Girl in the Machine discusses the wierd disconnect with reality that so many gaming companies have when it comes to what 'female gamers' want, and the negative stereotypes of 'femininity' that so many of us blindly accept as true:
"Let's take a moment to examine how these "girl games" hurt female gamers by taking a look at the bigger picture. Masculine hegemony characterizes femininity as frivolous, idiotic, weak, and ultimately different. Now, most of us who call ourselves women may come to despise traditional femininity because of the aforementioned prejudices, which have become part of the mainstream attitude. And if the patriarchy makes femininity what it is, why not?"
"And what does this have to do with video games? We sneer and recoil at these "girl games," designed by men for women. These are stupid, we think, and by extension: those who play these games are stupid. Therefore, women are stupid. Rarely do we automatically separate intended audience from the motivations and attitudes of the creators themselves. Therefore, our own prejudices arise, and the separation of "girls" from "the rest of the world" feels unfortunately familiar. It's a social construct that molds our personal opinions in a million subtle ways until we accept things such as sexism as normal."
This attitude ties in with my thoughts about Age of Conan, which I think is a perfect example of this kind of attitude on the part of a game developer. The sexism and female objectification in that game is proudly displayed -- it's not a girly game, after all! It's for real, hardcore gamers! And the fact that so many people simply accept that logic as reasonable, without thinking about its implications, is very telling.