[TL;DR: I like Sci Fi and don't know why Eve is broken for girls.]
Once a year or so I write something about gender and playing Eve. I don't write about it often. That is because it is not something I think about anymore then my ethnicity. I do not burst from my bed screaming that I am a female gamer. Nor do I stand before my mirror and trumpet my ethnicity as I wrestle my hair under control. If I identify with anything about myself, it would be my introversion and the impact that it has upon both my real and virtual life. The hurdles it causes me and my efforts to overcome myself.
But gender is a delicate subject. More delicate than race in some avenues of the internet these days. It is an old story and one that simply seems to change mediums. It is not a topic I enjoy discussing. The waves of reactions that it trigger drown out conversation. However, I accidentally mired myself into it by idly responding to a comment asking if girls liked Sci Fi.
Why yes. Yes I do. And so I said that I do. I've always enjoyed science fiction. I read A Matter for Men before I was ten. I was reading Heinlein when I was twelve. Friday, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and to Sail Beyond the Sunset are still some of my favorite books by him. I have my father's collection of science fiction books reaching back into the 50's and 60's as well. I love that type of science fiction as much as I enjoy Alastair Reynolds and David Brin. Deep Space Nine is my favorite Star Trek and Thorarinn Gunnarsson's Starwolves are still a pleasure.
Such was were my mind was when I answered a question and tipped myself into a place I did not wish to be.
The comment was on the tweet from a journalist who went to Fanfest last year. I remember reading her article and scratching my head at it. I had no idea what the point of the thing was. It may be that I did not look at it correctly. That I did not look at the article from a point of gender. That may be because I look at articles about Eve from the view point of a player and reading reviews from professional writers who are not players often leaves me puzzled.
Because I am a player of this game.
But, that is how I wound up in a discussion with someone I don't know about Eve not wanting female players. I disagreed. He waved stats at me. I pointed out that I liked Eve fine. That's a bullshit argument it seems. And the moment the bullshit argument statement whipped out I peaced out of the conversation. I was not as invested as the other person and the entire being a player part was going to be skipped over for metrics.
Eve's female population is low. Lower than average on the MMO scene. It has been low since they tracked it and it remains low. The question is why is it low. There are theories. The hardcore science fiction theme. The complexity. The community. The lack of avatar game-play. The lack of top layer socialization. The free world style. It is to male centric. The list goes on and on and on. The points may or may not be valid, we don't know. We know that something about Eve does not attract a large female population. But we don't know what that is. That makes everything else a guess.
I don't know what it is ether. I am attracted to Eve. I like it fine. I am also female. So, when someone says that girls don't like Eve or Eve does not appeal to girls I go, "But I like Eve!" and wave my hands around. I don't understand why other people of my gender do not like the game. I like the game. If I am a small percentage does that mean I do not count?
Maybe, I do not. But, every time I hear it, I cannot help but tilt my head in puzzlement. Do I count or do I not count? Am I a representative of who likes this particular genera mix or is the game broken? Or am I broken? I tried to share Heinlein with my friend somewhere around the time that I was thirteen. It didn't work. I gave her "I Will Fear No Evil" to read. It was a bit sexy and racy for our innocence level. The concepts blew me away. It was deeper and richer than Friday which was more of a saucy thrill. I picked it up at a bookstore in California when I went to a convention with my mother. I read it there, curled up in a convention center drowning in the richness of it. I had to share and I was flushed with delight. My best friend would love it. She had to. Nope. She couldn't get into it and didn't understand what I liked about it. How sad I was. Her book gift to my that same year was "The Wind in the Willows." I'd read it years before when I was eight or nine and it was below my new teenage desires.
It may be good that I am not tasked with fixing this problem. Perhaps, I would not like an Eve that draws in an even gender range. Maybe there is something there that I'd dislike. I wouldn't think so, but I must wonder now. I don't think that Eve is perfect. There are things that I dislike. There are behaviors and concepts that I do not enjoy. But they have not been pinned to gender so far.
Ahh well. Mostly, I've made myself nostalgic and will go load up my tablet with all that I have linked above.