This afternoon I was browsing Amazon.com, searching for some video game packs and bundles that are on sale. This particular bundle caught my eye –
I couldn’t stop myself from peeking; I wanted to see for myself what the industry think of females gaming. I know I should be looking further than just Amazon, But we all know this goes further than just gaming. I could stop here and tab out to my Microsoft Word and start typing an 3000 word argumentative on gender roles, but I’m going to keep school academics at bay this time round. Let’s look at what the bundle offers.
I’m sorry, what?
“Zoo Keeper” and “Dog Academy” sounds like the kind of games I would buy for my 5 year old nephew/niece. “Treasure of Mystery Island”? That sounds okay as well. I’d probably send this packing with a nice, silk woven gift wrap if the recipient is a 8 year old or younger. And is that it? The industry and the media have talked about how, in the recent years, there are more and more female gamers.
So we’re making games for girls, with an intended audience of age 4-10? Because I simply cannot see these content appealing to anyone aging above 10 years old, female or not.
A better question would be: Do our games need to be categorized by gender?
Am I supposed to search for “Manly” games from now on? Perhaps in the past games have been predominantly a “boy” thing- no thanks to similar nightmarish marketing. But now that publishers are finally awakening to the fact that one sided marketing towards to male industry means sacrificing sales in the other half of the population, I expect a change; artful masterpieces appeal to both sides of humanity. Stop making “girl games”. Stop telling us playing CoD/BF3 makes us more of a “Man” than I will ever be.
We don’t have to create a sub-genre for females to enjoy video games. If not, while you’re at it, why not “Antivirus for Damsels in Distress.exe” and engineer some keyboards solely for the female gender?