Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What Sells Wii's to Women? Spa Days!

I like Wii. Wii games are the first video games I've ever really found addictive. I like that I can design my own characters and that the female characters I design don't have to look like they were doodled in some 13-year-old boy's math binder for, umm... later use. I really like Wii Sports, and apparently so does the queen of England.

(UPDATE: If you are looking for more good games whose animation won't weird you out, Shameless has a list of some of the best. I can personally attest to the awesomeness of Lego Star Wars and Katamari Damacy.)

Yet, if anyone can bring back that old sexist feeling that has effectively kept many women from truly loving gaming, Best Buy is determined to do it. Yup, according to Feminist Gamers:
Best Buy stores held a “Wii for Women” store event last Sunday in a handful of their outlets nationwide, encouraging women to “Relax, play games and register for a chance to win a Wii console.”

First prize for the drawing was a Nintendo Wii, which is a good!

…Except, that appears to be the only “game-related” thing that was up for grabs. Second prize was a Garmin GPS system (ok, it’s a techy-toy), but after that, you were more likely to receive a certificate to a spa.

It gets worse. As Destroctoid Wii Blog reports:
...everything about this promotion screamed "bad first date"...First of all, Best Buy employees were giving out roses, chocolates, and fake electric candles to all the ladies in attendance. FAKE... ELECTRIC... CANDLES. Secondly, there were signs and cards everywhere telling me that playing the Wii was all about helping me "relax". It was creepy.
Really, I want to like gaming. It's so ... hipster. Yet, sometimes it really does seem as though there were a concerted effort to make me not like gaming. What's up?

(The Guild Wars cover art comes from Pixiepalace, where there is a great post about the portrayal of women in games.)


Mächtige Maus said...

While I have no need for the roses, chocolate, or fake electric candles, I must admit that gaming *is* rather relaxing. Perhaps not playing tennis on the brothers worked themselves up into a lather during their match, but I do find sneaking around in the dark and picking someone off from 100 yards way with my sniper rifle to be very relaxing indeed.

La Pobre Habladora said...


That comment is a bit unsettling considering that you required to carry a gun as part of your job description. We are still talking about video games here, right?

Mächtige Maus said...

Yes, games, video games...we are talking about the video games. In real life, I am not issued a sniper rifle! :)

Casmall said...

Any chance Stormtroopers are at the other end of the sniper riffle? I find that most relaxing.

Mächtige Maus said...

No Stormtroopers...Nicaraguan rebels, I do believe. Or some such threat to National security.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Hummm... maybe you should try relaxing with fake electric candles after all! Or come for a visit and try some relaxing beer at the relaxing pub. Expensive beer - that's what they should hand out at Bust Buy if they want me to loiter in the video games section.