Women and FPS games

Dear QT3,

I have a vague memory of reading something here about a study that found women did just as well as men at FPS games after an initial 5-10 hour learning period. I have used google to search the forums however and I can’t come up with anything.

Does anyone remember this thread or the study? My wife works for a women in science/technology nonprofit and was interested in reading it since it seems to go along with other studies about spatial reasoning.

Is it anything like herpes and virgins?

Ask Caryn Law.

My girlfriend sucks at FPS games.

I’d be interested in reading this, too. My girlfriend has a really hard time navigating in 3-d space, regardless of the system. I’ve tried to get her past that initial learning period, but she usually just gets frustrated and quits about 15 minutes in.

At least your girlfriends try to play. Mine wants nothing to do with games, unless it’s Scrabble on her DS or Catan on the 360. Man…she is a stubborn one.

That PlanetQuake feature ended years ago, silly.

I think this may be the study you are referring to.

My girlfriend sucks at FPSes too. She is savant-like at Soul Calibur though.

I’ve seen that one referenced on a science blog, but thank you for the link to the direct study. I thought for some reason there was another one about video game playing specifically, not testing spatial reasoning after gaming. I could also have made it up I suppose.

Exactly the same here. She gets stuck navigating and gets lost all the time.

They got an NSERC to watch undergrads play Medal of Honor?


My 15 years old sister loves two games - Sims 2 (duh) and GTA: San Andreas.Oh and CounterStrike, although she sucks at it : ).I installed new Prince of Persia on her PC (since its DRM-free), but she did no like it too much for some reason.

That study seems to fit with my wife, who I’ve never thought fit the male definition of “female gamer”. She’s pretty damn good at FPS games - I can beat her on Quake 3 / UT2003 for a few rounds, and then she improves to the point of beating me on a par basis. And there are some games like Far Cry 2 (admittedly on the 360, where I have great difficulty with the controller) where she can breeze through sections I find pretty tough.

Her favourite game is GTA: San Andreas and she absolutely despises The Sims. She finds attempts in the game industry to make “female-friendly games” to be patronising at best, pointing out that she has just as broad a taste as male gamers and only objects to the obviously pubescent male-oriented advertising.

Sorry, getting sidetracked.

Yeah, my fiancee is about as good at FPSes as I am, despite just having picked them up about a year ago. She’s also fine navigating other 3D environments, like WoW. I don’t know that there’s any difference.

My older daughter no longer plays FPS’s. But I still recall some awesome Unreal Tournament LAN 2004 deathmatches, where she’d own all the guys on the network. Her favorite weapon was the sniper rifle, but she wouldn’t use it in a traditional way. Instead, she’d run around, find high places to jump from, and while in mid-air, could zoom in with the sniper scope and get a head shot.

A female friend of mine isn’t really a big gamer (she doesn’t even own any consoles or a PC, just a Mac), but she does tend to do well in them, FPSes included. She was a holy terror with the flamethrower in RTCW, she’s at the peak of raiding in WoW, she’s surpassed me at Guitar Hero…

I forgot to mention that my wife spent a bit of time in South Korea several years back. While she couldn’t compete at Starcraft, she suggested Rainbow Six (the original version I think) and owned the entire club she was playing against. Her brother talks about it with a kind of unbelievable awe. Last year she mentioned wanting a rifle license. I’m kinda worried!

my ex gf was very good at FPS, but most I’ve encountered don’t make it past the breaking in period before giving up. Of those that I know that play regularly, not too many are actually decent.

This was mostly true of my gf, but Oblivion changed all that. It’s not that she gets frustrated and gives up, just that she doesn’t have enough interest to get past the learning curve in most FPS games.

So Oblivion, being just her sort of RPG, held her attention for like 180 hours. And it uses the same basic dual-stick setup most FPS games do on consoles. So after that, co-op in Gears of War was no problem. She still has little interest in most FPS games, but she’s perfectly successful at playing the first-person stuff she has interest in.