Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't judge a video game by its cover

You can't always judge a video game by its cover.

My son has always been a big fan of Teddy Bears and so he was very excited when he saw a cute cuddly teddy bear on the cover of the box in the Xbox section.  We did end up testing out the game "Naughty Bear"  who turned out to be accurately named and not cuddly at all. In fact, he went around with a machete attacking other stuffed animals. Yes, that is a machete in his paw.  This game is rated T for Teen and is really quite brutal even though you play as a Teddy Bear. A Naughty Teddy Bear.

On the other hand I have had an aversion to games that are pink and are targeted to girls because I have been concerned about the stereotypes.

On Tuesday November 6 I am meeting with the team from Spil Games who have produced a large selection of games geared for girls.  Yes, there is alot of pink.  To prepare for the meeting I thought it would be a good idea to go play some very pink games.

The Shoe Quiz: For those who know me well you know that I am most comfortable in hiking boots or ski boots or my tennis shoes. What do I know about shoes?  After going through the quiz once I found myself going back again wondering what results I would get if I made different choices. I wasn't playing this gamewith an 8 year old girl or even my 16 year old daughter but even still I was having alot of fun.

One of the keys to the enjoyment of this game was the very low learning curve required to play this game. It was easy to follow the directions and play this very visual game.  This is what I found with many of the games on the site GirlsGoGames.com.  They are really fun, easy to follow, and very pink.

In the airport, on my way to visit the Spil Games meeting,  I looked around and saw many parents traveling with their young kids.  The girls were, for the most part, carrying pink backpacks with princesses on them and the boys had much more rugged looking travel gear.

It made me realize one of the great values of having a site dedicated to young girls and games where the games are easy for the moms to play.  It gives moms and daughters a place to play together and talk  about some of these stereotypes. It is much easier for a mom to criticize the outfit that a virtual girl is wearing rather than criticize her own daughter's choices. It gives moms and daughters a place to have some really fun conversations and spend some time together playing games together.  Some games are longer and more involved but many games are quick and easy to play.

So, cast aside your preconceived notions and sit down with your daughter and play some games together. It will be good for both of you.