According to a BBC News article, Games industry is ‘failing women’, girls don’t want girly games about makeup, they want girly games about relationships and chatting. Or something.
The chief operating officer for EA’s worldwide studios, David Gardner, had this to say on the matter:
They don’t want ‘pink games’. Thy are not trying to play girly games where Paris Hilton and Britney Spears go shopping and put make-up on.
The Sims is really a game about relationships – and that’s what girls want – they want relationships, they want to be able to chat.
Really, I’m thrilled that the video game industry is finally realizing that it has a vast, untapped market. But, picking and choosing stereotypes instead of realizing that women and girls, like men and boys, are people with varied tastes and preferences really isn’t the way to do it.
I mean, am I the only one who sees the logical disconnect between saying that girls don’t like “girly” games, and then pulling out the relationships and chatting stereotypes as the reason why many women play The Sims?
Could it, perhaps, be that the afforementioned “girly” games are stupid and badly made, while The Sims has a solid background and has had lots of thought put into it? Or perhaps that The Sims affords you a chance to play God, not only by controlling your sims, but also by downloading and even creating new content. There’s even the possibility that it attracts women because it’s not specifically marketed against us — if any objectification goes on, it’s completely player generated, rather than company generated.
I can see people playing it because they like forming (and breaking) relationships. That has been one of the fun aspects for me, too (as is amassing wealth, turning my characters into vampires, having my sims have more sex than I do, downloading cool stuff, etc). That Gardner would bring up “chatting” as a reason more women play The Sims, though, tells me that not only does he not know his company’s product very well, but he’s relying on stereotypes rather than actual evidence. The Sims is a single player game, the “chatting” that goes on in it is that you can click on a sim, select “chat” and they’ll speak in Simolean. Which is not, by the way, a real language. I hardly see that as qualifying.
Marketing towards women based on stereotypes isn’t working, the “girly” games that are cited as failing are proof of that. So, please, video game companies, stop cribbing off of my Top â€œGeek Girlâ€-Friendly Rules! list and start viewing your potential female consumers as a vaired and diverse group of people — you know, how you view your male audeince (save the teenage group, who you seem to think are sex-crazed, misogynistic, annoying and stupid children; while we’re at it, stop that, too).