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Stereotype of Video Games Being for Boys Essay

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2021

As a reading, I selected “No Girls Allowed: Unraveling the Story Behind the Stereotype of Video Games Being for Boys” by Tracey Lien. This article is relevant for the class because it studies the problems in media products (video games). It is also relevant for my interests because the author writes about gender problems in media.

In the article author speaks about the problem of different video games that designed for boys and for girls. The author tries to find out why video game for girls are about princesses but not superheroes and why the number of girl games is smaller than boy games. To answer this question, the author studies history of the video game making and the marketing of this production. Lien studies tendencies in marketing and how the marketologists learn about their audience for video games.

Then she tells about what was with the game industry in 1970s: there were few female designers and few girls played video games. The industry was weak and the game makers wanted to have a secure market, so they decided to rely on boys. In later times (80s and 90s) this became a “chicken-and-egg situation”: girls do not play video games because advertisement does not relate to them, and the marketing has no interest in girls because they are not video game players.

In this article author explains that gender difference in the video games is a marketing strategy of the companies. It is done because people want the product be designed “exclusively for them,” and it allows the companies sell more products. The main point of Lien’s article is that this strategy is not working now for video games because nowadays some girls want to play superheroes and some boys can play with princesses. The companies should start making games “about superheroes” and “about princesses,” not “for boys” and “for girls.”

This article is about video games, and there are some definitions that are not clear for the people who do not play video games. For example, video game console is a special machine which people use to play video games. Aisle is a simple video game in which you can only make one move to get a result. Arcade game is an action game in which you need to use your reflexes to do something very quickly. Coin-op machine is a video game machine set in public places (usually bars), in which you need to drop a coin to play.

The historical reasons that nowadays video games are designed in an extremely polarized gendered way are the following. First, marketers know that people always like products that are made just for them (for example, just for their gender), and to have a safe market audience they had to design different games for men and women. Second, aggression is associated with men, and because of that the designers think that aggressive games are for men and nice calm games are for women.

The article tells that marketing is very strong in shaping consumer desires and expectations. The author writes that because video game marketing was not addressing girls, girls paid small attention to video games, and this became a never-ending circle (Lien par. 56). The author says that painting packages in different colors and placing products in “boys” and “girls” sides influence our choices (Lien par. 9-13).

I was impressed by this article because the author studied historical context, explained marketology problems, and interviewed some specialists in this field. With this information she presented a full picture of this problem.

Works Cited

Lien, Tracey. “Polygon. 2013. Web.

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