Amazon’s take on girl gamers.

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 –

Video Games for girls, according to Amazon.
Video Games for girls, according to Amazon and Viva Media

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.

Product Features

  • Includes 12 Great Games for Girls for one incredible price! This amazing collection is packed with fun that is perfect for every girl!
  • Dive into mystery with Natalie Brooks and Treasure of Mystery Island
  • Take care of adorable animals with Happy Tails: Zoo Keeper and Dog Academy
  • Find out if you will win your dream boy’s heart in My Boyfriend. And much much more!
  • This collection features games that every girl will love!

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?

Bullshit.

5 thoughts on “Amazon’s take on girl gamers.

  1. Yeah, that is nothing new, and pretty much the argument A. Sarkeesian is trying to put forth. If you look to the casual gaming market, such as the games one can buy on Big Fish Games, you will find games that would appeal to females. In fact, many of those games have female protagonists. Of course, I acknowledge those games don’t appeal to every female gamer…

    1. Sadly, while I should be proud of the community I am part of, sometimes I find myself being ashamed of the male gamers. I just took some time to read about A. Sarkeesian and watched her youtube videos. Thanks you introducing her to me! I wonder what happened that made the Nerd/Geek community so xenophobic and fiercely protective of their hobby so much that it gets supremely silly.

      I think it’s time for the boys to change.

  2. I totally agree with you. I hate seeing things like this, where products are “tailor-made” for girls–especially when they promise that they’re “perfect for every girl”. I’ve never been one of those girls. Personally, I’d rather not have a specific category for my gender to make me feel like I shouldn’t play “real” video games with the boys.

    1. Yes! Definitely the point I was driving at. Whilst girls(and boys) are allowed to choose whatever games they want to play. If my niece were to make a choice between Bioshock Infinite and My Little Pony, then she should be happy with whatever choice she makes – and not feel like an oddball for doing so. This marketing scheme is poisonous.

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