Tuesday 20 April 2010

It's a woman's world (they just don't know it yet!)

CraxyKinux has at last announced the latest blog banter, and it's all about the chicks! The Eve Blog Banter Special: The Ladies of New Eden.

What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?

So, how to get women into Eve? Well as far as the game itself goes certainly no changes are in order.

If you strip away the obvious first impression image of Eve being a space ship pewpew game and start to look under the surface you will see that it is SOO much more than that. Eve has a breadth and depth of possibility that far outweighs the game play available any other MMO or online game I have encountered (and I have seen quite a few).

To illustrate what I mean I've made a list of sorts, categorising different areas of Eve gameplay:

-Mission running/cosmos/exploration & complexes (PVE)

-Wormhole life
-Market pvp & trade/scamming
-Ninja salvaging/can flipping/suicide ganking/high sec wars
-0.0 NPC space/0.0 sov holding/power block wars
-Piracy/mercenaries/low sec life/Faction wars
-Corp & Alliance running/Logistics/POS management
-OOG community activities such as forums/blogging/fan fiction/competitions/Eve art/music/videos/API based program creations/kill boards/social get-togethers and so on and so forth...

Now let’s put together a slightly stereotypical description of that strange creature known as "womankind".

Women are devious, passionate, humorous, manipulative, natural multi-taskers, nurturing, intuitive, intelligent, patient, cunning, empathic, hormonal, capable of pure evil and also rather warm and squashy.

Are you telling me that out of that great big list above a woman with any one of those traits could not find herself quite at home in Eve? Of course she could, and she does.

Whilst I have met and played with hundreds of men in Eve, of all lifestyles and from all walks of life, I have only come across a handful of women. Yet all of them stood out in some way, and not simply because they had tits.

One of the most widely known and respected Pirates I have come across in New Eden is Mynxee, a woman. She, along with the female pirate corp she founded, Hellcats, have done much to publicise that female pilots can kick butt and induce tears just as well as their male counterparts.

On the other end of the scale the most knowledgeable authority on trading, production and probably wealthiest player I will ever meet in Eve is also a woman. Seriously, this chick crashes entire markets; don't ever tell me women don’t do spreadsheets...

Since I delved into the world of Eve blogs I stumbled into a plethora of female bloggers. One of the most popular on the Eve Blog Pack being - Wench with Wrench. There is something very delicate and feminine about Lea’s writing but it is also very down-to-earth and wonderfully “Eve”. Here is a view of New Eden that is a world apart from all the "epeen waving", yet no less a valid part of the game.

Furthermore, despite the countless ill-informed idiots and arseholes I have encountered in FW the most unbelievably irritating person I ever came across in all of Eve was... yes a woman.

I couldn't tell you who the first guy I met in Eve was (aside from my other half) but I clearly remember the very first time I encountered another lady in game. It was during one of my earliest fleets in Faction War. The fleet was a mishmash of Federal Defence Union members (the Gallente militia NPC corp) and as such quite disorganised. People were yapping over the FC, no one was where they were supposed to be, commands were being lost in the chatter, it was all rather a mess.

Then out of the blue came a very loud and very angry female voice, yelling out over voice coms in an extremely strong scouse accent...


I nearly fell off my chair laughing, but I’ve never forgotten that moment. Oh and it worked, the fleet did shut up.

To change the nature of Eve in order to make it appeal to a female mass market would only be to the detriment of the game. The fact is we already have the perfect environment for female gamers. The real trick is getting more of them to realise this.

This brings me firstly to Incarna... my God I cannot wait! Yes it will certainly plug a gap that is missing from Eve, not just for many women but for thousands of male players (and future players) also. But Incarna alone is not Eve and never will be. Anyone who starts playing under the impression they can take over the world whilst Quafed up and dancing in the local bar wearing nowt but a g-string is, I suspect, to become quite disappointed.

At the end of the day if any woman, or man for that matter, is going to stick with Eve it will be down to falling in love with the complexities of the game in whichever area they choose to indulge in. Incarna may widen the appeal, and I sincerely hope it does. But it will still be the rest of the game that keeps people playing.

So, on to my suggestion, of sorts.

I honestly believe that the more publicity the wider and less obvious aspects of Eve get the better. For my own part - whilst it was my partner who encouraged me to start playing Eve, it was the discovery of FW and my involvement in corp running and related politics that finally hooked me to the game. But most of all it was the people. I love helping new members get settled in. I have always enjoyed getting to know new and interesting people in game, and I love my nights of drunken corp banter. I found family in Eve, and that is why I stayed.

But these are things you don’t really get to see in the official shiny Eve videos and adverts. I think that any blogging, news articles or other publicity that shows off the less obvious sides to this many faceted game will slowly encourage more women to check it out. And the result will hopefully be more ladies who stay the course and carve out their own futures in New Eden.

But does it even matter if we have more women in Eve?

Look, I am not so “women’s rights” as to think that women bring something to the game that males never can. Most of my corp is male, most of the people I spend my Eve time with are male. I love chilling with the guys and horrifying them with tales of menstrual problems or old dates from hell. I wouldn’t change a thing.

But I’ll leave you with this little story.

A few months ago, a male friend of mine got accepted to join a large sov holding alliance, one of the big power blocks. It was quite a big move and he was pretty excited to begin this new and very different phase of his Eve life.

He lasted less than 4 weeks.

Why? Well he knew what to expect in terms of game play and logistics and he was prepared for all the commitment and self-sufficiency required. But what he didn’t expect was a cold and uninterested community. He was barely spoken to. His questions were ignored and his attempts to “bond” with his new corp mates proved futile. The apparently complex and efficient recruitment process he stepped into was barely followed by the guy running it. My friend found himself in a cold and disinterested environment. No connections and no friends. There was simply no spirit here, a distinct lack of camaraderie.

I just couldn’t help wondering what would have happened if that alliance had had a few intuitive females involved in their recruitment process or keeping tabs on the new members. Some things, well they just do better with a woman’s touch.

After all, who got Adam to eat that apple in the first place eh?


Quick update to my original post with the other Banter responses - will endevour to keep the list up to day (Wow so many responses!)

Blog Banter special edition entrants:

Ombeve - The Ladies of New Eden
astral's eve trial by fire - Is eve a man's world?
The Cataclysmic Variable - Sorry, No Pink Spaceships Here Please
Eveogander - Chicks 'N Ships
The Ghost Report - The Girls Who Fly Spaceships
Eve SOB - It's not about fluffy bloody Kittens people!
Starfleet Comms - Space Boobies Are Bad, m'kay?
Learning To Fly - I Like Girls
Garhead - Special Edition or making Eve More Casual

prano's journey - What Women Want...
rantuket - I wish my wife played EVE
eve's parity bit - Is there something special about women?
La Vie D'une Capsuliere
Linked Dreams - CK's Blog Banter
I am Keith Neilson - The Female of the Species
Michael Williams Master of None - Eve Online Can Appeal to Women...
Diary of a Garbageman - The Ladies
Record of Alva Dyson - Women who want Eve
The Hydrostatic Capsule - tech 2 stilettos
The Nomadic Gamer - New Eden doesn't need to change...
Errant Thoughts - Eve Online and... women (sorta)
Life in Low Sec - Think Outside the Spaceship
mmorppg.com Women women women
Depths Unknown - Girls Just Wanna Have... Guns!
Drack Horizons, Chronos I - The Eve Banter Blog
A little bit of Blue - Don't change Eve for me!
Vive Virtual - Women in Eve

Related post: Sweet Little Bad Girl - Eve vs Women

*EDIT* THE RESULTS ARE IN: http://wtfims.blogspot.com/2010/06/women-in-eve-winners-announced.html


  1. Awesome post and oh how I laughed at some of your anecdotes--I think we've all had those same experiences! And omfg that graphic a the top is hilarious.

    Damn, the blog banter is turning out to be WAY better than I thought but you know what? The most insight posts I've read so far are from women. Am I simply biased, or is that saying something? :)

  2. I completely agree Mynxee (on the insightful posts being from women, that is). This one is certainly one of the best so far, in my opinion.

  3. You could have stopped at the first graphic.

    The rest of it read like a long self-mastubatory (mutual if you count Mynxee...hey, it worked!) waste of electrons.

    Great first part though.


  4. I er don't get off on writing blog posts but thanks for the feedback o_0

    Such a big response to this, I wonder if CCP will look into the suggestions people have been making. A great blog banter anyway, lots of new bloggers coming out too which is nice.

  5. Hilarious, I'll never look at a Dominix in the same way again.

    I totally agree with your closing statement, it would be fascinating to see what impact some intuitive women would have on the organisations within EVE.

    @Mynxee In defence of us fellas, you ladies do have a bit of an advantage on the insight front in this topic.

  6. ccp will need to introduce the nag turret and hormonal charges.

    "Some Angry Tart strikes you perfectly nagging you for 1578 damage"

  7. I turn on anonymous comments and you finally say hi dear? :P

  8. Congratulations! I really enjoyed reading this. Great images too. *giggle*

  9. 100,000,000 ISKs have been transfered to you in game. Enjoy!