Tween Video Games Propose Harmful Stereotypes

New video games geared for 8-12 year old girls may look fun, but the stereotypes they put on these games can also be harmful to girls.

These new games allow girls to become anything from fashion to jewelry designers and they can also create their own boyfriends.  Girls at this age are likely to think that this kind of behavior is normal for every girl and, in doing so, they limit their perspectives when it comes to making career choices.  While these actions may not be as physically harmful as the violent shooter or racing games designed for boys, they can be just as damaging emotionally to girls.

The games My Boyfriend and Princess in Love, convince girls that their goal in life should be to find the perfect boyfriend.  In order to achieve these aspirations, they must gossip with their girl friends and chat with all the boys to find a potential boyfriend.  The game also teaches girls that they cannot exist without the perfect man by their side and if the boy fails to make the first move, then it is up to the girl to do so.  This type of behavior should be discouraged at this age, not encouraged by a video game.

Imagine: Babyz Fashion twists the way girls think about how a good mom should take care of her baby.  The game states that babies cannot truly be happy unless they are dressed in fashionable clothes, never mind the fact that real babies do not care about what they wear.  The game also assures girls that spelling things with a ‘z’ on the end is not only cute, but acceptable.

Style Savvy instructs girls to only care about the clothes they wear and nothing else.  All that matters, as far as the game is concerned, is how good your clothes look on you.

Dreamer Series: Top Model allows girls to become a fashion model.  While this game appears harmless, it does little to expose girls to the ruthless world of modeling.  Real models battle with eating disorders among other things and are, often times, photo-shopped to look unbelievably flawless.  The world has deemed these women ‘beautiful,’ and girls strive to be like them.  Rather than convince young girls that real beauty comes from inside, this game applauds women ‘beautiful’ enough to be called models.

In this generation, video games should be encouraging players to become different and find their own style.  Instead, games such as these appear to be doing more harm than good.

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