Via Zen of Design and Wonderland I found Miyamato's talk on his “wifeometer”, where he observes the interest of his wife in games to see what games are interesting for the female half of the population. Me, I got my proper wifeometer installed, having my wife in the same room as me, playing World of Warcraft on our second computer. So what does my wifeometer say about WoW?
Well, the good news for Blizzard is that my wife is still playing, months after I have stopped to do so. This is mainly due to her playing a lot fewer hours per week. The slower you play, the longer will the content of WoW last you.
The bad news for Blizzard is that my wife was barely interested in the Burning Crusade, and isn’t at all interested in the Wrath of the Lich King. She gave up on TBC after playing one character to 68, all her other characters are below level 50. Then she played a blood elf alt, but she is already on her next alt now, a tauren, thus using practically no TBC content now. From the features announced for the next expansion there isn’t much in it for her, she’ll barely notice when I’ll install it for her. So assuming that one day the current content stops to keep her interested in World of Warcraft, there is little hope that the expansions get her back into the game.
But then, I have no idea what my wife will play next year. Me, and presumably many of my male readers, will be playing Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. But just like Damion doubts that the wifeometer will show much interest in Age of Conan, which like the literary source is extremely sexist, I have my doubts that women will be very interested in WAR. I've never seen my wife participate in any PvP in World of Warcraft, so the main attraction of WAR probably won't interest her. And whether the PvE content of WAR will peak the wifeometer will depend on how it is presented: Too harsh and violent will probably not give much of a pull. But if the dwarves and goblins are depicted in a more amusing and funny way, that might do the trick.