In response to “I’m a Barbie Girl, in a BarbieGirls World” from The Escapist Forum: First, as to the censorship. Kids will always find a way to circumnavigate the system. The pre approved messages that don’t allow for typing in custom chats is the only way to keep kids from saying exactly what they want.
Next, why even point out that Mattel is pushing their brand so hard or that they have a preconceived notion of what girls like that you feel isn’t correct? Of course they are pushing their brand. It’s a barbie site. As to how they push the pink and ‘girly’ out there.. It’s working, isn’t it?
If parents don’t like what it represents, they should keep their kids from it. If they are afraid that the kids are talking about stuff they shouldn’t or seeing others talk about it, then they should stop them from visiting the site.
There are a whole lot of sites out there that I don’t want my kid to visit. I just don’t let her. Also, I try to watch as she goes to a site to see what is involved, what’s going on, and what she is doing. Parents that don’t get what’s coming when they have to later explain what a dirty sanchez is to their 8 year old.
The only clues that BarbieGirls gives players about what they can and cannot say appear in the game’s rules. These include the warning that “anything naughty or unkind will be blocked” and that players must always be “super nice.” Apparently, this means not expressing anything negative, as the system excludes terms like “don’t,” “dislike” and “do not like.”
Wow. 1984, anyone?
There are so many things wrong with BarbieGirls – the way it promotes materialistic values, the way it forces this perception of what girls should like and do, the censorship – it’s crazy that so many girls are being subjected to it.
The crazier thing is that most of them are probably playing it by choice, which means that Mattel’s message has sunk in and become accepted, which is the last thing anyone wants. Well, except companies like Mattel.
In response to “Playing Mommy” from The Escapist Forum: First of all congratulations!
I really enjoyed reading this article, as it’s not often you hear about the adventures of a pregnant gamer lol, and playing the DS during contractions has to be a first, maybe Nintendo could use it as their next advert to casual gamers.
Oh wow.. the joy of birth, and the joy of video game at the same time? That would be sensory overload for most people.
I’m a pessimist, so I have to ask this – wouldn’t starting your children on video games so young sort of cut them back on other exercise? I know being a gaming parent yourself, you most likely know the importance of balance between gaming and life. I think it’s a life skill that kids these days need to learn. (Especially if they live in the US.)
All in all, congratulations, and hang in there.
In response to “Indorktrination” from The Escapist Forum: I think the take-away message here isn’t necessarily that you didn’t get your wife into your lifestyle, but that she now has a better understanding – and hopefully, appreciation – of your interests. Part of the disconnect, evident in the opening of the article, is that a lot of non-gamers don’t even WANT to know about gaming of any sort. They view it as infantile and as a waste of time. Although I’d like to have heard that your wife felt more inclined to join you in your hobbies, I’ll settle for her better understanding of the lifestyle in general. It’s more then we get out of most non-gamers these days.
In response to “The Perspectives of Tracy J. Butler” from The Escapist Forum: Too much testosterone in the video game industry and you get what I call the “Lord of the Flies Syndrome.” Men who spend the majority of their lives in the company of other men all working on video games to please other men/boys and voila, you get video games like Manhunt. I’d say the biggest barrier to women as gamers and game producers is that they have to invariable deal with hordes of these obnoxious knuckle draggers.
In response to “The Frag Fraternity?” from The Escapist Forum: It’s amazing how many of the problems of network play disappear in LANs, at least at the ones I’ve attended (and the one tiny one I held). Admittedly, these were LANs held in private and were invitation-only so much of the “riff-raff” were weeded out from the start… but that too is part of the Joy of LANs. Indeed, at the Halo LANs I’ve attended the number of female participants has increased each time though women are still in the minority.
So there’s hope yet that the gender barrier will be broken in LANs.
– Anton P. Nym