Friday, November 2, 2012

"Play As You Are"--Nintendo and the Female Audience Part 2

Be a girl AND a gamer...with a little help from Nintendo
I'm a hardcore Nintendo fan and that will probably never change, but I can hold a serious grudge. After writing (and venting to anyone who would listen) about Nintendo's new "I'm not a gamer" ad campaign, I let it go. I didn't think that the marketing would be that serious anyway.

Then a new Nintendo commercial popped up on my YouTube subscription box (because yes, I do follow their company channel). It was just another spot with a girl rambling on about how she doesn't play video games, but this time it came with a link to their "Play As You Are" website. Of course, I was extremely curious...

Clicking that link was like reopening a wound.

The first thing you see are the smiling faces of their beautiful young spokeswomen but Nintendo makes sure to remind you immediately that these girls aren't gamers. Everything on the page is swirly and feminine. I must admit that I like the way it looks even though it offends me. Nintendo knows exactly what it's doing.

Nintendo makes games like this for girls like me.
The site is basically a portal to the main websites of a handful games Nintendo considers "appropriate" for non-gaming female consumers. Fashion, photography, art, puzzles. Yes, there is a Super Mario and a Professor Layton game mixed in, but the rest are titles you will soon see in your nearest Wal-Mart bargin bin.

This is the stereotype that I was arguing against in my post about whether boys are better gamers than girls. Nintendo made this entire campaign with the idea that females are better at puzzles, word and art games than any other kind they could possibly come up with. Look don't see any sites like this for males, do you? That's because no one thinks they need them. Because boys don't need easy titles to give them an excuse to purchase a game system.

A little known fact: girls don't either.

I love Nintendo from the bottom of my gaming heart, but this approach is wrong on so many levels.

What do you think about Nintendo's new campaign and website? Does it make you want to purchase the console and games featured? Am I overreacting?


  1. those commercials are lame and their art stuff looks stupid like it does all the measuring for you so you just do it square by square and wheres the challenge and experience and how does that teach people to be artistic out side a video game, I wish they would find a better way to market to women, there is so much out there for us already that just isn't being advertised to us because they think that its a waste of resources if they advertised to us better there would be more of a market for women gamers and it wouldn't be a waste of resources. Video game fun is for everyone.

    1. Exactly! I don't want to say that no one interested in art would want to play that game...but to my artistic side, it's a complete waste of money. They need to stop acting like they need to find "girly" ways to sell their product. In the end, the products can really just sell themselves almost. There's is no need to bring specific gender into it at all.

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Questions? Concerns? Disagree with me completely? Think that video games and fashion is a horrible combination and that I should go back to my (non-existant) day job?

Leave a comment! Every opinion is welcome here--even that last one--as long as you're polite and courteous.

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