The Girl Gamer Perspective: Marketing Messages Miss The Target

Julia is our gaming expert on the Youth Advisory Board, and as a girl gamer, she’s frustrated that so many of the video games she enjoys are rarely presented as being female-friendly. She may never have picked up Skyrim, which quickly became one of her favorites, if she hadn’t heard from other girl gamers that it had some great features because the game was only marketed to guys. She explains below…

(For the industry perspective, check out Reaching The Female Gamer By Ignoring Stereotypes from Jen Shanley, industry veteran and CEO of Zwirlz.)

To contact Julia or other members of the Youth Advisory Board, send an email to youthadvisoryboard @ ypulse.com or simply leave a note in the comments…

The Girl Gamer Perspective: Marketing Messages Miss The Target

Intense Girl GamerGamers are usually portrayed as members of a few different categories: socially awkward oddballs, nerdy teenage boys, or chubby immature adults living in their parents’ basements. However, there is one stereotype that applies to all gamers: “real gamers” are always male. Marketers seem to have adopted these stereotypes, believing that that women don’t play games very much, and even those who do aren’t “hardcore” gamers. In their opinions, women are only interested in games that involve fashion, pop songs, puppies, or, of course, weight loss.

However, women actually constitute 42% of American gamers. Although many in the marketing world assume that these women are only interested in casual games (like “Bejeweled,” “Mariokart,” and “The Sims”) or games that specifically target a female audience (like Barbie games for little girls or exercise games for grown women), in reality 44% of female gamers prefer genres other than casual, exercise, or music.

Many girls, myself included, love games like “Final Fantasy” that revolve…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

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We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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