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 @ 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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The Newsfeed

"I play [games] constantly until 4 in the morning. When I’m not on my game I’m checking my phone. And the whole time I’m doing all of that my desktop is on the internet.”—Male, 22, OH

Twitch is airing every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in celebration of the late Fred Rogers’ 90th birthday and the show’s 50th anniversary. The esports streaming service is expanding to nostalgia entertainment (which young viewers can’t get enough of), but they have a unique twist. The show will be available for co-viewing, with popular Twitch streamers chiming in from time to time. (Mashable)

Over one-third of 18-34-year-olds have stopped using a brand after hearing negative news about them, more than any other generation. Among the brands that most consumers said they gave up on were Wells Fargo, Target, Papa John’s, and Uber. However, Critical Mix and kNOW also found that young consumers are more willing to forgive a brand for bad press: While only 30% of consumers overall would use a brand again after a scandal, 41% of 25-34-year-olds would. (MediaPost)

Alamo Drafthouse is bringing back VHS—offering free rentals for Millennials that wax nostalgic for analog products. Their first store, Video Vortex, is opening in North Carolina. Not only are they “fostering a movie-loving community” with the extensive gratis collection of 75,000 titles, but they’re making money off of the added “beer, food, and merchandise.” No VHS player? No problem. They’re renting those as well. (BoingBoingEW)

Researchers were surprised to find Gen Z students were “relieved” to ditch their smartphones for a few weeks. Screen Education’s study of 62 12-16-year-olds found that 92% thought “it was beneficial” to disconnect from their smartphones while they were at camp. And even though 41% admitted they felt frustrated at times, 35% were able to cut down their use after camp and 17% convinced a friend to curb their time spent on smartphones, too. (PR Newswire)

Beauty brands love augmented reality, but an app can’t replace in-store experience. Not only did Ypulse found time and again that young consumers expect Experiencification and flock to marketing activations (like pop-ups), but brick-and-mortar locations build loyalty. People think they’re scamming Sephora when they re-do their makeup gratis, but that time-spent-in-store is really “turning the ‘scammers’ into buyers.” (Quartzy)

"I love my smart phone. It is just like my best friend [and] I just can't do without my smartphone...”—Male, 27, CA

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