We discussed in class how different types of people think in different ways, and thus are attracted to different sorts of video games. Two of the most obvious groups of people who think differently are men and women. In her article, Leigh Alexander explains how the option to play as a female character in Persona 3 for PSP changed her view of the game. Her play through as a female character differed from her experience through the eyes of a male avatar, causing her to reflect on the values that real world culture had enforced on her as a woman.
She notes how when she played as a male, the game encouraged “playing the field,” as Persona’s mechanics reward making social links with various people. However, while playing a female character, her romantic choices were more limited. While Alexander questions if this is a statement about how it is considered un-womanly to act in such a way, I see a different message in light of what she has said about the rest of her gameplay experience. Persona is suggesting that the way for a male to manipulate people, thus receive the highest statistical rewards, is to be a player. Additionally, this can be done because is somewhat acceptable by societal standards. This behavior is not acceptable in the eyes of most people when performed by a female. However, females have a more subversive and subtle form of duplicity inherent in attempting to be likable and fit in with societal norms. Thus, the female side of Persona 3 for PSP provides more of these friendship relationships.
Though it is ironic that the “dating sim” element of the game is more prominent when playing as a male. Still, whether or not it is more ironic that “winning” at Persona can not be quantified by simply having the highest stats, I can not say.