Listen to the Joystiq Podcast (because your ears can't read)
Add to: My AOL, MyYahoo, Google, Bloglines
Joystiq presents

Games 4 Girls aren't

We've all seen the pictures this week of GameStop's ridiculous new display featuring "Games 4 Girls." We've read the vitriol, and it's largely spot-on -- this little marketing campaign is insulting, stereotypical, and in fact damaging to budding girl gamers.

But not really because of the marketing, atrocious as it may be. No, the blame for this one can largely be pushed at the developers themselves who cannibalize characters that young girls recognize and identify with for their crappy, low quality games. Sure, we could spend our time railing against the very notion that young girls identify with Bratz characters, but those are symptoms of a deeper disease, one that we're not going to cure any time soon, no matter how much we wish we could. That cancer will have to be dug out of society over time. So let's instead rail about something that is meaningful here, to us, to gamers ... a song we often sing ... can we stem this tide of craptacular pseudogames, please?

While this may seem like the segue from hell, it isn't. How many of us know girls who, at the age of 8-12, did in fact play some games ... but later, their interest evaporated? Is it because That's So Raven didn't grow with them? It's doubtful that's the reason. What's far more likely is that they buy these games, the Bratz titles and such, because those are the things they like (or their parents buy them), and they open them with all the excitement we experience at the latest Zelda or Castlevania ... but instead of the rich and fulfilling experience those games provide, they get shoddy gameplay. But wait! The Little Mermaid on the DS is actually pretty good, some insist, lowering their voices and shifting their eyes to make sure no one is listening. But think -- the very fact that we have to qualify that there are a few "girl-friendly" titles out there that are decent indicates that the vast pantheon of pink-and-pretties are not. Most aren't fit to be polluting landfills, much less sitting inside a gaming console.

And so these girls learn to be disappointed by games. They learn that games are fun for a few minutes and then they're to be tossed aside in favor of something else. Is it any wonder that later, most don't want to try anything deeper than Bejeweled? Perhaps we are birthing casual gamers right here at home.

Want to introduce a girl to gaming? Give her something you know is entertaining that may also factor in to her other tastes. For younger girls, why not let her take a pass at something like Yoshi's Island? Between the babies and Yoshi himself (with whom I've had a deep fascination since being a wee girl myself), all the cuteness requirements are easily filled. Or hey, let's even mention the other guys, with the Katamari games, Loco Roco, or even -- gasp -- Guitar Hero. There are so many games that serve as both a great introduction to the fun of gaming and that aren't shoddy or insulting. Then she can show you exactly what the girls can do, and it doesn't have to be about anything but having fun.

The selection itself is one of the (many) problems with a display like this. Is it any challenge to point to a Bratz game and say, hey, young girls, this is for you? It's certainly not for anyone else. Any girl could physically walk around GameStop and say, hey, Little Mermaid. I like the Little Mermaid. So could her parents. They don't need an arrow pointing it out. If we must endure something like this, then shouldn't it feature the less obvious games? Great, Cooking Mama is there. Let's add some others, like the aforementioned Yoshi's Island and what the hell, Gunpey. For that matter, where's Kirby? Regardless of age and gender, everyone loves the puff. This display needs more puff. And parents, when shopping for games for their young children, may need to be led to the games they don't know about, that they don't know are appropriate for their younger children. We're pretty sure The Little Mermaid is appropriate for young girls (at least, when Disney is done with it). But parents may not know about a world of other, equally appropriate titles, most of which demonstrate better craftsmanship and playability. Market those, because playability doesn't even belong in the same sentence with a lot of games that are supposedly made for girls.

And while we're at it, why not add Games 4 Boys? Games 4 Men? Games 4 Old Folks? Where are those displays? Let me guess -- they don't need to be told which games to buy? Hate to break it to the guys at GameStop, but girls don't need to be told to buy these games, either.

Related Headlines

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)

We debate the hot topics!

Upcoming Releases

Name Date
Sep 16
The Force Unleashed
Sep 16
My Japanese Coach
Sep 23
LEGO Batman
Sep 23
Kirby Superstar Ultra
Sep 23
Disgaea DS
Sep 23
Time Hollow
Sep 23
SimCity Creator
Sep 23
Sonic Chronicles
Sep 30
Princess Debut
Sep 30

Popular on DS Fanboy

The story
More like it
DSF Review: N+
BTS: Drake and Josh Talent Show
Show N Tell: Dress the best
Show N Tell
G2G: Elite Beat Agents
Gaming to Go
DSL: Missed Connections
The DS Life
Another Week in ... (50)
Bury the Shovelware (12)
Contests / Giveaways (18)
DS Daily (544)
DS Fanboy Lite (42)
DS Fanboy poll (41)
Friday video (70)
Game Night (154)
Gaming to Go (11)
Items of Import (7)
Metareview (58)
Point/Counterpoint (5)
Promotional Consideration (57)
Show and Tell (69)
The DS Life (64)
What are you playing? (90)
Accessories (144)
Downloads (67)
Fan stuff (1414)
Features (288)
GBA (128)
Hacks (82)
Homebrew (229)
How-tos (75)
Imports (926)
Interviews (155)
Meta (133)
Mods (17)
News (3277)
Nintendo Wi-Fi (186)
Reviews (190)
Sales (195)
Screens (980)
Video (723)
Rumors (191)



Powered by Blogsmith

Featured Galleries

Lock's Quest Custom DS Lite
Pixelninja's cosplay
Show and Tell: For the love of a character
Phantasy Star Zero
Show and Tell: All Hallows' Eve-Eve
Show and Tell: Dress from the best
Tony Hawk's Motion
Black Tiger DS
Jagged Alliance


Most Commented On (14 days)

Recent Comments

Weblogs, Inc. Network

  • Autos
    • Autoblog
    • AutoblogGreen
    • Autoblog Spanish
    • Autoblog Chinese
    • Autoblog Simplified Chinese
  • Technology
    • Download Squad
    • Engadget
    • Engadget HD
    • Engadget Mobile
    • Engadget Chinese
    • Engadget Simplified Chinese
    • Engadget Japanese
    • Engadget Germany
    • Engadget Korea
    • Engadget Polska
    • Engadget Spanish
    • Switched
    • TUAW (Apple)
  • Lifestyle
    • AisleDash
    • DIY Life
    • Gadling
    • Green Daily
    • Luxist
    • ParentDish
    • Slashfood
    • Styledash
    • That's Fit
  • Gaming
    • Joystiq
    • DS Fanboy
    • Massively
    • Nintendo Wii Fanboy
    • PS3 Fanboy
    • PSP Fanboy
    • WoW Insider
    • Xbox 360 Fanboy
    • Big Download
  • Entertainment
    • Cinematical
    • TV Squad
  • Finance
    • BloggingBuyouts
    • BloggingStocks
    • WalletPop
  • Sports
    • FanHouse Main
    • NFL
    • NBA
    • MLB
    • NCAA Football
    • NCAA Basketball
    • NASCAR
    • NHL
    • Golf
    • Fantasy Football
  • Also on AOL
    • African-American Culture
    • Cars
    • Games
    • Maps
    • Money
    • Movies
    • Music
    • News
    • Radio
    • Sports
    • Stock Quotes
    • Television
    • Travel

Other Weblogs Inc. Network blogs you might be interested in:

PS3 Fanboy
  • PlayStation Blog heads to Orlando and wants you to meet them there
  • Video Store update for the week ending September 19th
  • LA Noire one of the most expensive games ever, may be coming to 360 too
WOW Insider
  • Insider Trader: Faction recipes for the rest of you
  • Pirate Loot Phriday: Foror's Eyepatch
  • WoW Insider Show tomorrow afternoon on WoW Radio
Xbox 360 Fanboy
  • Mega Man 9 hits North American 360s October 1st
  • New details on Halo Wars Marines and Hornet
  • Long awaited Rush (and friends) Rock Band DLC releases next week
Nintendo Wii Fanboy
  • Fanswag winners: MLB Power Pros and Mario Super Sluggers
  • It's okay to like Shaun White Snowboarding
  • Attractive Environments Hunter 3
PSP Fanboy
  • PSP Fanboy hands-on: Star Ocean: First Departure
  • Dissidia limited edition PSP is ridiculously limited edition
  • 'Metal Gear Solid Existence' found in Japanese trademark database
Big Download Blog
  • Sacred 2 goes gold
  • Tricia Helfer talks about being Black Cat
  • Eidos opens up their own Shanghai office
Fanhouse Golf Blog
  • Faldo Puts the Ryder Cup in Oliver Wilson's Capable Hands, Sits Sergio and Westwood
  • Nick Faldo Might Be Worst European Ryder Cup Captain Ever, U.S. Leads After Day 1
  • Wie Finishes Fourth in Sectional Qualifying