Games For Girls

from the it's-been-a-while dept

For years and years people have been asking about when companies will create video games for girls. It seems to go in cycles. Since the overhyped failure of Purple Moon a few years ago, the “girls and gaming” question hasn’t come up very much, but now Newsweek has an article wondering about computer games for girls. It talks about the success of games based on Barbie and Nancy Drew, and wonders if it’s bad that they focus on “stereotypical” behaviors. I’m not sure I see what the big deal is. If there’s a market for the games (and clearly there is) then they’re obviously doing something right. Are we going to start hearing stories now about how the Nancy Drew game is as damaging for girls as Grand Theft Auto is for boys (since, the assumption seems to be that only boys play “other” video games)? This particular article, though, is suggesting that these “games for girls” are the start of more interactive, creative “games for everyone” that get beyond the typical shoot ’em up type of game that everyone seems to think is the only thing you can do with games these days. That’s funny. I thought “Myst” was that game.

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Comments on “Games For Girls”

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Harmony says:

female gaming...

I’m a female gamer… I’m also an older gamer who grew up on Atari, Nintendo and Sega. I’ve always enjoyed playing video games. Growing up, I never thought about “girl” games versus “boy” games… I just played games — whatever I found entertaining.

Sure, girls and boys often prefer different things. Different people like different kinds of games — that’s a given. But I think there’s a big assumption that girls have to have games especially made for girls. As if all other games are for boys only…
I’m an older gamer so I tend to go for more mature rated games anyway, but I like all sorts of games. They don’t have to be female orientated nor have female protagonists in order for me to identify with them.
And as far as female stereotypes go… are you kidding? Male characters are every bit as stereotyped and exaggerated, in my opinion. It’s fantasy. Also, there are games coming out which feature capable female protagonists — Popular titles like Dino Crisis, Resident Evil, Parasite Eve, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Eternal Darkness, etc.

Maybe childen and violence in video games is an issue… but I really don’t see what all the fuss is about with “girl” vs. “boy” games.

ShimmyShimmy says:

Re: female gaming...

but I really don’t see what all the fuss is about with “girl” vs. “boy” games.
See, a “boy” game is a game that a lot of boys will play. Historically, that’s been just about every decent game. A “girl” game is a game that a lot of girls will play. That market has historically been almost impossible to even make a dent in. There have been a few notable games in the past, such as King’s Quest (sequels also), Mario (to a limited extent), and The Sims. But as a whole, those titles have been ragins exceptions, and getting any decent penetration into the female market (no pun intended) has been very difficult.
Perhaps the problem starts with a lack of female input… from the developer’s end. There has only been one (epmhasis on ONE) notable female game developer in video game history. Perhaps that’s where the problem starts.

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