Ok, now that I have had my rant about people wanting to market to those among the gamer community who happen to have indoor plumbing instead of outdoor, let me go off on the community itself.
First there are the members of the community who seem to believe there are no female gamers. That all gamers that run under a female name are male. That no female is capable of playing a game much less coding one. See one of the comments a member of the marketing panel (male member I should point out) was that the industry maybe needed more female coders and builders to draw more "girls" to gaming.
Ahh well I pointed out to him and I will again remind people of the history of female coders in gaming. There was woman on the DIKU development. Pickle Wars was developed by a woman, who else would think of using a salad shooter to disable aliens? They exist, look at any game you love. Maybe there is a female coder on the credits, maybe not, but the fact remains they exist and have for a long long time. The problems are either they do not get much recognition or like me , they tend to be gamers first. Yep they are not INTO making something just for women, they are into making a good game. Or they spend hours, weeks, months developing a game to have the project leads and/or the VP take the credit - like most of the other coders on the project.
So, you want more female developers? JUST HIRE THEM! I know of many women who are in the industry and out of a job. No, they may not be game developers per se but I bet they could blow away half of your C++ developers. Hire the developers and teach them the industry. Give the team time to develop a good game and listen to them when they say something is not working right. Oh wait, maybe you should do that with male developers too. Bugs might not run so rampant in games.
So, why this sudden concern that women need to be game developers? Because the gaming industry has peaked out. Yep. See it used to be people learned to code well then learned to apply that to an industry. But now people teach how to code for a specific industry. Well, gaming has finally ceased to be the loose cannon industry and has become big bucks (thanks for that WOW). It has ceased to be where the independent thinkers and developers go and become a product a label and set of people to market to. And guess what, they are running out of gamers. (Maybe they NEED to produce better games, but we won't go there.)
So they need to create a new set of gamers. They are trying to convince us that women need to game. Now how are they doing this? by showing a bunch of girls around an Xbox. They are having fun. They are all hot. They are gaming in full makeup. Ok that is just an insult. I used to come home from work, cook dinner, take a shower, change into sweats and proceed to blow the hell outta things in Doom. Especially if the marketing department pissed me off. Then I moved to Dungeon Keeper, now it is Overlord. I play MUDs. I build for a MUD. I write for various gaming sites. I do not wake up, put on my makeup and get all dolled up to blow things to bits. Neither do any men I know. When was the last time you saw someone at home playing WOW in suit?
So, how to convince girls that gaming is something for them? By putting women in prominent positions on the the game dev team and marketing that. Only thing is, if the developers all look like the girls in the pictures, we won't buy it. We won't buy your con nor will we buy your games. BE REAL. Just hire excellent coders no matter what their gender is. Let them create good games. Market the hell out of them and price them reasonably. We will come and we will bring our friends.