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Joynisha Sumpter (designer)
Stephanie Owens (thesis advisor)
Chris Prentice (thesis advisor)
David Benjamin Kanter (thesis advisor)




Female gamers ages 16-27 usually play fighting games less often and for shorter periods of time then male gamers. One reason why female gamers may lose interest in fighting games quicker than male gamers is because they are not designed with the female user in mind. Design elements such as non-sexualized female characters, reduced button combinations, stronger storylines, and devices that reduce the need to memorize character move-list, would help increase their desire to play. Arcane Style is a fighting game developed in Flash that incorporates all these elements in order to increase a female gamers desire to play. Its character roster includes powerful historical and mythical female characters and their stories. There are only 1-2 button combinations and the need to memorize character moves are reduced by displaying the move-list on screen as you play. Studying the video game industry and societal perception of females in and out of video games was essential to the manifestation of this project. In addition, research about female gamers and fighting games had to be done because it was nearly an untouched subject. Surveys of female gamers and non gamers revealed the depth of their knowledge of fighting games as well as their likes and dislikes of them. These key factors were important to the development of what is now Arcane Style and my vision for its future. This is a game that can bridge the gap between male and female fighting game players.



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