Contrary to frequent assertions on the Internet, girls do, in fact, play games. Nintendo has noticed this, and is looking to do what any responsible company would try to do – cash in.
Nintendo’s new “Play as You Are” ad campaign will kick off in October, and will feature spots for the handheld 3DS featuring certain new releases for the platform. The ads will star Dianna Agron of “Glee”, Sarah Hyland of “Modern Family” and Gabrielle Douglas, who won gold as part of the United States Olympic gymnastics team in London.
In the ad spots, Hyland will be playing “Style Savvy: Trendsetters”, while Douglas and Agron will be playing more mainstream fare (“New Super Mario Bros. 2.” and ”Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask,” respectively). It’s a welcome turn from the usual angle of trying to target girls by marketing games that are obviously meant to be “girly games.” Nintendo has done a fair job of trying to appeal to girls who are into gaming because – shocking, I know – they actually like playing video games.
Of course, the main problem is still that advertisements targeted towards girls – you know, a good half of the population – are still viewed as necessary by most companies. The bummer is, they probably are still necessary. Video gaming has been heavily stigmatized as a boys’ club ever since its inception, and breaking down those preconceptions in the minds of boys and girls alike is going to take a lot longer than any of us care to admit. It’s a long, slow process that takes generations, but at least we can be a little happy seeing that companies like Nintendo are starting to get the right idea. It raises the hope that maybe our children’s children won’t have to put up with these persistent gender gaps.