.

Disclaimer- Anything I said previously would not necessarily apply for all women and at all times.

Oh yeah, a research on what men and women want in their games
FROM BARBIE TO MORTAL KOMBAT: FURTHER REFLECTIONS

GIRLS -- Leading characters are everyday people that girls can easily relate to, and are as real to girls as their best friends.

BOYS -- Leading characters are fantasy-based action heroes with "super power" abilities."

GIRLS -- Goal is to explore and have new experiences, with degrees of success and varying outcomes.

BOYS -- Goal is to win, and the play is linear. Outcome is black and white; die and start over; one 'right' solution.

GIRLS -- Play focuses on multi-sensory immersion, discovery, and strong story lines.

BOYS -- Speed and action are key.

GIRLS -- Feature everyday 'real life' settings as well as new places to explore.

BOYS -- features non-realistic, larger-than-life settings.

GIRLS -- Success comes through development of friendships.

BOYS -- Success comes through the elimination of competitors.

Last edited by Kleothera : 01-29-2009 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Added the URL
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:38 PM   #9
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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Originally Posted by scandum View Post
Does that imply there's not much scripting going on inside the areas? In my experience adding scripted area based quests takes up over 75% of the time spend on area creation once it becomes the norm, which I guess results in more men than women being drawn toward area creation.
I'm thinking our system may operate a little bit more differently than most. Our coders create large systems, and our builders plug in the writing. So, I think the builders do the scripting while the coders get down and dirty with the nitty gritty code. Almost all of our builders know basic code, so they're able to hand-code variations in an area. Other than that, they just set up values, and the systems take care of the rest. Builders mostly write and design items, areas, and tasks while the men are off coding. At least 75% of our building team is female. We've only got 2 guy builders!

Quote:
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So what would typically appeal to women?
I can't really answer what would definitely appeal to women, but I did write an article on it. You can find it in the article section of TMS. I think I originally wrote it for Imaginary Realities. What I can say that is that Age of Conan might be the first game where I actually felt like it didn't even bother to try to appeal to women and actually catered to men. I don't want to go as far to say that the game is sexist, but if there's a graphical game out there that is sexist, it would be AoC.

I can list the things that usually appeal to me that have less appeal for my husband:

1) Cute little pets that follow me around and do silly things when I click on them.
2) Collecting things within a game and showing it off.
3) Intense house design (which usually involves collecting and showing off)
4) Chatting up random people
5) Looking for random/weird things in the scenery. This can include trying to look at every object in a room. I love discovering something really different.
6) Establishing a network to sell my crap. (I'm not a big fan of auction houses.)
7) Getting powers that just look cool as opposed to doing a bleep-ton of damage. (I like the damage ones, too, but I'm okay with getting just a few cool looking "powers" that don't do anything but look cool.)
8) Running events.
9) Creating organizations that focus on something more than leveling up.
10) Creating strange RP scenarios and trying to get people involved. (I created a Save the Leet Foundation on AO and went around begging for food to feed the leets. Hubby found great amusement in this but wouldn't have done it himself.)

So, a lot of my stuff involves finding a self-made game within a game rather than simply just playing the game. Thus, I love a TON of content and a lot of options to do various things. (I think this is why I couldn't stick with WoW in the long run. It was combat and more combat or clicky crafting. Blah. Fishing was my favorite thing on WoW.)

Don't get me wrong. I love the levels. I love PvP. I like crushing opponents. I tend to be more like my husband when it comes to game than unlike him, but there are just a few differences.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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Originally Posted by Kleothera View Post
I guess,
a. For a start, less scantily clad gorgeous babes with biologically impossible anatomy
Would scantily clad gorgeous studs improve the situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleothera View Post
b. Less hack and slash.
I tried to see if there was information about gender differences on the bartle test but couldn't find anything. The general stereotype seems to be that males lean toward killer/achiever and women toward socializer/explorer.

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c. If not hack and slash, then what? RP, more social interaction and something that involves cooperative gameplay for something other than raids and more killing.
Does that imply that women are more likely to try roleplay enforced muds?

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d. Strong enforcement of no-harassment rules. Women need to feel safe from all sorts of virtual groping or being propositioned.
Would this mean that women are more attracted to muds with enforced rules, rather than more libertarian muds that hardcode the rules?

Quote:
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e. More and more realistic female heroes and characters in the game to which the player can relate to.
I guess a realistic game world is what most muds strive for, but you don't always get the builders you want. Perhaps women care more about an immersive world than males do.

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Our coders create large systems, and our builders plug in the writing. So, I think the builders do the scripting while the coders get down and dirty with the nitty gritty code.
I'm not following you here, I'm referring to WoW-like quests and other interactive scripted behavior in areas. I'm stressing interactive because there are a lot of muds that use scripts for purely cosmetic reasons.

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So, a lot of my stuff involves finding a self-made game within a game rather than simply just playing the game. Thus, I love a TON of content and a lot of options to do various things. (I think this is why I couldn't stick with WoW in the long run. It was combat and more combat or clicky crafting. Blah. Fishing was my favorite thing on WoW.)
You sound like the typical explorer/socializer profile. I think what ruins WoW for explorers is that it's designed in such a way that a 4 year old can figure everything out, all mobs and weapons are generic, so there's no challenge in finding the right leveling area with the right weapons and tactics. It's more of an achiever/socializer game with a decent end game for player killers.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:09 PM   #11
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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I'm not following you here, I'm referring to WoW-like quests and other interactive scripted behavior in areas. I'm stressing interactive because there are a lot of muds that use scripts for purely cosmetic reasons.
I think I misunderstood your initial question. I have a whole rant about the WoW-like "quest" system and mandatory questing. I honestly would rather camp spawns than run around doing WoW quest, but I digress. I don't know what your question is. I'm not a gigantic fan of scripts in general in mudding (I think).

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You sound like the typical explorer/socializer profile. I think what ruins WoW for explorers is that it's designed in such a way that a 4 year old can figure everything out, all mobs and weapons are generic, so there's no challenge in finding the right leveling area with the right weapons and tactics. It's more of an achiever/socializer game with a decent end game for player killers.
Yeah. I love the combat/leveling aspects and could easily be classified as a power-leveler. However, that means that I hit max level pretty quickly. After that, I need something else to do because I can't keep pounding mobs for nothing. It's far too boring for me then. Also, the problem with WoW is there's nothing really interesting to do along the way, so leveling occupies me until I can't do it anymore. Ultimately, the game's so easy to level that I then hit a dead end and have nothing to do except for fish, which is ends up being extremely repetitive as well.

So, in the end, I'd like to have the explorer/socializing stuff to slow me down and give me something fun to do, so I don't end up at the end game saying "Wow, this is totally boring, too." I think that's why MUDs ultimately held my attention much longer since there's usually so many things to do and so many muds to pick from. However, I don't think I would have ever found muds on my own. I was recruited by two male DnD buddies who just happened to know that I loved to read and play fantasy-based games. I wonder if it's possible that men are most likely to find muds than women.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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Would scantily clad gorgeous studs improve the situation?
Funny you should say that! I would normally say no, but in the case of AoC, I would say yes simply because your character was always getting hit on by hot chicks because they didn't bother to change the script based on your sex. Thus, you were constantly getting propositioned by hot chicks you rescued. However, hot dudes never propositioned you and offered to sex you up when you saved them or their horse. (At least not that I saw.)

It would have also helped if characters using the female model didn't inherently have a lower DPS due to character animation swings which they didn't bother to fix for the time that I played. (And still may not be fixed. )

Now granted, Conan was originally written in the 20s, and sexism was probably extremely prevalent in the world. I just refuse to believe that most of the chicks in the game world want to repay my character for saving their lives with hot lesbian sex. Once would have been okay. After the fourth time, it started getting on my nerves.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:55 AM   #13
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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I think I misunderstood your initial question. I have a whole rant about the WoW-like "quest" system and mandatory questing. I honestly would rather camp spawns than run around doing WoW quest, but I digress.
I kind of liked the mix of questing and killing on WoW (though just killing is much faster), it's a shame WoW puts quantity over quality when it comes to questing. I'm curious what your problem with questing is?

I also think that muds are inherently more social games being text based.

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Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
It would have also helped if characters using the female model didn't inherently have a lower DPS due to character animation swings which they didn't bother to fix for the time that I played. (And still may not be fixed. )
I've always wondered about the social impact of making female characters significantly weaker than male characters, and if it would lead to a code of honor as seen in real life.

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I just refuse to believe that most of the chicks in the game world want to repay my character for saving their lives with hot lesbian sex. Once would have been okay. After the fourth time, it started getting on my nerves.
I'd probably get annoyed too if rippled dudes continuously invited me for a camping trip to brokeback mountain. I've noticed that scripts in MMORPGs are particularly lazy when it comes to this.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:35 AM   #14
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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I kind of liked the mix of questing and killing on WoW (though just killing is much faster), it's a shame WoW puts quantity over quality when it comes to questing. I'm curious what your problem with questing is?

I also think that muds are inherently more social games being text based.
I'll PM you a link on something I wrote so that I don't end up derailing the thread.

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I've always wondered about the social impact of making female characters significantly weaker than male characters, and if it would lead to a code of honor as seen in real life.
I think if this is done by design and is an integral part of the game, it would actually be fun to play. Obviously, though, I think that if they are significantly weaker, they should have a different benefit, so that would have to be designed in as well. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd really have a reason to play unless it was COMPLETELY roleplay based.

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I'd probably get annoyed too if rippled dudes continuously invited me for a camping trip to brokeback mountain. I've noticed that scripts in MMORPGs are particularly lazy when it comes to this.
ROFL!!! The way you phrased that was totally brilliant. Yeah, I don't think that AoC was designed to be sexist. I think it's sexist via its lazy design and general thoughtlessness for any women who might want to be playing. It might have been better if it HAD been deliberately sexist. Then I'd think that they had some rhyme or reason behind it rather than just being totally sloppy and callous.

Last edited by Milawe : 01-30-2009 at 03:43 AM. Reason: Bad typo! Bad!
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:03 AM   #15
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

scandum >
I think what ruins WoW for explorers ... a 4 year old can figure everything out ... there's no challenge

Milawe >
Yeah. I ... could easily be classified as a power-leveler. However, that means that I hit max level pretty quickly. After that, I need something else to do because I can't keep pounding mobs for nothing. It's far too boring for me then.
... WoW ... nothing really interesting to do along the way, so leveling occupies me until I can't do it anymore.
... I then hit a dead end and have nothing to do ...


Well, CHALLENGE may be another important keyword in our discussion. I'm an explorer type - a mathematician by education and an IT specialist at the time - and solving logical puzzles is my favourite occupation (mathematics and programming count as logical puzzles, too). Doing min/max is exactly what brings me the greatest satisfaction, especially when some odd restrictions and limitations are in place. If you ever played nethack and know their concept of 'voluntary challenges', that's exactly what I mean.

On the other hand, there is little social aspect in logical puzzles. Even if I'm not doing it all alone and it's a teamwork, we exhange data rather than emotions. The few exceptions that come to mind are:

- boasting (Hey, I have just killed a dragon bare-handed and while wearing a blindfold! Can you repeat that achievement?)
The expected reaction must prove that the task was actually challenging. (It must be impossible! How did you do that?)

- creative excitement (Hey, do you know how exactly did I kill that dragon? It looked absolutely impossible at the first sight and took 157 carefully planned steps in the end. First, ...)
Here, the expected reaction must prove the acknowledge the stroke of genious. (How creative! Hell, how did the idea to do X _before_ Y come to your mind?)

Thus, ArcticMUD was a natural choice for me. Challenge is the motto of the game design there - the pkill is unrestricted, the quests are obscure (there is a ban on making the game information available to public. If a certain quest or puzzle becomes too widely known, it gets re-designed), the items are limited and decay over time, not to mention a pkill will leave you naked in the blink of an eye. Certainly, the intense and violent environment leaves little time for roleplay and the majority of our players are male; not sure if we ever had a female imm.

Once again, the genders seem to tend to look for different things in search of excitement:

Milawe >
when we were both asked to draw a bike just from memory ...
my bike wouldn't have been able to go anywhere since I didn't have the chain connected to pedals.
His bike, while insanely ugly, would have been operable.

That's exactly where the difference is clearly seen. For me, a beautiful bike is the one with a superior design; in fact, the bike IS the design!

The lines that look pleasing are usually the result of functionality and ergonomics requirements. To be good, it must ride good! The bike that can't ride is an ugly, useless pile of scrap metal parts attached together. It's a means of transportation and only then then something else, say, a piece of decorative art.

From what you say, a beautiful bike must be aesthetically pleasing first of all. To be good, it must look good! In other words, it's an object of fine art, and only then a means of transportation, if at all.

Certainly, the art-vs-science factors have been covered elsewhere, but it's still interesting to see how clearly they manifest in us, the participants of this thread.

Last edited by nasredin : 01-30-2009 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:58 AM   #16
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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Would scantily clad gorgeous studs improve the situation?
Hrmps. No. I think I want my love interest to be real and have something other than improbable anatomy as appeal. Again, its a men-women difference I suppose.

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Does that imply that women are more likely to try roleplay enforced muds?
Actually, it MIGHT, by implication. There is some evidence from NewWorlds on the original thread that suggested that this may perhaps be the case, but we need more hard evidence for that.

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Would this mean that women are more attracted to muds with enforced rules, rather than more libertarian muds that hardcode the rules?
Interesting thought, hadn't seen it coming. I cant generalise not having any personal experience of how libertarian muds actually function. What I am trying to say is that women DO want to have time playing without being hit upon by strange men. However, that may be its just me as the seniormost female imp speaking to whom such acts have been reported over the last decade. However, you may also remember the book (what was it called anyway?) by Pavel Curtis about the experience of MUD democracy on LambdaMoo where the system ran aground in the case of a virtual rape. Having said all that, while I want not to be harassed, I don't like to have arbitrary rules shoved down my throat any more than men do.

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I guess a realistic game world is what most muds strive for, but you don't always get the builders you want. Perhaps women care more about an immersive world than males do.
If so, it would reinforce your point of women and RP Enforced muds.

Last edited by Kleothera : 01-30-2009 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Messed up quote codes, 2 typos
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:47 PM   #17
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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This basically started from a bit of a semi-flame incident on another board,
http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/in...346-hello.html

however, it was suggested that the issue deserved an independent thread.

Basically, are the experiences of men and women in a MUD different? What do men and women look for in a MUD? Why are there apparently more men than women in the MUDing community (although this may not hold for all MUD genres)? Are there some ways women may have an advantage over men in a MUD? Are there some ways they are at a disadvantage? Any differences in game play that you may have noticed?

I'll admit i'll have to check the others posts but I wanted to respond to this. Been an online gamer since 96 and as a female I have tended to notice differences in how gaming is compared to how it is for my husband. Ive noticed in some games im either pandered to, handed things or treated as if I have to be hand held threw difficult quests (prevalent in mmos especially). Or that I generally need protecting. Only to suprize men when I create strong characters due to knowing game mechanics. I like to get the best out of a game I play specially when its stradegy. I want my castle or fortress not only to bring in funds, be strong enough to repel enemy, but to be a source of envy to those I allow to visit. I like frivolous things as decorating and shopping for good gear. But it does not stop me from wanting to have the best evade, hard hitting dps or the ability to cast spells that penetrate my enemies defense.

I think there are plenty of women and girl gamers out there that are in this medium. Yes we like roleplay and immersion, but we also know how to kick a butt or two.

In fact the only bad side to being a female in game for me is the initial attention I get which as a shy individual always puts me off. But once guys find out im happily married they tend to back away. As for advantages, I think for a woman who may not get attention in the outside world gaming is another way for them to get said attention and as long as they do not become trouble makers thats fine to. Ive seen it all though ive seen girls who will not even bother really playing their characters letting their online male friends do most of the work. Some who like to start fights between other players then run to higher levels and cause drama. I guess thats another reason it can be hard on female gamers, women like that are tended to be considered the norm in some games so when female who isnt about that comes about it can be hard proving to people your not about that stuff.

All in all though my online gaming experience in muds and the like has been good. Ive seen bad things but ive seen good and it makes me want to continue gaming.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:37 PM   #18
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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Having said all that, while I want not to be harassed, I don't like to have arbitrary rules shoved down my throat any more than men do.
Well, easiest would be to compare rules:

A) Cheating imbalances the game, so for everyone's convenience please report all bugs you find.
B) If someone is harassing you please use your client's GAG functionality to put a lit on it.
C) Don't give our your password, we don't take action if someone steals your character, you have been warned.

VS.

A) Cheaters will be deleted and site banned for 1 year.
B) Harassment is not tolerated and repeat offenders will be deleted.
C) Hacking or theft of accounts is not tolerated, and will result in a permanent site ban.

The first basically says, cheat, harass, and hack all you want because we don't really care. The second says, we have a large staff watching over you that's concerned with your every little grievance.

I personally prefer the first type of muds because I enjoy finding and using exploits, love playing the "who's the biggest jerk/creep" harassment mini game, and don't give out my password.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:06 AM   #19
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

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I personally prefer the first type of muds because I enjoy finding and using exploits, love playing the "who's the biggest jerk/creep" harassment mini game, and don't give out my password.
Your post would actually be great as a topic of its own. I often wonder what people prefer. For RP enforced MUDs, I prefer your second set of rules. For a game like WoW or a mechanics based game, I prefer your first set of rules.

I don't think that gender comes into play for which type of rules I prefer, but that's hard to say for sure since I can't be a guy and a girl or switch at whim to test out my theory.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:22 AM   #20
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Re: Male and Female Players: Are the experiences different?

mudconnect.com: The Mud Connector - Mud and RPG game index, mudlist and reviews

Is a parallel thread on the experience of male and female newbies on MudConnector based on the experiences of one person who attempted to have a controlled experiment on how people react to male vs female presenting players in a range of different MUD types (PK, RP Enforced, hack and slash etc). The thread discussed levels of help, netsex (a LOT) and PK, before being derailed by a misogynic troll.
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