Who do you see when you think “hardcore gamer”?
“We see a lot of things in the media that make gamers out to be guys in their basements playing with sticky Cheeto fingers,” says Megan King, marketing manager of wildly successful mobile app Dots.
Dots, the feather in the cap of co-founders Patrick Moberg and Paul Murphy’s mobile gaming empire (which also boasts Two Dots and Dots and Co., all three of which have seen more than 100 million downloads), shatters this stereotype. For Dots, the aesthetically pleasing gaming app, the exact opposite is true: their main player base is female (65 to 70 per cent of their players are women, to be exact), busting a stereotype that has long since held the gaming industry to ransom in terms of the types of games actually being made.
“Women are playing games, but they aren’t necessarily identifying with them,” Megan told Refinery29. “There are games with female characters, but often they’re hyper-sexualised or the supporting characters.”
Today, the company announced a new game, Wilds, which will be free and is due for release later this year, that features a female protagonist (and looks pretty awesome in general, see below). Wilds is different to the simplistically satisfying Dots because it’s avatar play, and lets players work through “linear” pathways and different worlds, explains Patrick. It’s also wildly different because of that starring role, and is set to change not only how gaming sees women, but how women see gaming.
“We wanted to make a game with a strong female character who is on a mission. We think women will relate to it more, because they’ll see themselves as the woman in the leading role.”