Liss Isn't the Only One Who Writes Letters

by Shaker BGK, who would like you to know that in addition to reading Shakesville, working as an engineer, and dreaming of David Boreanaz, he finds time to beat as many RPG villians as possible.

Dear Game Crazy/HollyWood Video:

As a video game geek, I really do appreciate getting your emails. It is a vital service to know what new games are coming out each week, and I do appreciate the information falling directly into my inbox, complete with an advert on what will be going on for sale at the local Game Crazy.

That being said, did you review your national advert this week?

The "girls' section" of the ad curiously features only one platform, the Nintendo DS, a system which, in addition to the distinction of having released a girls' line with a pink metallic rose option, is a handheld console and therefore does not have the graphics engine of the big seventh generation consoles, making playing something as massive as "Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" impossible on the platform. I know that the Nintendo DS suffers from a dearth of cutting edge games.

However, I'm stunned to find that your company thinks the only games that would qualify for female consumption are games related to fashion design, exercise, child-rearing, and animal care, none of which make the Top Ten Nintendo DS games on your frontpage. With the addition of "Happy Cooking," you would have created the ultimate sexist Nintendo DS video game collection of all time.

While I understand that sexism runs rife through the video game industry, you should not further the stereotype.

It's not as though your company doesn't offer games that would appeal to many women gamers. "Guitar Hero: On Tour" comes to mind. Who would not love to escape to a fantasy land where you can rock out? Wouldn't women like the opportunity to pretend to be the next Joan Jett or Liz Phair? Plenty of women would love to play the "New Super Mario Brothers" or "Mario Kart" games. After all, they bought the next console by the company who constantly reimagines these games. "Brain Age 2," a puzzle and mental challenge game would be a boon to any gamer who picked up the title.

These are all your best-selling games, and I don't understand why you are picking the games at the back of the bus to market to women.

In all honesty, I bet a male member of your staff selected these games, probably with good intentions. The lack of representation for women in these ads can be pervasive, and I imagine he thought about what games were out there that would market well to women and give the appearance of inclusivity. I know, that if I had not yet taken the Red Pill, I would not even have registered the sexism inherent in these choices because of the limitations they ultimately express.

Games are tied to fantasy. People play games like "Rockband" and "FallOut 3" to escape reality into an imaginary world. We, for a moment, can pretend to be a huge RocknRoller or a Gun-Toting Hero. By choosing only games about fashion, exercise, and nurturing, it communicates that girls should not dream of anything beyond a 1950's "career" choice, a horrifying thought, even if unintentionally proposed.

I would like to suggest a solution: Next week, run ads for feminist games. If you will run the big two platforms, I'd suggest the following:

PS3: Heavenly Sword --> Woman avenges the murders of her family by kicking ass in an Eastern Mythological Setting.

Xbox 360: Portal --> Chell uses cutting-edge teleporation technology to save the world, and kill a few baddies on the side.

Thanks for listening,
Shaker BGK
Game Crazy MVP Member

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