01 January 2014

Why girls should play video games instead of playing with dolls



The typical image of video games:

You know what the parents always say:
"Video games make you stupid!"
"You wanna play video games? Are you a boy or a girl?"

So wait a minute... That's not a good enough reason to not even be curious about video games. I started playing video games when I was around 7 despite the fact that my parents forbade it. My uncle had a Sega Megadrive so I played on it every chance I could get. I remember playing Shining Force II, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sword of Vermillion and many more. It wasn't until after high school and getting to know Michael that I picked up on it again.
That was pure nostalgia.




Advantages of video games:

What seemed like merely pressing buttons is in my opinion training of the hand/finger-eye-coordination. Furthermore the brain learns to grasp the concept of timing, logical thinking and critical problem solving. And for the most part, certain artworks in video games are so inspiring.
In addition, video games teach you the spirit of "defend yourself or die" and to deal with losing or failure for that matter.



Disadvantages of video games:

Video games can be very addictive so spending too much time on it to the point of self-negligence could result from playing. What seems fun and educational could pretty much end up damaging to your health. Not to mention the eye problems and epileptic seizures.



Why there are so few video games for girls:

Games were (supposedly) solely made for the general male audience because boys have always been the ones playing video games.

According to Feminist Frequency, a video blog by canadian-american feminist, media critic and blogger Anita Sarkeesian, video games have depicted female characters as weak damsels in distress and/or (sexual) objects of desire, which in turn leads to the whole image of women in society and why they are only second-best among the males.

Could it be that video game developers couldn't come up with anything else because girls supposedly aren't into video games?
But what about the power of marketing? I thought marketing is the ultimate god of influence. Marketing tells people that they need something they don't. To be able to influence the female target market is to implement the exact same marketing methods to the point of success.

So it's still rather strange to me as to why female characters are only always waiting to be rescued because only guys play video games. It might as well have been the fact that girls have just been left out of the whole thing in the first place.



Some video games that girls would enjoy:

I feel that times have changed. There are many girl gamers out there who are pretty much alive and kicking virtual asses as we speak. I'm not a good gamer when it comes to action since my hand-eye coordination is zero and even though my logic has gone up to 27% instead of 13% it's still kind of sad. I also play when I really do have time to kill.

Here are some of the games I play. Some are action games and some aren't for the faint-hearted.
But most of them are in some way empowering. It's a great way to just wind down before getting back to reality.



Anno 1503
(Strategy/Simulation)

Building an empire, leading your people. Start wars, defend your lands or just rule in peace. :)





Rollercoaster Tycoon 2
(Strategy/Simulation)

Develop a theme park (where people can get killed if you screw up) until you have no idea what to do with all that money






Sid Meier's Railroads
(Strategy/Simulation)

Play alone or beat your competitors to become the only railroad tycoon in the land.





Driift Mania
(Racing)

A whacky, crazy little racing game for the Nintendo Wii that's fun to play with others.
Always gives me a good laugh.




 (source)

Alice: Madness Returns
(Action and adventure)

This game is on my wishlist.
I am fascinated by its artwork.




Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
(Sports)

I learned the fundamentals of football thanks to this game.
It's fun to win. Takes some practice.




Project Zero 2
(Survival)

Pure horror and extremely inspiring. 
Haunted by spirits, your only weapon is a camera.
Not for the faint-hearted.
Amazing concept, costume design and artwork.





Project Zero 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
(Survival)

This game is more horrifying that Project Zero 2.
Tests your (psychological) endurance in every way possible.
Not for the faint-hearted.





World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
(Action and adventure)

I discovered Warcraft recently and I play it on a free server (not on Blizzard - I am in no mood to pay for an official account just so I could throw my life away). The experience is almost the same, just with less players lurking around. It's total immersion in a fantasy world that only dreamers dream of.
Very addictive so be most careful if you even start.
Lots of self-control required :P




These are not the best games in history, they're just games that I find personally interesting, fulfilling and fun for a change. Even though the gaming industry is dominated by guys, it doesn't mean that video games are just for guys. Plus, if more and more girls were interested in gaming, we might just experience a huge change in the market like more main (non-sexualized) female characters who are strong role models for little girls.

Because in comparison to all the crap that many girls of this generation are being exposed to these days like being a princess, marrying a prince, playing with plastic ponies and Barbies… video games have a better potential at developing our logical and creative thinking skills.

The world needs more girls who achieve to become queens, rulers, leaders and fighters.
So ladies, better start getting your hands on a console and beat that damsel in distress out of your ass. 

Are you a Girl Gamer? Which video games have you ever played?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hahaha.. coz of low reaction time?

      Delete
  2. cause it doesn't train you up in reality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-(... *hugs*
      ....but to some people they kind do... :S
      Which is not so nice. Don't be like them, okay?

      Delete