Wii Strip

// 19 April 2008

Do you remember the pole-dancing kits that Tesco was forced to remove from its toys section, after it provoked an almighty uproar? Well, the company that made those “temporary at-home stripper poles” is planning to develop a “strip aerobics” game for the Wii console, reports ABC News.

“Peekaboo is pleased to confirm that it is in talks to develop a game for the Nintendo Wii that meets mainstream demand for the fun and fitness benefits of pole dancing,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “Peekaboo and its partners are focused on using Wii-friendly hardware to make aerobic pole dancing instantly accessible just as ‘Guitar Hero’ did for rock’n’roll.”

Could this be the nadir of dodgy video games? The only silver lining is that Nintendo must give its permission before games can be sold for use on the Wii, and analysts quoted by ABC think that this goes a step too far for the firm:

“The platform manufacturer, in this case Nintendo, would have discretion and the final say. The licensee — also known as the third-party publisher — would submit the product for review and approval,” said Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumers Association. “While Nintendo is likely looking for a wide diversity of content, appealing to the various demographics and ages of their customers, I’d be shocked if they consented.”

Photo by BrittneyBush, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

Tom // Posted 20 April 2008 at 2:06 am

Aint gonna happen. The thing about Nintendo is that they (apparently alone) have coped on to the power of appealing to women (and the older), and has made games to reflect this. You would not have caught sony dead releasing brain training type games till nintendo made millions from it, by aiming it at the older market, likewise, the cute puppies “Nintendogs” are aimed at teeenage girls. Nintendo now know how to butter thier bread, and it’s ridiculous that Peekaboo think they’ll get this made .. maybe they know they won’t, but they sure do know how to spread brand recognition.

Anne Onne // Posted 20 April 2008 at 12:19 pm

I wish I could be so confident, though who knows, maybe it is a step too far.

Nintendo are definitely less alienating than Playstation when it comes to appealing to women, but not having adverts centered around how boring and rubbish girlfriends are, will do that for you.

I’m not exactly happy with the idea that women gamers should want to play games involving cooking or puppies, and that kind of advertising, whilst being innovative in that it actually admits women play games, or may wish to in the future, implies that they would only want to play games if they are pink, frothy and cute.

The real reason Nintendo probably appeals more to women probably lies in the higher variation in level in all of the games on offer (rather than just focusing on the stereotypical hardcore male fanbase), and less prevalent closed club aura overall. It’s not perfect however, and I think it needs to be said that many women gamers DON’T like patronising fluff aimed specially at girls. Ironically, Nintendo do so well because the games not aimed specifically at girls, and the aura around them are less forbidding and patronising than some other manufacturers, because of the range of games. This clearly doesn’t just attract women, it attracts non-hardcore geeks in general.

Tom // Posted 20 April 2008 at 1:20 pm

Anne, you are clearly correct.

The reason I brought up Nintendogs is because it was a major release on the DS, and aimed in a major way at teenage girls. I have never seen any release-title being aimed that way. I remember walking into a games store and seeing a queue.. indeed a big queue, of girls lining up to have a go. I’ve never seen that before!

However, using traditional gender stereotypes is quite reenforcing of outdated representations of people, however I still think nintendo games of a wider appeal still are markedly less overtly sexist than those on thier rivals. I mean, compare the female Characters in summer sports (volleyball) with those in Xtreme Beach Volleyball. The are present, attractive in as much as a cartoon can be, but not sexualised in the way that the PSIII, X-Box 360 makes it’s female characters.

Also, Battalion Wars 2.. (A friend of mine was involved in that game, so i might have a bias) . BWII involves female leaders of empires, female leaders of armys etc (granted, it’s a minority, but still).

In wii sports, the highest ranked tennis player is a (cartoon) woman (at least on my version).

Granted, for every example I can think of, my mind straight away points to a counter example. I mean, the tagline for Action Girlz Racing is “Grab your lipstick, start your engines and get ready for a excitingly girlie, fun packed escapade” – For fecks sake nintendo.. they are ruining my point.

Just to pour salt on it, it turns out that Wii Fitness is “one of a host of new games targeting women” .. not fitness enthusiastic women, or health concious women – women.

God damn it nintendo, I want to like you, but you keep doing things like this.

In short, disregard this entire reply!

chem_fem // Posted 20 April 2008 at 4:08 pm

I suspect another way to bring in more female gamers is to have games that you can dip in and out of. I don’t think that women want to play games that require a lot of commitment, or that you can’t put down and pick up again in a month because you’ve had a few very busy weeks.

The Wii is quite a sociable console as well. i got to play my sister in laws console last christmas and we took it in turns to play each other at sports. I LOVED the boxing game.

Seph // Posted 20 April 2008 at 10:27 pm

I doubt a pole dancing game would ever happen, mostly because Nintendo is dedicated to it’s child friendly image, you can get games such as Residant evil on the Wii, but there’s nowhere near as many of them as on other consoles, nintendo are smart enough to know having a pole dancing game would send parents mental.

Unfortunatly for most female ‘hardcore’ gamers, the whole ‘games for girls!’ thing has made it even harder for us to be taken seriously than before, I recently bought a PS3 and had to resist the urge to scream when, in almsot every shop I entered, they either assumed I was buying it as a present for a male, or that I needed every detail of the console explaining to me “it’s by So-ny, and it plays play-sta-tion-thr-ee games, the ones in the clear boxes”

Yet when I accompanied my brother on his hunt for a 360 there was none of it.

Girl gamers’ tastes are just as varied as male gamers, personally I love playing beat ’em ups but don’t like FPS, but I know other girls who spend half their lives on Timesplitters and Half-life.

Anne Onne // Posted 21 April 2008 at 12:19 pm

Tom, I agree with you. I *do* have a soft spot for Nintendo, and they are less overtly sexist than their competitors. They’re also far from perfect. It’s frustrating, because we really shouldn’t have to deal with all these stereotypes in this day and age, and they make me want to punch something despite not being a hardcore gamer. Women of any gaming experience ought to be able to go into a shop and get the same respect male customers get, and unpatronising advice IF they ask for it.

Jaime // Posted 21 April 2008 at 6:56 pm

I have a bad feeling, there are plenty of women who would happily buy a pole dancing game, there are also plenty of women who buy into the fluffy and pink games completely without a second thought and do see it as Nintendo finally making games for them rather than a condescending and patronising marketing ploy.

Kim // Posted 22 April 2008 at 11:06 pm

I’m a huge Nintendo fan. And one thing I’ve noticed is the huge difference between the Japanese adverts and the English translations. Did anyone see the advert for the pink Gameboy SP? It actually said “Now girls can play games too!” As though we’re allergic to silver handhelds.

The original Japanese adverts didn’t actually say anything like this. And Nintendo itself (as others have said) is much more reasonable than Sony for its’ objectification of women. There tend to be more active female roles in their games, as opposed to just damsels in distress who need rescuing. Of course, they’re not guilt-free – they seem to release an irritating amount of merchandise in options of just pink or blue!

I seriously would lose faith if the Ninty leaders decided to OK this. They’ve been criticised heavily for their focus on Mario, Pokemon and Zelda for being aimed at “little kids” but they’re looking to go for family multiplayer like the Wii adverts show. Holding onto my hope for the video game industry for the moment.

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