Video games aimed at girls

Playing video games aimed at girls less cool?

Can you tell me why it is that playing video games aimed at girls is considered less cool? I wondered about this riding the train this morning, puttering away at getting Beaumonde more fashion conscious. Making that virtual town in Style Savvy for the 3DS a little bit better, with happy customers all around. Finding the latest trends and combining colors, while I work at being the best store manager, hairdresser and beautician that I can be.

Feeling caught at playing a fashion game

Playing video games is a normal activity for me, I play my handheld devices everywhere I can. I overcame the feeling that I had at first in playing on my 3DS while the other people in my train compartment are looking all grown up in their business suits, reading the paper or listening to music. But even I found myself a bit uneasy when the man next to me looked at my screen at what I was playing. He saw the happy girls, perfect make up and the outfits that I had put together. I felt caught, like I did something that wasn’t fitting.

The girls in Style Savvy, Fashion Forward can over react a bit, I agree to that. I myself don’t greet a new outfit in real life with ecstatic handclapping and dancing around in the dressing room. In my case it’s more about trying to avoid the mirror while trying on new clothes. I really don’t want to see the parts of my physique that I’d normally rather keep covered. Plus finding clothes that cover said parts in the most efficient way. And no hearts, stars or rainbows fluttering around me when I finally find the right thing.

Are games aimed at girls less worthy?

Still, why should I feel like I was playing a game that was unworthy? In the past I hadn’t felt that way, when I caught Pokémon. Or when I fought my way through Nohr in trying to beat king Garon on my way to work. Why is this game deemed less worthy just because it’s about fashion? It’s positive, fun, makes you feel good and tests your management skills.

What’s so different in gathering the best team you can in Pokémon? Making sure they have the right stats and the best moves. Battling to gain experience and to progress in the story. I could argue that making sure I have the most versatile collection in my fashion boutique is in the same range. And that I can make every customer happy, selling them a complete outfit if I can. And getting them to do their hair and make-up as well.

Still, the same problem seems to apply when it comes to other games that are primarily aimed at girls, like Nintendogs, Cooking Mama and the Sims. Is it because people in general often embrace the notion that interest that are mainly seen as female interests are more shallow? Are deemed less worthy?

Are video games aimed at girls less cool?

I’ve written about this topic before, related to gaming, in this article “Are games aimed at girls real games?” It won’t come as a surprise that yes, I think games aimed at the female populace are real games. And no, a game primarily aimed at girls or women is very much equally worthy. It shouldn’t make any difference to the sense of accomplishment in beating the game or bringing it to the best ending possible.Video games aimed at girls

A game is a game as long as people find it relaxing to play, are having a good time playing it. To me all games are playable, they are all worthy of being played if anyone wants to. And those who play them are all gamers in my book! So, I’ll just game on, showcasing my fashion sense and walking about with my nose in the air..just like my alter ego in the picture above!


  1. I’m probably biased as a guy, but I’m willing to play most games that I enjoy. Games like Style Savvy, Cooking Mama, and Nintendogs aren’t very compelling for me to play, which is why I have trouble getting into them. And believe me, I actually have games from each series so I’ve tried. I do tend to like games aimed at all audiences but with a lot of female appeal, like the Animal Crossing series. It’s not that they’re necessarily uncool to me, but they’re just not appealing. Perhaps it’s just something about how these series are heavily aimed at a casual audience, assuming little experience in games.

    1. Not appealing to someone is good. Lol, I mean that of course you can’t like all games, I can’t get into cooking mama either, but that isn’t to say it’s not s good game. At least we tried, and haven’t written it off as not a real game from the first!
      And I’m glad there are more people out there who are willing to give it a go!

  2. If a game is good enough and the theme appeals to me I will give it a go. Anyone who has seen my wardrobe or eaten a meal prepared by me will know that I have no interest in fashion or cooking – so that’s why I don’t play stuff like Style Boutique or Cooking Mama.

    The Sims sells by the bucket load, so if you consider that a girly game you have an example of a female aimed game being cool. On the other end of the spectrum there are countless shovelware titles that are just mini-games (e.g Barbie.)

    1. It’s funny how most of you mention the Sims as an example of a huge success. And I know it is, I’ve seen my daughter playing it for years now. Maybe it’s because it’s on a PC and not some handheld device, but I never could get into it. I tried, on the DS, and then again on my iPad, but I’m guessing it’s just not for me.

      Oh, and don’t mistake me: I’m very far removed from any fashion sense, and most guests that come to dinner secretly hope it’s my husband that will do the cooking!

  3. I see many feminine games that seem like not much effort was put into making them as much as other games. So ends up feeling like a little kid game or a mini game. I tried out Style Savy demo today and it does seem pretty nice. Its a maybe for right now. I love the Sims!
    If a game comes out about being a fashionista by day and monster slayer by night that would be fun!

    1. Yeah, now that would be the perfect combination for us! A bit like Disney Magical World. Sugar sweet in meeting the characters, but I’m still stuck on a particularly hard boss fights in the Aladdin dungeons!

  4. I think it’s because a lot of girl games tend to broach topics that don’t appeal to a main audience, mainly fashion. I should know it, I’m a girl and yet I have 0 interest in fashion, so I skip a lot of girl games too. Other than otome games, I really don’t get suckered into girl games unless they have some element I like. I still haven’t tried any style savvy games, but if I do end liking them it will be thanks to the management sim side of it, not the decorating or dressing up. And no, I don’t like the animal crossing spin off about decorating either, and that game is considered to have an universal appeal.

    I occasionally play cooking mama and enjoy it, but without any story or any goal besides getting a good score, the mini-games never hold my interest for too long. I do always enjoy cooking mini-games in other games too, and given the success of cooking mama I’d say cooking is a topic that reaches way more people. Heck, most people I know consider cooking mama a casual game, not a girl game.

    On the other hand, the sims is considered a girly game by a lot of people, and I’ve been playing that franchise for 11 years now. The franchise has been one of the best selling franchises on PCs for about a decade, until EA soured the fans with the 4th entry. So simulating life and building houses are clearly topics that appeal to a lot of people.

    And then there’s what bothers most people: shovelware. Until very recently, most girl games were terrible pieces of shovelware that pleased nobody in the world, see most Barbie games, Mary Kate and Ashley games, ect. I played a couple as a kid, and trust me, some of those games are almost enough to put someone off from gaming. Hence, despite it not being fair to some recent girl games, most gamers have come to associate girl games as shovelware=crap. And it’s hard to shake up the label when such shovelware is still happening today, see, again recent Barbie games and Monster High games.

    1. I agree to a lot you are saying, lots of girly games are indeed shovel ware. Why do developers think it’s okay for a girls game to not be anything but top notch? Why do they get away with it, is it because gaming for girls isn’t as interesting to them as drawing in boys into the way of gaming?

      And in real life I don’t have a lot of interest in fashion or decorating either, so it’s definitely the sim side that drew me in. But the point I want to make is that for a lot of people the fact that it’s about, let’s say, a feminine pursuit, is enough for people to not consider it a real game. And the reverse side is that apparently when a game is about an alpha male kind of pursuit, like hunting or shooting, then it’s a real game. That’s what is bugging me about this!

  5. I have wondered this myself. I hate playing gender cards, but I would think that the reason a person might feel “caught” playing a girl game is the same reason a woman in a pink frilly dress isn’t taken as seriously as a woman in a black suit (either skirt or pants). Video games are, unfortunately, still seen as a predominantly male hobby, and so I think when a game is made “for girls,” it might be seen as less important than a game that is targeted at the “main” gamer audience.

    Gender differences are oversimplified in the world of games, and so I think when one game so obviously is for “one gender” – especially a gender that is still working to be recognized as equal in the gaming world – it can feel like you’re playing into a stereotype. “Girls don’t like…”

    Conventional industry wisdom in the field says that women don’t like first-person shooters, but Portal was wildly popular with both women and men. Conventional industry wisdom says that match-three games are only for women, but Kingdom quest had a huge male following. Kingdom Hearts, an action RPG, has a substantial female following, even though women aren’t supposed to like action RPGs. Here, the mechanics themselves haven’t been gendered, so no one, no matter gender, feels “caught” playing one of these games, even though “girls don’t play first-person shooters” or “boys don’t play match-three games.”

    How is outfitting a woman for a runway in a game different than outfitting a warrior for battle in a game? The visuals are very gendered. And one gender is still considered inferior, so things that are obviously representative of that gender is still seen as lesser. (Please note: I hate playing the gender card, but I think it is still something that we need to talk about in this industry.)

  6. Like you, I hardly ever play the gender card. I grew up with the notion that females are equal to men, even though my eduction was way before most of my readers were born. It was because my parents never made an issue of it, though I remember it wasn’t that way everywhere. For me, it never made any difference, and somehow it always surprises me when I’m confronted with the fact that in some environments it still makes a difference.

    It’s not like I want to dwell on that on my site, but sometimes it’s so obvious that I feel I have to bring it out. It is indeed no different from equipping your hero for the next battle, you worded that well!

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