Monday, December 5, 2011

Video Games: Where are the Girl Versions?

Back when I was a kid, I was obsessed with Pokemon, both the TV show and the video games. During those days, boys and girls alike would play Pokemon on their Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Colors or what not, and have their own journey to become that Pokemon master. Yet there was one serious issue with these video games. When you first open the game, your avatar is automatically set to be a boy figure. This used to annoy me so much when I played the game- I was clearly a girl, and many of my girl friends played the game too, so why couldn't they create a girl avatar? This could have been partially due to the fact that technology wasn't as great back then, but I do remember my excitement when I heard the latest Pokemon game (Crystal version I believe) finally had the choice between a girl avatar or a boy avatar. For the first time, I felt like I was playing with my own identity, instead of being forced to be a boy when I was clearly a girl.

Video games in general have long been labeled since its creation as more of a "boy thing." Hence many of the superhero characters that we played as were often male- Mario, Ash Ketchum, the list goes on. I remember that when I was in elementary school, there were few "girl games" that I played. Most of the video games in the market were action games, and there weren't many games that were targeted specially towards girls.

Today, however, after observing what my little cousins play these days, there seems to be a far increased amount of game choices for both boys and girls. Girls can know finally play their own video games, and take on the role of a superheroine instead of being forced to take on the role of a male superhero. I think it's great to see there are now more role-playing games that allow girls to kick-ass as girls, playing as their favorite super heroine. The increased amount of "girl versions" of games has lead to more choices in what girls can play- they can choose to play some makeover game or maybe play Mario Smash Brothers as a female character. Do you all agree that the video game industry has slowly become more gender equal?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I've definitely seen an increase in gender equal video games. In addition to all of the violent x-box games, some of the most popular consoles are the wii and (years ago) the gamecube. The amount of variety these three consoles offer makes it possible for people of all ages as well as genders enjoy video games.

    When I was younger and played gamecube, my sister and I had a barbie game, which you would think would be super girly and involve dressing her and putting on makeup. In this game, barbie was actually sort of a superhero. We went on missions and saved people (and there weren't even any makeover components!).


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