Why we don’t need more games marketed towards women.

We don’t need to create more video games marketed towards women. 

Recently, there has been a push to create games more oriented towards women since the majority of games are directed to male audiences. In my opinion, with which you may strongly disagree, this notice is completely unnecessary. Before you rush to comment and let me know how wrong and sexist I am, let me explain myself.

I am a female. Let me just get that one out of the way. I am almost insulted by the push for games directed specifically at women. I am not flattered by this idea. I don’t feel happy that finally women are being included in gaming culture. When you think about it, this idea of creating games that can be specifically marketed to women only creates an even larger divide between men and women in gaming.

Essentially, creating video games for us women does little to include us. It, instead, pushes women aside, gives them their own little space, and allows for men to continue denying that women are getting more involved. The idea itself is almost sexist.

There’s a difference between allowing for women integration and creating new games for us. Creating new games is still giving us the message than men don’t want us involved in video games. They’ve carved given us our island, but it is still larger their world.

Instead of video games marketed for women, women should be able to and encouraged to plan the already existing games or games that are being created now. We don’t need something special for ourselves. We don’t need games with the violence toned down. We just need to be allowed to enjoy the games that we enjoy, even if they are widely believed to be for men.

Just because a game has a female protagonist doesn’t mean it is only for women. Similarly, women should not be afraid to play a game with a male protagonist. Instead of creating games targeted at a specific gender, one may include the option to play as a male or a female. However, I would also argue that this is not necessary, though it would be nice. Not every game needs a female protagonist or the option to play as one, vice versa with males.

Again, I repeat, we do not need games created specifically for women. We just need to be allowed to enjoy whatever games we enjoy without comments about our gender.

0 thoughts on “Why we don’t need more games marketed towards women.

  1. I agree with you that games marketed specifically towards women are unnecessary and can actually do more harm than good to feminism as a whole. However, I believe that you are misguided in your understanding of what these harmful games are. When I was ~13 and got a Wii, the only two games I got for Christmas were Cooking Mama and a really girly dance game. I’m not saying that either of these games cannot be played by men, but at the time these were examples of games marketed towards women that furthered the divide that you mentioned in your post. Most games with strong female protagonists are not marketed to women anymore than games with strong male protagonists. The misunderstanding that these games are made specifically for women is exactly what is furthering the divide. Many games with sexualized males are not marketed to women anymore than games with sexualized females are marketed to men. The tendency that men have to avoid games with sexualized males, while women still play games with sexualized females is what is furthering the divide. In either of these examples, these games could be played without comment on gender. We are allowed to do it. However, we don’t. Why? Because male sexualization in video games causes an awkwardness that female sexualization doesn’t because it challenges the expected gender roles in our society today, specifically masculinity. Although we are allowed to not talk about it, until these views on gender are changed, we should talk about it.

  2. Maybe I articulated my point poorly because I completely agree with what you are saying. The sexualization was simply a separate issue that I thought would better be discussed in a post of its own, which is why I did not include it in this one. I believe that games shouldn’t be marketed specifically to men or women. Cooking Mama and the dance game shouldn’t be considered “girl games” but unfortunately they are. Games are games. And you should be able to play whichever you want regardless of being a male or a female. I agree that the sexualization of women can make this hard and that’s one of the problems to be fixed. It doesn’t mean taking out sexualization makes the game for females rather than males, it just makes it a little more neutral.

  3. As a female gamer, I had a moment of confusion and annoyance when I saw the title of this post. Briefly, I had believed that the post was something about women being shouldered out of the “gamer” tag. Fortunately, I read your whole post before commenting, haha, and I agree with your words. It is such a shame that corporations believe that there is this line between male and female gamers, and that one gender likes “this” aspect of games while the other gender prefers “that” aspect. Games should just be marketed as the games they are — there should be no particular gender in mind when creating the game. This reminds me of a post I had read on Tumblr regarding a female author speaking to classes of students regarding writing and her books. Because she was a female author with a female protagonist with a series that had the word “princess” in the title, there were some schools that only pulled the girls out of classes for the presentation. Like the author said in the post/interview, it broke my heart. For the schools to deem that the author’s works were “for girls only” and to deny both the author and the boys of the school the privilege and right to enjoy the presentation was ridiculous. It’s the same mentality with game companies. Games like “Cooking Mama” are for because it has “mama” in the title and girls supposedly like cooking. With the title alone, they are alienating half of the gaming world. I understand that, by trying to create “women orientated games,” game companies believe that they are involving women more in the gaming world. They need to understand that we don’t need specific games to be invited. They need to understand that we were already here. Thanks for sharing this post! 🙂

  4. And I agree with your point that we should be allowed to enjoy whatever games we enjoy without comments about our gender, but how is this not the case already? I have never heard of someone outside of the internet-troll community not allow a woman to play a “man’s” game.

  5. It is not the case that women aren’t allowed to play these games. However, it is also not encouraged that they do. In order for women to be welcomed into these games, there are a few things that need to be changed. It’s not the games themselves, it’s the attitude of many of the males who play the games.

    For example, I remember someone in class talking about how they went to buy their female friend a video game and when they asked for recommendations they were given Cooking Mama. In reality, the girl just wanted game suggestions about which games were good, not which games were good for girls. This needs to be changed.

    Another example: I went to GameStop to purchase Ocarina of Time. I was told when I called that they had the game new for the 3DS. However, when I arrived, they realized that they had made a mistake and they only had a used copy. So I asked if there were any potential problems with purchasing a used versus new copy of the game. The cashier’s response was “No. He just might have to erase a game file.” I didn’t once mention that I was purchasing this game for another person. It was just assumed that I was buying the game for a male friend and not for myself.

    These are the kinds of problems that need to be changed. The people saying these things weren’t internet trolls. They were people that because of living in a culture that places certain “unspoken rules” so to speak on who does and doesn’t play video games, were led to believe that females aren’t involved.

    1. That sucks, and I’m sorry that there are people like that. I wonder if there’s some special kind of ignorance specific to workers involved in the sale and/or marketing of games, but then again, how can someone be so blind as to be a cashier at a game store and not realize that women play games? It seems like it should be common sense, but that might be asking a lot.

      It could also interesting to look at the role of the retailer in these cases too. I mean, if this is common, how can these places employ people who a so unaware of such a major demographic? Does Gamestop need to observe an employee’s interaction with women to see whether they’re that oblivious to the realities of the gaming community?

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