By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
When I read about the new PSP Girlz Play Too campaign at Game Life this morning, for a second I actually thought it was a spoof. But no, it’s very real, and now all I can think is: OMG WTF were you, like, totally thinking, Sony?
It’s not as if marketing to girls is a new thing in the videogame world, and neither is using stereotype-laden advertising to do it. Because everyone knows that a girl will only play a game system if it is bedazzled. Or purple (sorry, lilac). Or covered with stickers of pretty, pretty ponies. However, I think there is still a line between targeted marketing and perpetuating a stereotype, and Sony has definitely crossed it. I’m assuming this is their stab at competing with Nintendo in this market. And yes, the DS had pretty much sewn up the young girls demographic, but Nintendo traditionally skews much younger than Playstation anyway. And the I Play for Me campaign somehow managed to not make me have to fight my gag reflex.
Maybe I’m missing the whole point, and “girlz” are actually a different demographic, perhaps an entirely different species (what is the singular of “girlz” anyway?). Here is what I know about “girlz” after spending five minutes on the PSP website:
- They like to shop. (Example tagline: “Did somebody say shopping?!”)
- They like purple.
- They like these games (and only these games): Patapon 2, Loco Roco 2, Hannah Montana, Dogz, Fantasy Golf Pangya, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
- They like to hang out with their BFFs, oh, and of course,
- Girlz got game. Apparently.
Also, I took a quiz and apparently I am “so totally Princess Patapon.” Hey, here’s a marketing idea: Market the games. Well, first make good games. Then market them. If there are games that girls (or even “girlz”) will like, they will buy them. In the meantime, let’s not potentially squash an entire generation of up-and-coming girl geeks and gamers by making them think that they’re only supposed to play games with sparkly cases.