The below ad aired some time in early May, but I am one of those weird people that only watches TV on the internet (yay, Hulu?) so the first time I saw this ad was yesterday. Did I miss the parade? I will admit I spend a lot of time on here talking about what displeases me regarding gender in the video game industry, but this ad gets it whatever that “it” is.
The 30 second ad opens up with two women in their late 20′s, early 30′s, sitting on a park bench. One woman looks professional in every sense of the word- from her attire, to her make-up, to her calm but gracious behavior – all while being sexy. The other character in this ad looks like she engages in a more relaxed lifestyle- she is not in business attire, wearing a patterned shirt, eating chips or cookies and presumably slurping a soft drink. This second character gets caught up in the moment and does things spontaneously, like talk to strangers. Right off the bat we know this game is for every type of woman (well, “white” at least).
This ad puts a new spin on what many parents think of as just a child’s toy. Both of these women are beautiful and fit, proving that you don’t have to be an overweight loser nerd in their parents basement to like video games. These video game playing gals are also outside, loving life! Perhaps employed and on a lunch break! They don’t look depressed.
The professional woman is playing a puzzle game on the Nintendo DS. Why play Sudoku, or do a crossword puzzles, when you can do it on a portable high-tech consumer gadget? We don’t need to chop down any trees for these types of puzzles… or be at home linked into a social network like our older aunts. The free bird character (played by Jama Williamson, the actress who plays Aziz Ansari’s ex wife in Parks & Recreation) jumps in at the end of the commercial and helps solve the puzzle. The professional woman has enough class to not be phased and the two women move closer to each other on the bench so they can both play, indicating that these two can be friends in real life after all! How idyllic – no back seat gamer there. Nintendo says “See, technology can bring people together!”
Way to go, Nintendo! Look at you, understanding the older untapped female market with all your research and consumer reports! Your good efforts almost make me want to go out and buy another DS game …. from the used bin.
I just read this article over on G4tv.com by Kevin Kelly titled “Sex in the City 2: Gaming with the Girls“. I think the article was aiming to be a list of games you can get your girlfriend, who is a Sex in the City fanatic (hence the title). The games listed in the article aren’t half bad, except for the “soulless” Imagine: Fashion Designer, and Kelly wrote the article in an attempt to be humorous but happened to fail miserably. I know I shouldn’t get offended at Kelly’s attempt at humor, but Kelly wrote in exactly the way the gaming industry views women, a view that is insanely offensive considering we now make up more than 40% of the gaming population.
Any female I know that happens to like Sex in the City already plays video games. What video games do they play? At least some sort of web- based puzzle game when they are at work, and another normal game on their Wii, Xbox, DS or PC. The rest of the women I know that like Sex in the City are 40 and above, and are already playing some Bejeweled-type game online, which is, surprise, also A PUZZLE GAME.
Poor Lindsay Lohan. A game based off the best movie she ever did (Mean Girls) comes out this month, and she is not even on the cover. Writes PopEater:
Lindsay Lohan may have been the star of ‘Mean Girls,’ but she’s curiously missing from the cover for the upcoming Nintendo DS game based on the hit 2004 film. In lieu of Lohan, the cover instead features Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried, who played the trio of super-popular girls known as “the plastics.” The film follows the life of a new student named Cady Heron, played by Lohan.
Uinterview.com speculates Ms. Lohan was left off because her “image was deemed to0 expensive“… but how can that be? I thought Lindsay was broke to the point where she couldn’t pay rent…
I am sure Paramount could afford to pay her something out of the $14.99 price. Beggars can’t be choosers; I have a feeling Lindsay would be happy with just a dime for each sale.
I think PopEaters got it:
Whether this move by 505 Games and Nintendo was intentional, it appears to be part of larger pattern regarding the removal of Lohan from ‘Mean Girls’ promotion altogether. Recent promos for ‘Mean Girls’ airing on television have put the focus on McAdams and her crew, leaving Lohan out of the commercials altogether.
Tsk, tsk Paramount. Not having the main character on the game cover is one thing, but to remove her from all promos is just cold…. too cold for words.