Google the term “games for girls” and you’ll be hit with a bunch of suggestions that largely revolve around dress up simulators, Disney princesses, cooking games, and Barbie adventures. Even when it comes to console and PC titles, it’s common to hear titles that revolve around cooking or dancing or relaxing lifestyle simulation dismissed as “girl’s games.” Even when I myself have shopped for titles in game stores I’ve been told by staff or other nosy customers that the title I’ve picked is “a surprise” or asked if it was for my boyfriend.
There are problems with this on multiple levels: it creates the assumption that women only play one kind of game; it enforces the (very wrong) idea that men can’t enjoy these games; it suggests that a women’s taste have less value when it comes to games; and finally, it suggests that there’s something wrong with these kinds of games, that they’re lesser. All in all it perpetuates negative gender stereotypes that should have been stamped out of gaming long ago.
That’s why we’re really happy to see Australian store JB Hi-Fi call out these stereotypes with their Games for Girls shelf that’s stacked with titles commonly associated with male players or held up as prime examples of ‘real games’ such as Dark Souls 3, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty.
The stand was put up by Morris Umali who posted about it on his Facebook page:
Turns out our gender identity doesn’t determine the games we buy or enjoy and we like nothing more than balancing out a few hours of joyriding in Grand Theft Auto with a short spell of gardening in Animal Crossing.