Recently CrazyKinux as part of the blog pack, of which I am not a part of, asked the numerous bloggers to come up with ideas on how to increase the participation percentage of females in Eve Online.
While it's clear they are a mystery wrapped in an enigma surrounded by barbed wire, machine guns, guard dogs....ahem anyway.
Customisation is the key. Having observed many of these people over the years, often with permission, I've found that customisation seems to be the key. For instance in The Sims (tm) I have seen just as much time spent on the dressing screen as in the game, whereas all I do is make hot blonds and then move them in with each other. Taking the pool ladder away after sending them in for a swim was another favourite.
Not that I have ever played The Sims (tm) (r) (c) (wtf)
Getting back on track. Walking In Stations, or Incarna, or whatever it is called by the time you read this will be a major part of the taking back of the female gaming mind, the customisation I have seen seems to be a massive improvement on the aforementioned digital doll house game. In addition the possibilities of interaction while moving around the stations can also help greatly, assuming everybody doesn't get assaulted by a relentless barrage of "Are you female?" and "Want to cyber?".
Another customisation option, and I believe this is not on the table at the moment, is ship appearance customisation. What I would like to see is colour (yes colour has a u) changes to all ships, perhaps not the entire ship colour, though an entire fleet themed in Hello Kitty hot pink would be awesome.
As long as it's not my fleet.
The changes could be more subtle, perhaps a change of a highlight colour or two, which I can choose from a palette of colours. The addition of the corporation and/or alliance logo would be another nice change and would help promote the clan feeling of your fellow pod pilots.
How much of an effect would this have on lag? I don't know. I'm sure somebody will say it's not possible due to lag but I'm not interested in that, I give CCP a direction and they have to find out how to get there.
Finally the soon to arrive Planetary Interaction has some potential in this area, this will of course grow and mature as it reaches a merging with Dust 514 in the yet to be determined future.
What I'm wondering is the percentage of female gamers in console FPS games who, upon playing Dust 514 look up at the sky and wonder who flies those spaceships, and can I?