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    This article is a good argument against treating a lack of gender diversity in video games as a problem to be solved. Men and women are systematically interested in different types of video game experiences, and game creators who cater to one type of experience or the other will naturally have a gender imbalance in the sorts of players who want to play that type of game.

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      It’s a sign of bizarre times that this isn’t obvious. Boys and girls have always preferred playing with different toys since the dawn of time.

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        There’s nothing obvious about it, and re-examining unfounded claims is not bizarre. We know that, historically, plenty of claims made were just plain wrong (consider the anabolic-catabolic “theory”).

        Boys and girls had very different /roles/ since the dawn of time for obvious reasons. If you tried, as a girl, to play with the “wrong” toys you could see quite a bit of resistance.

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          I’m not saying this is wrong (I haven’t done any research so I don’t know) but it seems very likely that kids are pushed to play with specific toys by society. We label toys as boys or girls, we market toys as being played with by either boys or girls and we give kids toys that we associate with their gender.

          I saw a video this year where young babies were placed in a room full of a range of toys. Each time the baby was dressed in either pink or blue and given a female or male name regardless of their actual gender and a babysitter was in the room as well to help them play with the toys. Each time the babysitter would tend to help the baby play with toys stereotypical for their perceived gender. After the babysitter was asked which toys they thought the baby liked and they would say the baby seemed to prefer the toys of the perceived gender regardless of what the babys actual gender was.

          Now that’s not really a scientific study but it does seem to suggest that things are not as “obvious” as they seem. It’s a little hard to test because really you would have to raise a kid in an alternative society to see what differences it makes.

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            There’s also evidence that toy choice is gendered along the same lines that we in our culture are familiar with among chimpanzees, suggesting that toy choice has something to do with biological mechanisms of gendering bodies that are older than the human-chimpanzee split.

            Anyway, this entire article is already presupposing that gendered differences in toys (well, video game tastes, but is a video game not just a more sophisticated toy?) exist and are important. As per the title, what men and women consider hardcore gaming are not the same.

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              Could as well be the kids wanted to be nice to the babysitter who helped them play. The type of play also needs to be accounted for. There are studies as well which show that very young kids tend to gravitate to certain types of play.

              Of course there’s going to be some overlap and gray areas, but what’s the harm in acknowledging the idea that maybe play and preferences have something to do with biology?

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                but what’s the harm in acknowledging the idea that maybe play and preferences have something to do with biology?

                There is no harm in thinking maybe it might be true and maybe it might not. There is harm in things like OPs comment stating “It’s a sign of bizarre times that this isn’t obvious.” When it’s extremely complex and not obvious at all.

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                  There is no harm with acknowledging that they “have something to do with biology”, the difference is how much weight is put on it, and the problems are caused when that is used as an excuse for things like exclusion, whether that’s subtle coercion of “oh I wouldn’t bother with that, because it’s been shown that people like me are bad at that sort of thing”, to the deep personal exclusion of “I will never be able to do X in a good way because of my biology, so I should not try”.

                  Equally, what is the harm in acknowledging the idea that maybe play and preferences have something to do with culture?

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                    I don’t know where coercion or exclusion came from here.

                    And surely society has some effect, but reading something like The Blank Slate makes me think it’a not such a huge factor.

                    Next someone will probably point out Pinker is a white supremacist or something and I’m done with this already.

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                      I don’t know where coercion or exclusion came from here.

                      Do societal consequences not matter, just because they’re societal?

                      reading something like The Blank Slate makes me think it’a not such a huge factor.

                      The Blank Slate, last I checked, ignores a lot of hard evidence done in the social sciences in favour of bashing Pinker’s strawman of the subjects. In addition, I’m not sure how someone can place a single reasonably cited book as a justification for ignoring 70 years of hard evidence. Especially when such a book’s argument is strongly contested.

                      Next someone will probably point out Pinker is a white supremacist or something and I’m done with this already.

                      Does someone’s political views not have any bearing on their research? Surely years of study have found bias in study construction extremely easy. I take the attitude that it must be so, for politics is how we view and frame all manner of parts of the world. Whether or not someone is a racist matters deeply as to the purpose behind the arguments that they make, and the ways that they approach certain details. Likewise if I am a monarchist you would surely wish to know that when arguing about matters of state, since my arguments might be led by conscious or unconscious motivations.

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                        I don’t think Pinker has a political horse in the race, but I do understand he can be misunderstood to have one even if he didn’t. So as far as anyone should care, the discussion could be limited to the science.

                        I’m just not particularly interested anymore, because something like infant behavior, sex vs gender, toy preference, biology, anthropology, primatology and who knows what “always” gets conflated with coercion and exclusion.

                        It’s essentially impossible to discuss matters online, text-based, time-delayed and without real interaction. More so when it starts to feel like something someone wants to win. The easiest win is to claim the other party doesn’t care about something not immediately related yet important and he’s therefore a bad person by implication.

                        That’s why I’m done.

                        Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and men and women choose different toys, ways to play, subjects to study and careers to follow.

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                    Yes as a hypothetical, and in a context where social coercion doesn’t exist your statement would be totally fine and good. Saying it with certainty, even though it runs contrary to the scientific consensus lacks epistemological responsibility. It’s fine to say I’m not sure I agree with the scientific consensus, however it’s irresponsible to say that the scientific consensus is certainly wrong without any evidence. Once you add in the fact that some people will try to use such claims as a way to pressure a demographic out of an activity, then you have the risk of real harm. I’m not saying you’re the kind of person who would do that but it’s important to be aware that people will try to use your message there to exclude others who are wholly capable.

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                    I mean there’s no reason to believe that there’s real sexual dimorphism in the toys children choose to play with. I’ve seen boys play with dolls and girls play with trucks. Gender is a construct, that’s the scientific consensus and those saying otherwise value tradition over evidence.

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                      There are also a lot of arbitrary gendered items that change over time or across cultures. For example skirts of some form have been either male or female clothing depending on the culture/location. Also pants have been male clothing but are now neutral.

                      There are no doubt very real differences between genders. The obvious one being physical strength/body shapes but I am willing to bet that a majority of the differences between genders today are formed by tradition and not biology.

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                        The differences in gender as you said are formed by tradition. When you talk about physical strength and body shapes however that’s sexual dimorphism, unless you are referring to the cultural mores that pressure men to bulk up and pressure women not to. Sex informally speaking is the bits between your legs, sexual dimorphism is the physiological difference that often (but not always) come along with that like testosterone or estrogen production, gender is the cultural construct we have around sex. You can have sexes without having gender, which I’m sure has existed and you can have many genders within a single sex if you’re like creating a sci-fi culture.

                        You weren’t wrong in any way I just thought it would be useful to be clear.

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                  The reason there’s a push to solve it is the profit motive.Given that roughly 50% of women play games if you could create an experience that tailors to both cultures you could make a lot more money than if you didn’t.

                  Though I personally also enjoy playing games with people with different backgrounds. Sometimes a different cultural outlook also can have refreshing outside of the box ideas. It looks like for example that according to this survey while women value competition and challenge, they also value looking good while doing it, and going all the way to completion. That would mean if you want to hook women, make sure to add robust customization options or ways to build or design things. I think the completion aspect is already in most games, cheevos. Notice that they don’t disvalue destruction, but they find it less interesting than a well written story.

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                    Indeed, it is like complaining chick flicks get chick viewers, which is absurd.

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                      I haven’t heard that particular complaint, but one I hear often is that it’s quite absurd to have a genre lineup that resembles something like “action,” “comedy,” “drama,” and “not for men,” as if “not for men” were its own genre (it’s obviously not literally called that, but you provided your own example above). Deciding to use a “not for men” genre immediately creates its counterpart, “for men,” which is every other genre.

                      You logically have two choices here:

                      1. Accept the dichotomy and make explicit the implicit labels: “action for men,” “comedy for men,” “drama for men,” and “not for men.” You’ll have to train your brain to see this everywhere, as the implicit labels are extremely implicit. Along with appeal to the targeted demographic comes license to exclude the other – after all, if your genre is “not for men” then you don’t care if your movie makes men uncomfortable (this is different than making it desirable for not-men). If your genre is “action for men,” you don’t care if your movie makes women feel uncomfortable. It’s not for them.
                      2. Reject the dichotomy, and distribute the “not for men” qualities into the core genres – “action for men” just becomes “action”. Along with this comes the lack of license to exclude. This has made some movie watchers/videogame players mad – even though there is still plenty of content around (and more being made every day), the consumers of the previously “for men” genres see this as dilution and loss. Some of the things they liked excluded people, and instead of trying to untangle the good from the bad (or learn to coexist with new expressions of things they liked before) they’ve decided to double down and defend everything.

                      Whichever decision you make will impact how you see the modern media landscape.

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                    Interesting article with some insights I wouldn’t have expected. For example, that of the “hardcore” gamer group, women tended to score higher than men on the “completion” aspect and just as high on “power.”

                    This may just be that, as a whole, women tend to score higher across the board, whereas men are more likely to focus on a few areas and be less interested in others (my personal profile is quite extreme in this way).

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                      Yep. I think it’s useful information for anybody who wants to work on game designs that encourage a healthy mix of players.

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                        Why did you use a link shortener on that link?

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                          So I could track who clicks on the link, of course! /s

                          The website gives a shortened link to share by default, so that’s what I copied.

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                        For your submission What Men and Women Consider Hardcore Gaming Are Not The Same

                        I suggested removing cogsci, and it should probably have the label datascience. This is because the article isn’t really cognitive science research in part because it doesn’t attribute the findings to cognition. It would take more research to see if it was cognitive, or social, or cultural. If the findings held for example in China vs the US. The label of cogsci is therefore misleading, and I would personally feel a “culture” label would also be putting words in the authors mouth. Datascience is probably the most correct label.

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                          I agree with your analysis–could @pushcx or @Irene take a look at this and fix it for me? :)