Video games bridge gender toy divide

// 22 November 2006

Asked what toys they want for Christmas, US boys and girls both opted for computer game consoles such as the Nintendo DS, in a list otherwise dominated by gender-specific toys such as Barbie for girls and “cars” for boys.

Wonderland notes that this shows video games are an “inescapable” part of childrens’ lives now.

But what kind of games are kids playing, and is the video game industry reinforcing or dispelling gender-norms? If the fuss being kicked up over Dead or Alive xtreme2 is anything to go by, the outlook isn’t good.

As one commenter on a gaming forum said: “”According to rumor … there’s an actual ‘game’ inside of all this porn.” (thanks to Cat for digging out the quote).

It is interesting, perhaps, that this game is for the XBox 360, which figured on the boys letters to Father Christmas, but not those of the girls. And, according to Wonderland, there is only one children’s game available for this console.

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