Women can play computer games too! Sure, you may have previously assumed that the Mushroom Kingdom or Hyrule were places that girls can play in too, because they’re also functional human beings, but it turns out that before they switch on the console, they must first have someone from Hollyoaks explain why it is okay for women to play games too.
The “Nintendo Girls Club” (yes, really), which has just launched on YouTube has posted a video of actress Jorgie Porter explaining how Animal Crossing on the 3DS can actually be played by women – specifically highlighting that the game includes elements of fashion design and makeovers. Because only blokes would be interested in town planning?
Go on, watch this first episode and try not to get depressed:
So should we be surprised? Nintendo, after all, are perhaps not the most progressive company given that “Rescue the Woman” is the default premise for many Nintendo games. What makes this more ludicrous is when you consider that in the forthcoming Smash Bros game for WiiU and 3DS, no less than four of the characters are not just women, but princesses.
Frankly, I’m depressed that it’s 2014 and this is seen as the best way to engage with female customers. Other commentators have claimed that it’s an attempt to reach out to “non-traditional” audiences – which is something they desperately need to do given how the WiiU and 3DS are less successful than hoped… but if they don’t consider 50% of people receptive to their normal message then can they ever expect their products to be a success? If you remember how the original Wii became so successful, it wasn’t because the adverts patronised women or anyone else into playing games – but because the games themselves were so intuitive and simple that anyone could join in.
Perhaps if they’re lucky, no one will notice this new campaign. After all – women are probably too busy playing actual games (45% of gamers are women).
I can’t help but think Nintendo might have misjudged this one. The angry mobs of Twitter users are probably starting their engines as I write.