Archive for June, 2011

Gamers & Dolls: a psychological fable

Boys don’t play with dolls. Common knowledge. It’s just one of the things boys don’t do, along with liking cute animals, or flowers, or dancing, or the colour pink. Unless they’re that way inclined. You should definitely visualise someone rolling their eyes as they say that: “that way inclined”. There, you’ve got it.

It’s just not natural, you see. Men are coded to want to hunt and fight for things. Women are coded to want to make themselves attractive and to look after things. Hence girls like dolls, and boys like toy guns.

That’s why boys stick with action games, and only girls play The Sims. Which is a shame, because as we all know, girls don’t play computer games at all, which is why The Sims was such a failure. Similarly, boys hate those girly dress-up games, and girls just don’t get those shooters. Can you imagine a company trying to take a game aimed that only boys would like – like, say, a multiplayer first-person shooter – and then ask them to pay real money make themselves look different? Ha! It’d never work, because as we all know, boys don’t want to play dress-up, and even if a girl did somehow think to play with a computer, as all girls hate shooting things she would never go near the game in the first place.
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Game reviews and morality

I recently reviewed a game called GB&W. I awarded it a 2/5 for a variety of reasons: it was based on what I perceived to be a flawed, frustrating design template. Its innovations, such as they were, achieved nothing more than weakening the venerable Breakout formula. It was overlong, and unsatisfying. And it was a game that made me feel uncomfortable.
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June 2011
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