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[July 26, 2005]
Why Won't Broads Buy Our Products?
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions
An article in CNN today (http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/fun.games/07/25/game.girls.ap/index.html ) about video games spotlights two women: one named Tara Teich, a programmer for games company Mad Doc Software in Massachusetts, and another named Tammy Yap, a game programmer for Midway Home Entertainment. Why are these women unusual? Because they bear two X chromosomes and they work in the world of video games, that's why. The gaming industry is so male dominated, these women claimed they've never worked with another woman. Never.
Now, explain to me the logic of cutting out half of your potential audience from your industry?
The gaming industry apparently finds it hard to figure out why it can't attract women, while it takes a bite from its sandwich and "wins" another bikini-clad babe as a prize for shooting the most bad guys. What do they do with all these women they "win"? Stack them in the corner and go out looking for more? (Hey…that gives me an idea…how about a "Ted Bundy Spree" game?) Gee…sign me up. I can't wait to play.
It's not that women don't like video games. The CNN article points out the success of The Sims, a wildly popular video game whose market is made up of 55 percent women. Yes, 55 percent. A female friend of mine was so addicted to The Sims at one point that she ceased going out. (My friends and I had to show up at her front door and intervene, demanding she get dressed and go out for a drink with us.)
The tech industry has always complained it can't attract women buyers. So what does VoIP service provider Vonage do for marketing? "Pimp That Phone" is a new contest being conducted by Vonage in which four individuals are given an ordinary desk phone and must trick it out to transform it into an "uberphone".
Pimping is funny…get it? We admire pimps…they like to trick out their cars, themselves, their houses, in between beating up their prostitutes. Oh, lighten up, Tracey, it's just an expression. Not to most women, it's not. Let's start a new contest, with four men with prostate cancer. It's funny, see? The one who is still alive after five years wins! It'll be a laugh riot! "Pimp that phone" has one female participant (probably because Vonage has a PR department and someone in it has a clue). I wonder where they had to dig her up from. How do they describe her on the Web site? "A dark eyed tech temptress."
In other words, "Girls…you can play in our sandbox, if you want. But put a bikini on first."
Tracey Schelmetic is editorial director for CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions. For more articles by Tracey Schelmetic, please visit:
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