"Women Love This Game!" Well of course we do. Speaking as an Ovary Owner, I can't think of anything I like more than nurturing baby things. This explains why the fan base for Pokemon and Digimon are composed almost entirely of women. And that's a true fact that I just made up off the top of my head. I'm just sad that there's not yet a Facebook game that revolves around me making men sammiches. Then my online life would be complete.
(Note: That's "me making sammiches for men" and not "me making sammiches of men".)
Actually, after pressing F5 several times to collect these babies (as well as raiding Google for a couple because Facebook was being stubborn), I also saw these:
A more cynical person than I might speculate that the Facebook ad programmers are selling the same ad copy over and over to the game makers, but when I poked around on the Facebook ad page, I saw that the advertisers apparently write their own copy, which means this meme is apparently self-propagating at this point. How confusing and/or depressing if true.
Is the "Women Love This Game!" an attempt to bring in women gamers and reproduce the powerful force that is/was Farmville? Is the idea that casual Facebook game players are composed mostly of women and that therefore the ads need to cater to women? If that's the case, I guess that's a good thing... maybe? I mean, it's nice to see women getting props for being a powerful consumer base, particularly in something like gaming, even if this instance just reinforces the meme that women are casual gamers only and can this meme please die now. But pro-tip for Facebook game advertisers, this marketing campaign doesn't make me think, Really?? I'm a woman! I might like that too! If you want to market to women, you do kind of need to market to women. Putting up a big sign saying WOMEN LIKEY isn't really going to peak my interest enough to try out your product.
I mean, when was the last time something saying "Men Like This Thing!" made you want to buy it? You're an advertiser; don't you need a little more to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash and/or free time?
(Note: I will, apparently, give you free advertising with a blog post, though, so I suppose that's something. Enjoy.)
The alternative is that with this "Women Love This Game!" concept, the advertisers hope to slyly bring in the male gamers, a la Ladies-Night-At-The-Bar advertising. The problem with this, though, is that you're using the presence of women as bait in order to bring in men and this is problematic for a variety of reasons. It reinforces a cultural narrative that men are largely driven by a search for sex. It reinforces a cultural narrative that women are objects to be pursued by men. It reinforces a cultural narrative that oh my god you don't care about your women customers except insomuch as they bring in the "real" clientele.
Seriously, advertisers? Do not use women as bait. Even if you don't mind insulting men and woman with this tactic (which, I would remind you, is a large portion of your consumer base), using women as bait reinforces the cultural narrative that your product has no other redeeming features. Do you really want to put that in your ad copy? "Our product is such crap that the only way you'd be tempted to try it is in the hope that you might meet someone nice who was equally suckered in to our crap product?"
Moving on. Did you know that if you type facebook "women love this game" dragons in Google, you may find this page: “Straight Male Gamer” told to ‘get over it’ by BioWare. My favorite part is the quoted complaint:
To summarize, in the case of Dragon Age 2, BioWare neglected their main demographic: The Straight Male Gamer.
I don't think many would argue with the fact that the overwhelming majority of RPG gamers are indeed straight and male. Sure, there are a substantial amount of women who play video games, but they're usually gamers who play games like The Sims, rather than games like Dragon Age. That's not to say there isn’t a significant number of women who play Dragon Age and that BioWare should forgo the option of playing as a women altogether, but there should have been much more focus in on making sure us male gamers were happy.
Now immediately I’m sure that some male gamers are going to be like "YOU DON'T SPEAK FOR ME! I LOVE DRAGON AGE 2!", but you have to understand, the Straight Male Gamer, cannot be just lumped into a single category.
Its ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamer, when in the past I would only have to say fans...
In the absence of evidence otherwise, I'm calling Poe's Law on this, but it's such a wonderful example that I couldn't not share. I love the idea that Straight Male Gamers "cannot be just lumped into a single category" but apparently Women Gamers can because we all play The Sims AND NOTHING ELSE. My other favorite part is that I've been playing RPGs since I was a wee lass and I thought I was a "fan" all this time, but turns out I have never been a "fan" because that term was reserved for STRAIGHT! MALE! GAMERS!, at least until the liberal-homosexual-feminist gaming upheaval of 2008. That was a good year.
And I love the idea that the game companies aren't focusing on making male gamers happy. Oh my goodness, I laughed until tears came to my eyes. Yes. Yes, this is the problem the video game industry has today. No one ever looks up in a meeting and says you know, this is great and all, but what will the MALE gamers want? If only the game industry would hire more straight men so that they can get a more diverse viewpoint into their liberal-homosexual-feminist groupthink meetings and brainstorming sessions. Oh, hilarious internet guy, you are a delight. Thank you.
I'm sad he didn't work WHITE! into his rant, though. I guess that's harder to do in a gamer rant, since everyone knows some of the best RPGs come from Japan. Or possibly it's because Dragon Age is so white-centric that your black character's biological family will always be white. And Dragon Age 2 made your character white (and male!) in the opening sequence, after which you were given control of the character editor and allowed to change it after the fact. Because -- and this the real reason, I Swear I Am Not Making This Up -- if people are going to idealize a Hero they've never seen before, they all idealize the Hero as White and Male.
That dev team of liberal-homosexual-feminists sure does send off a lot of mixed signals. *snerk*