Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 10/14/2009

Girlz Play Too

So, how many of you have seen this commercial for the “Hannah Montana PSP Entertainment Pack” (including a lilac PSP!):

So. They finally admit girls play video games. Girlz play too! And we replace “s” with “z” all the time. That’s the cool thing to do, yknow. I wonder what misguided focus group resulted in that conclusion.

I think that’s the only positive aspect of this new attempt at marketing video games to girls. Because honestly, I’m insulted.

1) The PSP is lilac. Because lilac is a girl color. Also, it is a soothing color, so that if we are PMSing (as we are 95% of the time– it’s just a proven fact) it will calm us so that the menfolk will be able to control us. Seriously? Why do marketers still believe that girls will buy anything in a girl color?

Like this “Barbie Grill”

I can just imagine their reasoning behind this one. Now…see the brilliance of this product is that it’s actually a MAN product. Yes, it’s true, women don’t know how to use grills. Now we can trick them into buying one ANYWAY because we made it in pink and tacked on the word Barbie to the name!

This product can be found at shinyshiny.tv, a girl’s online guide to gadgets.

Oh, joy.

So off topic, yet not really.

2) Hannah Montana and the other beautiful array of games they think girlz play.

Okay. Here’s the thing. ALL GIRLS ARE NOT OBSESSED WITH HANNAH MONTANA. Yes, wherever Miley goes millions of dollars follow, I simply can’t deny that fact. But why are teenage girls (when in reality it is PRE TEENS who are her consumers, let me assure you) always associated with Ms. Cyrus?

looks like a super good time

Animated Hannah: looks like a super good time

As if that weren’t enough here are the other titles that the Girlz Play Too site thinks girls would enjoy:

Patapon 2: From what I can tell from the trailer for the game, girls lead creatures that resemble the doodles on the edges of my math notebook, on some kind of fabulous journey via the beating of war drums? I don’t even know. Also, they apparently can’t speak any decipherable language. I don’t know, but I can’t listen to “baaa deee badumd adeee” passed off as dialogue in a tone so high pitched that it is borderline undetectable by the human ear. Borderline.

LocoRoco: psh girls cant handle characters that look REAL

LocoRoco: psh girls can't handle characters that look REAL

LocoRoco 2: more high pitched evilness in the form of “la la las” and other adorable syllables. But this time the characters are cute and look cuddly and smiey, so as not to intimidate my poor, fragile soul.

Petz: Dogz Family: SERIOUSLY WHAT IS WITH THE Z’s AS S’s? Did I miss something? But anyway, generally more cute, fuzzy animals and simplistic concepts.

And then. The kicker.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Okay. Here’s the thing. We are girls. This does not automatically mean that we are  stupid, or have the mentality of a 7 year old.

3) Girlz are stoopid. It would be one thing if this were specifically marketed towards young girls (as the simplistic concepts, insultingly adorable characters and overwhelming presence of “la la la” music would suggest) but no. This is just marketed towards GIRLZ.

Girls play real games. We are smart and like to be challenged.

The stereotypes in this marketing plan are so ridiculous. Can’t. Even. Comprehend.

Brenda Laurel. You need to try again.

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  • dare2believe @ at 10:08 am, October 14th, 2009

    My little sister is obsessed with Hannah Montana. She boughts the video-game, but after half an hour got bored with it and went back to Mario.
    She lovez the bratz gamez though, but that doesn’t stop her from continually insisting that she is old enough to play st. Adreas

  • dare2believe @ at 10:22 am, October 14th, 2009

    But I do personaally love consoles in lilac, purple, blue ecc. They are lovely!!!! Only I don’t understand why they should be for girls onl. Boys like pink and lilac too.

  • Zoe @ at 10:59 am, October 14th, 2009

    I’ve always been a huge Legend of Zelda fan. Pokemon, too. I didn’t really play any girly games. But I didn’t play too many gory scary games either. Just stuck in the middle, I guess.

  • Amy CT @ at 11:32 am, October 14th, 2009

    I was never able to get my head around video gaming… although I did go through a phase of stealing (*ahem* sorry, I mean borrowing…) my brother’s Nintendo DS (black, sooo not a girl colour ;) ha ha) to play MARIO.

    It was kinda cool.

    I never did win, either… :(

  • Amy CT @ at 11:34 am, October 14th, 2009

    By the way, that advert is SERIOUSLY WEIRD.

    It’s so fast, it made my eyes hurt! ;)

  • KS @ at 12:56 pm, October 14th, 2009

    Great observation! It always makes me angry when companies finally do gender-equal things… only to be undermined by stereotyping them. I grew up playing Tekken games and I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

  • K8 AH @ at 12:57 pm, October 14th, 2009

    Well at least it is rated E for everyone rather than G for GIRLZ. Even when I was 6 years old I was offended by the “Pink Isle” at the toy store. Can’t say that I was ever a gamer… I was more of the outside type and still am. Fort building, tag, roller skating, bike riding, dropping Barbie and GI Joe out of trees with mini parachutes, dressing up my dogs in doll and baby clothes… that sort of thing…

  • K8 AH @ at 1:04 pm, October 14th, 2009

    Oh and that advert IS seriously weird. Not only would it have you believe that everyone LOVES Hanna Montana but also that all GIRLZ are also obsessed with being famous. I really think there is some secret conspiracy going on to lower the IQ of would be intelligent girls and turn them into brainless GIRLZ (drones) through bullshit girly junk.

  • Robyn @ at 3:53 pm, October 14th, 2009

    I really don’t understand why companies haven’t been told by their Ad agencies that women don’t really appreciate all pastel products. Really, we don’t. I have nothing against pink, I just don’t really think it should be on my laptop, or my grill, or my PSP, or my cellphone…and on and on.

    Product gendering is appalling and research shows it doesn’t work! It’s based on misconceptions by men. Women want intuitive, working products, not pink.

    I mean did they not see the response to the “Della” debacle?

  • Arran @ at 5:50 pm, October 14th, 2009

    As far as psp games go; patapon & locoroco are definitely 2 of the best available. Well designed, great replay value, addictive music (though, that can occasionally be more ‘con’ than pro) & they both actually present significant challenge at many times (read: become maddeningly infuriating)

  • K @ at 6:55 pm, October 14th, 2009

    Yeah listen Loco Roco sucks, that’s a bad game.

    But Pata Pon really IS good, you should try it before you knock it. I know you might not think that high-pitched nonsense language is totally unappealing but this is definitely one of the best games I’ve played in years.

    But in the mean time now that I’ve beaten that game, there are a lot of other ones I have to keep me busy. Like Dissidia, Lumines II & yes even Grand Theft Auto.

  • Marcy Smith @ at 7:10 pm, October 14th, 2009

    Are you really going to live the rest of your lesbian life picking at everyone and everything that doesnt meet your femenist standard? Your life must be so damn exhausting. Good luck with trying to “fix” the world.

  • RebJ @ at 9:26 pm, October 14th, 2009

    Please go away troll.

    Gender binaries suck. Girl or boy, I think anyone would be embarrassed to buy these pathetic excuses for video games.

  • Chelsea! @ at 9:32 pm, October 14th, 2009

    feminists are not lesbians.
    Get that awful stereotype out of your thick skull and take your negativity elsewhere, please.

  • GS employee @ at 9:40 pm, October 14th, 2009

    I work at a GameStop, and honestly, while there’s many colors available to choose from for any customer, girls and women tend to buy systems in stereotypically “feminine” colors the majority of the time, if they are available.

    Also, 99% stay away from the shooting games, the strategy games, and the sports games or “stereotypically” masculine games.

    Yes, there is always exceptions to the rule. But catering to the exceptions exclusively doesn’t make sales.

  • Bell @ at 9:43 pm, October 14th, 2009

    I would definitely not buy a lilac PSP. I always liked my gadgets black and sleek. I also loved playing Counter Strike when I was twelve and it was raging.

    This is just so wrong. Girls love gaming (and gaming real games!) just as much as boys- not ot mention children and boys love it as much as adults!

  • Kiri @ at 10:02 pm, October 14th, 2009

    I am often shock people when I say I play video games, esp when I tend towards more action based games (Jedi Knight Academy may be the best thing ever). I always find the idea that as a female I should like games about shopping or other “girl activities” really annoying, but at the same time I do understand that there must be some people who do enjoy these kind of games. To these kind of marketing strategies fall in the same space as the expectation of society that as a female I don’t like math/science/or computers.

    What worries me more is seeming young girls/pre-teens looking up to someone wear’s clothing and high heels that I would not be let out of the house in. If I look at someone who is a roll model for young girls and I can’t tell that she is 16 because she looks 25, that is a real problem for me.

  • K8 AH @ at 12:26 pm, October 15th, 2009

    Oh Marcy Smith… Someone has to take on these exhausting jobs. I suppose you would be content not to have a voice or opinion, not to vote, not have any value other than cook, house slave, and mommy, and get raped by your husband because he owns you. Wouldn’t life be grand if it were just all pink, sparkly, fluffy stuff so that your weak female brain didn’t have to do any work and god forbid realize the insane amount of inequality that exists! Wake up!

  • toongrrl @ at 2:04 pm, October 15th, 2009

    I’ve recently been to JC Penney’s and they have these two separate brands of bilangual laptops for boys AND girls!! You can all guess that the girl’s one is pretty-pink, flowery, with hearts and other cutsey stuff (like the type used on the boxes). The boys are heterenormative-blue and technical type. I wasn’t able to investigate the grade levels, they’re about the same, but it’s the color and other decor that sticks in my craw. Toy companies: I do not play with pink Jenga, pink Twister, and whatever pink/lilac sexist crap you shell out!! Got that!!

  • Ash The Biased Gamer @ at 4:25 pm, October 15th, 2009

    I love how these companies are so clueless about girl gamers when there are already girls playing their games. They just don’t go running around screaming at the top of their lungs “I’M A GIRL AND I LOVE HALO!” They just assume that it is all guys playing it, also they never go to websites that girls go to and actually ask them what they want.

    Also, whenever I see a pink console I just want to lick it to see if it cotton candy flavoured.

  • cottonstar @ at 6:39 pm, October 15th, 2009

    thank you! i CANNOT stand miley cyrus or anyone from the disney(sell out) channel. i’m a teenager and when it comes down to it i couldn’t give a flying fuck about any of them. thanks fbomb, you’re on my top 5 fav feminist blogs!

  • apricot @ at 4:37 pm, October 25th, 2009

    While I whole-heartedly agree with the majority of this article, as a girl and a gamer myself I’d like to comment on the inclusion of the Patapon and LocoRoco games… As K mentioned (about Patapon), these are actually very good, sophisticated games and most certainly shouldn’t be put in the same category as cheap movie spin-offs or the Petz series. If we classify artistic games like Patapon and LocoRoco as “girly” games, then we’ll just have to include the downloadable game Flower on PSN because it uses the word “emotional” in its product description (then again my guy friend who only plays games involving death and destruction did scoff at me when I bought it). But then again I’ve never actually played the Hannah Montana game before, so I suppose it theoretically could be comparable to LocoRoco… Moral of the story is I think male and female games alike need to start breaking gender binaries! Glad to hear there are some other girl gamers here who do.

  • Florrie Minnier @ at 3:21 am, March 27th, 2010

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  • miranda @ at 11:00 pm, April 5th, 2010

    well maybe its just cuz i despise hannah montana, but i really dislike the girly gaming systems. personally, i play prtty much ANY game except those girly games! i love zelda, mario, guitar hero, world of warcraft, etc! if girls liked videogames in the first place, it was probably the originals. we dont need them to be pink or barbie related to get us interested.

  • Darius Wynn @ at 10:23 am, September 27th, 2010

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  • Tobi Tufnell @ at 1:37 pm, May 19th, 2012

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