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Super Badnik
26-08-10, 15:47
Well they may not sell games (according to Activision) but it seems games with Female leads get higher scores.

Video games that feature female lead characters get higher review scores according to a recent study.

According to research carried out by EEDAR across "910 core genre games", if a game has a female playable character it will, on average, score higher than ones with a male character, both genders, or games with characters of no discernible gender.

On average female focused games scored 67.88, whereas male focused games scored 65.78. Games where you can play as either scored 67.21.

Games with playable characters with no apparent gender, on the other hand, only score 59.86 on average.

Analysis by EEDAR described the difference in the numbers between male and female as "insignificant" saying that "console games over the last 5 years show no aggregate statistical evidence that indicates that gender selection (aside from having no gender at all) impacts quality scores."

Insignificant? There's almost two points difference between male and female lead characters there! That's significant enough for us nit-picky gamers.

The EEDAR research comes after Activision supposedly said that female lead characters don't sell games.

Maybe not, Activision, but they could add anywhere up to two insignificant points to the review score!


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Lara Fan 4Life
26-08-10, 15:51
With female lead characters in a game, you'll always come across a reviewer who gives the game a good review, yet they spend most of the time talking about the female character in the review ... So yeah! :p Interesting anyways, thanks for sharing! :)

Forwen
26-08-10, 15:52
Yes, it is insignificant. It's so small that it would be pretty far-fetched to ascribe it to the protagonist's gender, when it could be anything else... Like coincidence. This thing about "no apparent gender" and its lower scores should warrant more attention.

Love2Raid
26-08-10, 15:56
Did they put all games just on one pile?

I mean, you have to correct for confounders...

trXD
26-08-10, 16:04
"On average female focused games scored 67.88, whereas male focused games scored 65.78"

lol that is so stupid, one of the two has to be higher than the other one, it just happens to be girls, it would be a big coincidence if they were both even! :p

matrix54
26-08-10, 16:08
they are basically even. Divide that by 10 to get a base 10 score and they are both 6s. Divide that base 10 by 2 for a base 5 scale, and it's simply a 3 on both genders. :rolleyes:

Love2Raid
26-08-10, 16:21
"On average female focused games scored 67.88, whereas male focused games scored 65.78"

lol that is so stupid, one of the two has to be higher than the other one, it just happens to be girls, it would be a big coincidence if they were both even! :p
The difference is really small, that alone makes it highly unlikely that it's significant. But even if it was a bigger difference, you can still not call it significant, because there could be other factors involved. For example, what if female leads are more common in adventure games and less common in shooters? And what if adventure games scored higher than shooters? See, you can't just put everything on one pile and then draw the conclusion that games with female leads get higher scores because they have a female lead.

Though if you don't look at causality, you can put them on a pile. But the difference is still too small to be called significant. :)

Trigger_happy
26-08-10, 16:24
Isn't it just because there are fewer games with female leads? Fewer worse games makes the average higher- there was a thread about the lack of female characters as their games don't sell. I don't think its a sign of things.

toxicraider
26-08-10, 16:32
Isn't it just because there are fewer games with female leads? Fewer worse games makes the average higher- there was a thread about the lack of female characters as their games don't sell. I don't think its a sign of things.
Not statistically, no, But maybe because having a female lead is less typical, the gameplay is more likely to be fresh and different (Think Mirror's Edge, Wet, Bayonetta, Heavy Rain (partly)) , and get awarded on that basis.
Male led games are slightly more likely to be clones of other games (especially bland shooters), or more easy to compare to better games, hence get rated lower.

It would be more interesting to compare scores of games by the nationality of their developer. :cln:

Ward Dragon
26-08-10, 16:35
Yes, it is insignificant. It's so small that it would be pretty far-fetched to ascribe it to the protagonist's gender, when it could be anything else... Like coincidence. This thing about "no apparent gender" and its lower scores should warrant more attention.

Indeed. I was about to say something similar. I actually had to stop and think because I can't recall any games offhand where the protagonist had "no apparent gender" so I wonder what they mean by that even though the phrase itself is pretty clear :p I mean, even in games with nonhuman characters (aliens, robots, etc.) they almost always treat the characters as one gender or the other anyway, so I am really curious which games fall into the category of "no apparent gender."

The difference is really small, that alone makes it highly unlikely that it's significant. But even if it was a bigger difference, you can still not call it significant, because there could be other factors involved. For example, what if female leads are more common in adventure games and less common in shooters? And what if adventure games scored higher than shooters? See, you can't just put everything on one pile and then draw the conclusion that games with female leads get higher scores because they have a female lead.

Though if you don't look at causality, you can put them on a pile. But the difference is still too small to be called significant. :)

Exactly :) I would be very curious to see the results of other statistical analyses which looked at genre, first versus third person POV, checkpoints versus save anywhere, free-rotating camera versus follow camera, if it has a multiplayer component, etc.

Love2Raid
26-08-10, 16:49
Yup, a lot of factors should be taken into account. A lot of work, lol. :D

Super Badnik
26-08-10, 16:53
Yes, I know it is insignificant. :p
I thought I'd just post anyways seeing as we were talking about something along the same lines a few weeks ago.

toxicraider
26-08-10, 16:57
Indeed. I was about to say something similar. I actually had to stop and think because I can't recall any games offhand where the protagonist had "no apparent gender" so I wonder what they mean by that even though the phrase itself is pretty clear :p I mean, even in games with nonhuman characters (aliens, robots, etc.) they almost always treat the characters as one gender or the other anyway, so I am really curious which games fall into the category of "no apparent gender."



I think they mean games where you can choose the gender of your main character, or have a variety of characters to play as, or no character at all (Sims, tycoon games etc.), although I think "no apparent/fixed main character" would be a better phrase to use. :p

I'm surprised that they'd have lower ratings though.

Ward Dragon
26-08-10, 17:19
I think they mean games where you can choose the gender of your main character, or have a variety of characters to play as, or no character at all (Sims, tycoon games etc.), although I think "no apparent/fixed main character" would be a better phrase to use. :p

I'm surprised that they'd have lower ratings though.

But they did mention that they counted games with both genders (or a choice of genders) as its own separate category, so that makes me wonder what's left in the "no apparent gender" category. Maybe that refers to RTS games that treat the player as part of the action but never refer to the player explicitly as male or female? In that case, I would think if an RTS game is much more likely to fall into the "no apparent gender" category then maybe reviewers just don't like RTS games and that's why they got a lower score (not because of lack of gender) :p

Forwen
26-08-10, 17:48
Indeed. I was about to say something similar. I actually had to stop and think because I can't recall any games offhand where the protagonist had "no apparent gender" so I wonder what they mean by that even though the phrase itself is pretty clear :p

I think they refer to genres like sports (especially car racing), simulations and strategies.

Trigger_happy
26-08-10, 18:25
How about LBP? You decide the gender, and there's not external signs of the sackperson's gender.

toxicraider
26-08-10, 18:26
But they did mention that they counted games with both genders (or a choice of genders) as its own separate category, so that makes me wonder what's left in the "no apparent gender" category. Maybe that refers to RTS games that treat the player as part of the action but never refer to the player explicitly as male or female? In that case, I would think if an RTS game is much more likely to fall into the "no apparent gender" category then maybe reviewers just don't like RTS games and that's why they got a lower score (not because of lack of gender) :p
Oh so it does. *Teaches me not to skim over the article* :o

I'm not sure then,
Would the Sims count as both genders, or neither? I guess games like Sim City, Zoo Tycoon, Nintendogs and Flower, as well as a lot of driving games, don't have genders, but they don't have playable characters at all, and they didn't really clarify if there was another group for those types of games. I would have thought they'd mention that the group contained games with no playable characters, if they came under the 'no discernable gender' group.

I'm also trying to think of a game with a character that's not got an obvious gender. :p

.. Ecco the dolphin? :p

t-raider26
27-08-10, 03:35
The reason could be that more games have male leads, which means more games had lower scores. Because there are fewer games with female leads, there's less of an opportunity to fail.

( I really dont think I explained that correctly, hopefully you all understand :o )