If you have a sister, you might know how this feels.
Each of us has had that one experience where we can?t go outside and play. Oftentimes, that leads to us playing with our brothers and sisters. That?s okay if you do have an equal smattering of brothers and sisters, but what happens if you only have sisters for siblings? Well, you are forced to play dress-up games with them, pretend tea-parties as well. However, once video games and such entered the scene, you were given a reprieve from having to have nothing else to do when you can?t go outside to play.
Gaming for girls has been a very lengthy discussion whenever the issue of finding games for girls comes up. Where do you even find one? Based on a study done by Brenda Laurel in her book, The Utopian Entrepreneur, the trend in the gaming industry seems to be aimed at a largely male audience. The shell that is elusive female gaming hasn?t been cracked as of yet, and many thinks that a game that can successfully transcend that barrier has yet to be developed. If the problem of a game targeted towards the female demographic can be easily solved, then it should have been done a long time ago.
Enter The Sims 3
Perhaps, the closest that game developers have been able to break that barrier was with the release of EA Games? The Sims 3. It is virtually a simulation of life, where you create a character that you control. Its gameplay consists of interaction with other humans, or, in this case, ?Sims?. You can do things here that you can do in real life: get a job and develop it into a successful career; meet a new ?Sim? of the opposite sex, possibly have a relation, and have a family; the list goes on and on.
One of the main reasons why girls have received the game warmly have been because of the social elements. When you create a Sim, it is based solely on your own personal decisions. There are pre-set faces for you to choose from, but the biggest draw is dressing up your Sim, as well as figuring out who they talk to. You might find one Sim cute enough for your character. You might even find it fun enough to create a virtual world similar to one you may have created when playing dress-up with your dolls when you were young.
Another major element that is explored in the game is the home-building element. In the game, when your Sim has enough money, he or she can buy a house and move in it. Another thing is they can build one from scratch and fill it with furniture as they earn from their job. This is an entirely enticing element for girls, as they have the chance to play home-maker and design a house the way that their Sim sees fit.
Another element to explore here is the marriage option. Whether a girl is hetero-sexual or homo-sexual, the option to find a partner of your choice and woo them into a relationship with you is irresistible. Raising a family can serve as a welcome draw, invoking times when girls played with their Barbie and Ken dolls and pretended they were building a family.
There are a lot of possibilities found in the Sims 3, making it a completely asexual game fit for both male and female gamers alike. Perhaps, it may serve as a model for the next generation of games directed to a wholly female audience.
Photo courtesy of thesims3.com