Just one of the double standards I face: girls can't be gamers
I am being raised in a Catholic household by parents who have always set very different standards for me than they have for my brother. For example, while my brother was allowed to go out alone at 12, I still have a hard time going out at 16. My parents have explained to me that I am in more danger of being hurt than my brother because I am a girl and need to be kept safe. While I initially dismissed my anger and accepted this explanation, I now realize that instead of limiting my social activity and autonomy, instead of trying to blindly protect me, they should have exposed me to the realities of the world.
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.