Nintendo UK recently launched a YouTube channel entitled “Nintendo Girls Club.” Hosted by Jorgie Porter, the fashionable young blonde sits in an adorable girl’s room decorated with butterflies, flowers, and soft colors, discussing games that may appeal to the female demographic. The goal is to reach young girls who are casual gamers or may have never played at all.
Some media critics argue that the channel is sexist. They believe featuring New Style Boutique as a must-play, talking about shopping in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, or showing an attractive blonde play Super Mario 3D Land on a pink 3DS submits to gender stereotypes. An article on Yahoo quotes Jenny Hanniver, the founder of the female gaming community Not in the Kitchen Anymore as saying:
“Male gamers are divided into various pockets — role players, shooters, and so on. Female gamers are just seen as women,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with being a female gamer who enjoys shopping and makeovers — but those things don’t define women.”
There are plenty of girls out there who hate the color pink, love video games and consider shopping to be torture, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, that’s not the demographic Nintendo is targeting. Nintendo Girls Club is geared toward elementary to middle school girly girls. The ones who adore princesses and fashion, and typically don’t care for video games except Candy Crush. The reason? It creates an entirely new group of consumers. Leo Sun from The Motley Fool writes:
“The ad campaign is targeting an untapped audience of young, female non-gamers who are content with playing Candy Crush on their more societally accepted iPhones. The videos on Nintendo Girls Club are not aimed at experienced gamers — they simply showcase the 3DS hardware and casual gaming titles like Animal Crossing: New Leaf. “While critics claim that the statistics show that 45% of gamers are already female, Nintendo is simply asking: why not convert new teenage girls to gaming and bump that percentage up to 70% or more?”
As a passionate gamer who is often described as a total girly girl, I have absolutely no problem with this channel. Nowhere does it tell the girls to go back to the kitchen where they belong. Girls are encouraged to do what they love, whether it’s creating new outfits or going on an adventure with Mario. Nintendo Girls Club simply introduces young girls to the joys of gaming, and activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of gender.
Source: Youtube, Yahoo, The Motley Fool