The pink oujia board

by Jess McCabe // 20 May 2009, 16:15

To be honest, kids are probably already going down the wrong path buying an oujia board, rather than making one (can you really suspend your 'contacting the dead' disbelief with a talking board made by Hasbro?) But this is... ridiculous:

ouija.gif

As A.V. Club says, in its fantastically headline piece 'Girls like to look at pink while contacting the dead':

In case you're wondering, girl, about what makes this Ouija game different from other Ouija games, girl, besides the fact that the whole thing seems to have been dipped in Pepto Bismol and that it includes its own super sleek carrying case, Ouija For Girls comes with suggested questions. Why? Well, apparently girls can't be trusted to ask the right questions of the demons and spirits surrounding them at all times. Or, as one of the customer reviews put it:

"This is the cutest board. The fact that they made a Ouija specifically for a girl makes it perfect.. Board is sturdy and includes 80 cards of questions in case you get stuck asking any particular question."

OMG. It's true. Thinking up questions about your own life to ask the dead is hard! Sometimes you're at a slumber party, and someone brings out a Ouija board, and the only question you can think of is "Slom?" which isn't even a word or anything, and would probably just make the princess ghosts who float around waiting for someone to use a pink Ouija very, very angry if you asked it. And you don't want to get those princess ghosts angry, because when they're angry they just go around and punch sleeping girls right in the fallopian tubes, which, everybody knows, is how you get your first period. Yuck.

Obviously, it's much easier to use the question cards."Who will text me next?" "Who wishes they could trade places with me?" "How many calories am I burning off right now?" "How condescending is this Ouija For Girls game?" These are the questions that you want answered, girl!

(N.B. Although I'm guessing AV was being humourous with the calories question, "who will text me next?" is apparently an actual question taken from the product description)

Comments From You

Rose // Posted 20 May 2009 at 16:53

Huh, they could even go for a christian version next, with a pink fluffy bible, and extra pull-out quiz at the back titled,

'Which Mary are you? - the teen mum or the hooker?'

Great! We can demean all sorts of things at once! Not least the female cognitive capacity. Go team capitalism!

Aimee // Posted 20 May 2009 at 18:16

I absolutely adore the comments on that article!

Cassandra // Posted 20 May 2009 at 20:43

wow. there are so many things that I could say to this. One thing: princess ghosts? what? I don't think I can really say anything about how amused I am about that. princess ghosts.

Maybe boys would like a pink oujia board. I don't know why anyone would want one, it's always better to make your own, but if you make your own you can't have a pink one!! And that would be horrible!! Note the sarcasm. And the whole cards with questions is kinda weird

Jess McCabe // Posted 20 May 2009 at 23:35

One thing: princess ghosts? what? I don't think I can really say anything about how amused I am about that. princess ghosts.

I'm with you, Cassandra, I startled my coworkers with an amused snort when I read that line.

Madeleine // Posted 21 May 2009 at 11:46

Not only the sexism of this, but ouija boards can be really dangerous, in the sense that they can cause or exacerbate serious psychological problems in vulnerable people. I think this is terrible.

Sabre // Posted 21 May 2009 at 14:27

I'm confused... are princess ghosts like the tooth fairy? Maybe I should get me one of the ouija boards and ask that question.

As for 'girls like too look at pink while contacting the dead', that's the funniest thing I've read all day!

'If I like looking at blue blue does that mean I'm not a proper girl?'

Jess McCabe // Posted 21 May 2009 at 14:30

@Sabre If only princess ghosts were guaranteed, I might have to get one.

Princess Rot // Posted 21 May 2009 at 21:11

Ahem, exsqueeze me, Hasbro, but I am the ONLY zombie princess around here. All those ghost princesses are just pretenders and wannabes. I demand this product is removed from shelves immediately! *flounce*

Hannah // Posted 22 May 2009 at 11:18

I had the same thought as Madeleine when reading the avclub article. It didn't pick up on the fact that it's just a really bad, even cruel, idea to encourage children to believe in the existence of ghosts and spirits. I was, like a lot of children I guess, hyperimaginative, and this game would have really messed up my fragile nerves.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 22 May 2009 at 13:49

yeah... when i was younger and borrowed my nans ouija board to show my friends, my (i suppose christian, but not a "believe" anyway) mother told me not to use it anyway just incase, because things have happened to people, whether its coincidence, or them having mental issues or even real ghosts (hey, im agnostic) just because its not something you want to inflict on kids if it is there. course we played a bit anyway. as 11 we were too freaked out to use it properly though. havent these kids watched the exorcist? =P

Jess McCabe // Posted 22 May 2009 at 14:12

OK, I've got to say, the idea that oujia boards would be harmful is not particularly convincing to me.

Qubit // Posted 22 May 2009 at 14:28

It sounds silly but as someone who is officially scared of everything when I was little a Ouija board would have terrified me. There were lots of stories about when I was little of people asking the Ouija board who would die next and them dropping dead a few hours late. Of course this all seems rather stupid now but back when I was 12 things like that seriously upset me as did ghost stories.

I am surprised it is being marketed at children because of the whole 'encouraging the occult' idea. I am not sure it is particularly harmful although I don't think I'd ever buy one for anyone I know.

Rose // Posted 22 May 2009 at 19:59

...errrr, again, Im going to point out that the oujia board is pretty well tied up in a number of non christian faiths (being a form of divination and all).

Not sure how it could be any more harmful for kids then ideas about a giant invisible man thats always watching them, or the idea that winged men in dressings, listen-in to your thoughts, can run a genocide and still be good, and that greatness lies in blind obedience!

Surely thats a greater threat to the mentally vulnerable than the idea that people are still people after death, and are maybe still worth talking to?
(Plus, when nothing happens, its not a sign of the 'mysterious ways of the divine', its a sign that nothing's happening!)

Juliet // Posted 24 May 2009 at 14:42

In 1949 a boy started displaying bizarre behaviour after he and his aunt had been playing with a ouija board. Weird inexplicable things started happening in his house and environment. The Washington Post documented the story, which was later the inspiration for the novel "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty.

There have been many cases where people have committed violent crimes, including murder, after having played with ouija boards. Psychologists and psychiatrists say it can lead to anxiety and psychoses in people with no previous history of mental problems. They can also become dependent on it, using it to try and get answers to questions. It might only be their own subconscious which is terrifying them, but still. You wouldn't call it harmless fun.

There's no doubt that marketing this thing to children as a game is incredibly irresponsible at the very least.

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