The percentage of male computer gamers is way higher than the percentage of female players. Moreover, the genders are playing completely different games (Hepsøe, 2012). Have these factors had a significant impact to why our teachers chose Civilization IV instead of other games?
Last Thursday my class and I went to a gaming seminar where politicians, researchers, media and computer gamers where presenting and discussing their thoughts about computer games.
One of the persons there, Thomas Hepsøe, senior adviser in Mediatilsynet, showed us the statistics of the most played computer games.
Girls’ top three played games are The Sims, Tetris and Draw Something, while the most played games by boys are Call of Duty, also known as CoD, Fifa and MineCraft.
People who have played these games know how different the “girl games” are from the “boy games”.
Hepsøe referred to several researches showing that boys choose games that makes the adrenalin pump harder, has better graffiti and a little more than a handful of violence, while girls on the other hand, often choose simpler games without violence (Hepsøe, 2012).
Ragnhild Bjørnebekk, scientist at the police Academy, said that computer games with extreme violence make her uncomfortable, and so does it make many other girls feel, including me.
Even though girls and boys prefer different qualities in a computer game, some habits in playing can be the same. Both genders are primarily playing to have a good time. A computer game can be a relief from the real life, and a place where you can set your mind to something else. You can achieve success and accomplish goals, which is clearly good for your self-esteem.
As I mentioned earlier, a huge majority of computer gamers are boys.
Are there norms in the society saying that playing computer games is something only guys should do and not girls, or could it be our genes and boys´ testosterone?
I think it is a mixture of both.
Testosterone is a hormone the male body produces. This hormone makes the competitive instinct and the eager to win, higher (Høidal, 2012). I think this has a big effect to the feelings you have during and after the game. The feelings and impressions they are left with might be stronger than girls´, and therefore their interest for playing will increase.
In addition, the norms in our society have a huge influence on us. Guys can not wear lipstick and girls should definitely not burp or fart, that is just the way it is! These norms are so common to us that we do not even question them. Computer games have now been joining the “guy-list”, and most people have accepted it.
As you all know, we are playing the game Civilization IV at school. This game is not completely free from violence; however, it contains a very small amount compared to many other computer games.
I think our teachers have considered this game to contain a tolerable amount of violence. Civilization IV has a lot more to offer than just blood, pain and death, which are my thoughts of for example CoD. The game gives you knowledge, it is interesting, you achieve goals while playing, and it is fun at the same time. It is not a high-speed, too advanced bloodbath-game with load noises, which can be repellent to girls, and it still has the excitement most boys like.
In my opinion, Civilization IV is a game which can be interesting for both girls and boys.
Hepsøe, T (2012, October) Konsoll Konferansen.
Høidal, K (2012, October) Lecture in science.