Saturday, January 17, 2009

Girls really do want games about fashion

Since the launch of its brand Imagine the end of 2007, Ubisoft has confirmed what we already suspected: There is gold in the girl players. The company has put out 15 titles that focus on girls from last year - games such as "Fashion Designer, Film Star," "Master Chef" and "Babyz." It sold 8 million copies worldwide of the games.

However, some experts - and lay people - which refers to gender-specific games can send the wrong message to girls. When the games launch, more than a few bloggers took the company to task for which it seems to trade in tired old stereotypes.

"I wonder what else is doing Ubisoft for girls, except shopping, fashion and pets. Anything?" Alice Taylor wrote in his blog wonders. Even Kotaku definitely a type of game-heavy site, put a snarky post with the title: "Ubisoft puts women in their place."

As a child of age, I admit that my first reaction to the brand Imagine being annoying. (Seriously. "Babyz Party?"), But then he started thinking about my own childhood old. I loved the building of strong and play the ball in the impasse. But I also loved ballet and figure skating. I was crazy about horses. I was the neighborhood babysitter.

Ubisoft did not enter this market cold - raising animals virtual "Petz" games have been super popular with the girls together. And the company made decisions on what we imagine the line, said Senior Vice Ubisoft President Tony Key, based on information obtained from real live girls.

"Almost all of our online games is the result of a classification system that put us in front of girls, (asking)" What's interesting to you? "He says." The list is not just 'the fashion designer "," Babyz "and" Wedding Design "... that is the existence of archeology, which is the existence of attorney, which is a professor there, had the doctor there. "

To be fair, the sparkle Imagine loaded games include titles like "Animal Doctor", "Master" and "Interior Designer" - all the professions that women are not as stereotypical. But the best-selling title for now, in line with Imagine? "Fashion Designer".

Karen Shanor, a neuropsychologist based in Washington DC, said it was limiting - and damaging - to tell the girls that these games are "just for them."

"The girls say they are because they want to love this, because they think they should, and that is what their friends are getting. We gender label things," he says. "I'm a girl, so I must enjoy the shopping and cooking and get a manicure and there is nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with a guy who has, either."

Key, but said that overall, girls respond differently to different rides for children. To create girls and boys want to destroy.

"These girls love customization, they love the creative part of" Fashion Designer "and the social aspects of showing your friends what you've created. Considering that children are the opposite - they're very interested in action," said Key . "You can not sell the same game for both, as a rule."

Nonsense, said Shanor, also found a toy expert and author. "Children want things to fly because that is what they are is their territory, he said."

Key points to the sales of the games as proof that they are resonating with the girls. "Stereotypes? That is something like a paint brush against a product line that really well and the public has told us (that) they really want," he says. "We are still largely without the girl in space."

That's not entirely true. Disney Interactive (formerly Buena Vista Games) has been making games based on its popular television programs over five years, starting with the vehicle Girly Hilary Duff, "Lizzie Maguire." And Bellevue, Wa. Her Interactive has been doing based PC-based Nancy Drew games for girls in a decade.

Megan Gaiser, CEO of Her Interactive, says that in 1999, sat with publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision and Hasbro and were told that girls are computer phobic and never play video games. Its interactive but found a way to get your first game "Secrets can kill," the market: They became the editors of the Amazon. And sales of the game off.

"The New York Times dubbed us the 'Un-Barbie computer games," laughs Gaiser. "We are really proud of it."

The success of the line of Nancy Drew - 6.6 million copies sold - shows that there is an appetite for intelligent and courageous heroines in games. And I wish there were more of them. I have no problem with the games on the ballet and clothing, but why are not more women adventurers (other than Lara Croft), in video games? Where are the female soldiers? Women athletes? They do not have the good people of EA Sports heard on Title IX?

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