Robyn Fleming (revena) wrote,
  • Mood: nostalgic

Game Covers Women Want to See Meme

I've been meaning to do my answer for the "Game Covers Women Want to See Meme" for ages. Finally getting around to it tonight! Here's what it's all about - a while back, Brand Robins, posting at Yudishthira's Dice, said the following:

Ladies, what RPG covers (or interiors) have you seen that involve a woman in the art that make you say, “I want to play that” or, just as good “I want to play her.” Or that make you feel like it is a game you could like, or be included in by a group of guys you’d never met and whose maturity you didn’t neccisarily know?

And then tekanji turned it into a meme:

1. Copy the text of the original challenge from Yudhishthira’s Dice and give a proper link attribution.
2. Copy these rules exactly (including any links).
3. Find images of game covers (interiors are okay, too) that make you want to play the game. Any kind of game — video game, card game, tabletop RPG, etc — is fine. Post them and include a short (or long) explanation on why the image makes/made you want to play the game.
4. The original challenge is about finding out what women think about how game art is marketed and therefore it is targeted at women. I’d like to keep it that way, please.
5. You can tag as many or as few people as you want. You do not need to be tagged to participate in the meme.
6. When you make your post, please post the link on this thread so we can all see what others have said.

So here are a few covers that I've gotten excited about over the years:



This was the first computer game that I really wanted to play. The main character was a girl! And she was on the box and everything! SO COOL.

And thus began my long-lasting love of Sierra games.

Another King's Quest title also had a cover that made me want to play it desperately, again because it featured women as main characters and, more specifically, one female character that I already knew and liked:



If I'm remembering correctly, I ended up receiving this game as a Christmas present after talking it up for a long time (it may have been something that was given to me and Erik as a joint present, but I have a sense that it was just for me). I was SO. EXCITED. to play - and couldn't, because our external CD drive was too slow. Happily for me, Dad decided that it was high time for an upgrade, and a few days later I was happily immersed in getting totally stuck and... not ever finishing the game (it'll be interesting to see if I can finish it now that I'm 24, when I get around to playing it again).

I don't remember being particularly moved with that "zomg want to play!" urge by any gaming covers (for any kind of game) for a long time, after that. The next one was for a tabletop RPG, and it looked like this (there are no women in this cover art, but I'm including it anyway, because of how it made me feel):



My brother was putting together a Shadowrun game, and as soon as I looked at his sourcebooks and saw that cover, I knew I had to play a decker. The experience of actually playing a decker was kind've a disappointment (much like the frustrating KQVII, there was a constant sense that my thinking was somehow just not quite aligning with that of the game designers), but I was so jazzed up by that sourcebook that I spent weeks before the game started doodling pictures of what my decker character looked like, and imagining an elaborate backstory for her. And that was certainly fun.

The next cover after that which got me excited to play something is one that seems to have had a similar effect on lots of women:



I saw the cover for Dungeon Siege for the first time when I was at a time in my life where I'd grown aware enough of the conventions of my chosen geeky hobbies to know that seeing a woman in armor on a gaming product without any cleavage showing was something important. The character on the box did not look like a prize to be won, or an object to be admired. She looked like a main character - one who was about to kick someone's ass.

I think that was the first video game I bought for myself that wasn't some kind of sim (I was big into pretend fish tanks when I was a preteen, for some reason), and I agonized over getting it to run on my Dad's computer. It's another one I never managed to finish - but I had a great time creating my ass-kicking female character and doing what I could with an insufficient graphics card and memory, before my brother "borrowed" the game (which I've not seen since).

I've got a bargain-bin copy of Dungeon Siege sitting on my desktop right now, just waiting for me to give it another try.

The last cover I managed to track down a picture of which really got me excited about playing a game is this one (again with the no women - but still an awesome cover):



That was the book that made me feel happy about upgrading to D&D 3.5. Dragons, you guys! A whole book about dragons! I don't know that I need to say any more about that.

So, to sum up - I like cover art that has women main characters on it. I like cover art that gets me excited about the fantasy world inside the game, without turning me off by making me feel excluded right off the bat (having no human characters at all seems to be preferable to having only men). And I like dragons.

I'm not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you're a woman who games and hasn't done this meme yet, think about it - it's kinda fun, and also thought-provoking.

Another thing to think about, if you're interested in this women-and-games stuff, is writing a piece for Cerise, and/or getting involved with the IRIS forums. I'm having so much fun with that community - I'd love to see more of you over there.
Tags: d&d, geek
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