Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/13/2009

Games for Girls

Why hasn’t anyone made any computer games for girls?

*the vid really picks up around the 7 minute mark- but up till then is still good exposition

I’ll be honest, I don’t actually know that much about video games (maybe because I never had a desire to kill virtual aliens…and isn't that the central problem?) but as far as I’m concerned, the video games that at least have female protagonists aren’t really for females…watching Lara Croft shoot virtual enemies doesn’t really make me feel empowered, just like I’m watching another sexualized male fantasy.

Apparently, back in 1998, Brenda Laurel, a bad ass innovator who revolutionized technology, did think of this and created a video game for girls aged 8-14 - one of the first attempts to market video games to girls. As she stated, “It can’t just be a giant sexist conspiracy, these people aren’t that smart. There’s six billion dollars on the table they would go for it if they could figure out how.”

And she did figure out how through her game series following Rockett, an eighth grader at a new school. She really zeroed in on what girls would find interesting in a virtual reality: making decisions, creating a story line, escaping from the pressure of their own reality and entering a new persona. And as she stated, in its prime it ranked right along with Madden Football in sales.

Of course, she got a lot of criticism...

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