When I first saw these at Target the other day, I was really tempted to throw them to the ground and HULK SMASH them. In fact, I couldn’t wait to go home and post to my twitter/website of how INFURIATED these games made me feel. However, am I misjudging the young girls of today and how they develop, or am I projecting princess throw-up puke on the little ladies?
A video game holds no more power than movies or books have when it comes to sending a message. I have not read the Twilight series, but I was pretty alarmed to learn of the continuous theme of the girl giving up her life and being subject to “beatings/sex” to be with her guy. So, I don’t think the argument here is that the video games are sending a bad message – at least anymore than anything else a young girl can get her hands on. I also hold any reasonable parent to adding context to whatever activity their child is engaged in. But, are these games helping pave way for more of the “Stupid Girls” that P!nk sings about?
I think it depends what sort of chance the mind has for imagination with these games.
I did a little research and found the descriptions of each of the games:
Dream Day Wedding Destination
“Dream Day Wedding Destinations delivers a romantic adventure filled with hidden treasures, excitement, and the inevitable wedding crisis. You plan a wedding (with three different brides), choose a love story (you decide how the couples met, fall in love, and get engaged), and make it perfect (find each bride’s necessary items at the florist, bridal shop, bakery, and more to make her big day a dream).” [source]
Eh, nice that the player is removed – and it does seem to take more of the “you’re the wedding planner” role – which I like to look at like it’s learning how to produce and forms of project management. Granted one screen shot on Game Pr) shows you need to find things like cherries on top and a holiday wreath, but is that any different than getting murloc drops in World of Warcraft?
I Love Horses
“Explore the amazing world of Greenhill Ranch, home to championship horses. Discover 20 fun mini-games that let your teach, train and groom your horse. With the right training, you and your horse will take the crown at the big tournament. Life at the ranch has never been this much fun.” [source]
Verdict: Prep for a life of online yahoo/facbook gaming.
No really, what the verdict said. I lump this up there with Farmville that I avoid like the plague. The description also sounds like a slightly more interactive Tomagotchi.
In ‘My Boyfriend’, players can put their personalities into the game and then seek out their perfect boyfriend, learning how best to win his heart. Earn extra pocket money by carrying out a variety of jobs around the town and spend it on a new look, 2 tickets to a concert, or whatever you think will most impress your dreamboat. Learn new sporting and musical skills to catch his attention and snare his heart. [source]
Verdict: Sigh. No. HULK SMASH
It’s one thing when you have a game like the Sims and play computerized 3D Barbies (or make virtualize your real life like an old roommate of mine did once) – but when the whole object is to get a guy? No. Not okay. This is the exact sort of stuff that carries over into adulthood and makes girls freak out that they are not normal if they are not with a guy – or has a girl putting too much expectations on a guy to begin with. This game then combined with the Wedding one, I think makes a dangerous cocktail of bad messages to girls. Life = perfect when you have your man and your wedding.
Also, according to this horribly out of sync, static-tastic review FROM a 14 year old – the game teaches you to start the BSing to your friends. ie “No, how do I really look?” sigh.