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Wooing women gamers -- and game creators

Posted Mar 15, 2008 by Ben Krueger

Wooing women gamers -- and game creators

CNN.com has this article running in their technology area about women gamers and about how more and more are joining school programs focusing on game development / design.

(CNN) -- On a Tuesday night in a San Francisco nightclub, Torrie Dorrell makes a very personal revelation to the gathered crowd: "I'm a full-on gamer, and my husband hates me."

art.girl.gamers.jpg"Cassie" is one of the characters who occupies the online world of "The Agency."

In fact, Dorrell spends so much time gaming, she has risen to the level of "officer" in a "guild" playing "EverQuest 2" online.

More and more, husbands and boyfriends are playing second fiddle to computers and consoles as 38 percent of gamers are female, spending an average of 7.4 hours a week playing, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Dorrell isn't just one of these female gamers, she also works in the industry. As the senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Sony Online Entertainment, she has made a career out of her passion for games.

"Women are out there in significant numbers playing MMOs, action games, first-person shooters," Dorrell explains. "What is lacking in the equation are women behind these games."

In an effort to balance that equation, Dorrell and her colleagues at SOE have created G.I.R.L., Gamers In Real Life, a scholarship program to attract more young women to careers in game development.

"Go to any video game convention and it appears quite obviously that there are more men than women in the industry," says Courtney Simmons, public relations director for SOE, who helped spearhead the G.I.R.L. program at the company's San Diego headquarters.

Click here to read the entire article.

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