Kinect Games for Girls and Xbox Games for Women
Let's Talk About Video Games
When you talk about video games, the stereotypical player is an adolescent or young adult male. You don’t really think adolescent or young adult females play video games, but surprisingly quite a few of them do. Actually, a large portion of gamers are of the female persuasion. I speak from experience, I’m a hardcore gamer, and I’m female (last time I checked).
Even with the explosion of women and girls into the gaming world, however, game developers have yet to tailor games specifically with females in mind. But, there has been more of an effort to bring female characters into traditionally all male games like Gears of War 3.
There is a whole genre of games that women tend to avoid. I know this because I haven’t always been a gamer. I’ve only been gaming for about 8 or 9 years. I know many women feel video games portraying war are violent, and they are in the sense that you are shooting a digital character and killing them. But, honestly, I never had a problem with the blood and gore. Digital blood just isn’t gross to me.
Many women may even find the whole concept of first person shooters repulsive. But, I think these women may not fully understand why we enjoy shooting people. I know I didn’t understand it until the day I picked up a controller for the first time. It’s not the shooting or killing of the other character that we enjoy (that would make us all psychotic!).
The fun in first person shooters is similar to chess. You’re fighting a one-on-one battle with another person. It’s the competition, and the winning of that competition, that we enjoy. After a while, you're really not shooting another person. You're trying to out - maneuver your opponent.
Recent statistics have shown that “girl gamers,” as they’re called, prefer role playing games over these typical male-centered first person shooters like Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3. The social interaction that is paramount to role playing games has a certain appeal to women. Personally, I prefer the first person shooters, but then again, I also love cars and guns. You’ll never be able to catch me in a dress!
I have to admit, I am a bit biased. My husband and I met playing Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow on the original Xbox and gaming is still a very large part of our life. Gaming can sometimes be therapeutic in a marriage. The competition between husband and wife (or whatever your partnership happens to be) can keep the spark in a relationship because you have fun together, and playing as a team helps build camaraderie. You also learn quite a bit about your significant other this way. You never truly know a person completely, but working with someone as a team will get you pretty close. But, I digress.
Kinect Games: A New Breed of Gaming
The Kinect for Xbox 360 may appeal to many women because it doesn't have the typical “gamer” stigma that controller based video games have. There is no controller to hold, which is a plus for women who have never played video games before but want to try them.
There are quite a few games for the Kinect that would appeal to everyone, including women of all ages. Kinect Sports, and Kinect Sports Season Two are both games anyone can play and appeal to sports enthusiasts as well. Kinect Sports has volleyball, soccer, ping pong, track and field and bowling. Not only can these games be played by women, but the whole family can join in as well which is appealing to moms, or at least this mom.
There are many different Kinect games on the market. Your Shape Fitness Evolved and Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 are perfect for women who want to get in shape in the privacy of their own homes and for those who want to learn self-defense or martial arts UFC Personal Trainer is available. This is mixed martial arts based fitness game that not only teaches you how to defend yourself, it also allows you to get out quite a bit of aggression!
For younger girls and early teens there are quite a few choices as well. My daughter loves playing both Kinect Sports games along with her favorite game: Kinectimals. This game allows you to adopt a pet tiger, panther or other feline and together travel around the imaginary world competing in contests and playing games. Fantastic Pets is another game similar to Kinectimals, but the animals in Fantastic Pets can be customized. The player can add wings, change skin texture and color, eyes, etc. However, these options have to be unlocked by playing games with your “pet” and competing in contests.
Disneyland Adventures is another game that is great for younger girls. You explore the park while completing tasks for the characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are side adventures as well. My daughter had a blast with the Peter Pan adventure, as she flew through the skies collecting coins and she gets exercise at the same time. It’s win-win!
Kinect games aren’t the only games that may appeal to women. I really enjoy the Lego games like Lego Indiana Jones, and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. These are cute, but surprisingly fun and very addicting games! The puzzles are mentally challenging and the graphics are visually appealing. Other games that women might find appealing:
- Fable Series: In these games, you can role play as a female character, which makes it more interesting for women, although I’m not a fan. Interestingly, my husband loves Fable.
- Trivial Pursuit: Who doesn’t like Trivial Pursuit?
- Mass Effect Series: Another series of role playing games that may appeal to female sci-fi fans.
- Lego Batman, Lego Star Wars, Lego Harry Potter: They’re cute! I can’t help it.
- Microbot: You are a nanobot sent into the body to defend it against intruders. Lots of puzzles to solve in this one, and you can trick out your nanobot!
- Halo Series: I wasn’t so sure about this one simply because I really dislike it, but my husband says he’s run into quite a few women who play this game.
- Tomb Raider: I didn’t want to add this one simply because of how the female character is portrayed. Not all of us women look like Angelina Jolie, but it is a role playing game and that would be part of the fantasy. (I’m a shooter girl, I really despise role playing games, but that’s just me.)
- Assassin’s Creed Series: Another role playing series. I must mention the graphics are beautiful in these games.
- Crash Course: An arcade game with insane obstacle courses!
- A Kingdom of Keflings and A World of Keflings: These two games use the player’s avatar as the character you play. You build cities for these little people called Keflings.
- Brain Challenge: Increase your brain power with this game. The puzzles are fun and become more challenging as you advance.
There is also a whole slew of arcade games. Mercury is an addictive, puzzle game. It’s essentially a game of puzzles intertwined with mazes and music. The background and puzzle board pulsates to the music, as does your little glob of mercury. Puddle is similar, but a bit more difficult and without the music. My daughter loves Mercury, but she dislikes Puddle. I think it’s just too frustrating for her (she’s 5).
I don’t think women should be limited in their game choices, however. I know I’m biased, but I do know quite a few women who enjoy Modern Warfare 3 just as much as I do and play just as well as men. In many cases, they play better than their male counterparts. I think limiting choices to games “just for girls” leaves out quality games that can be extremely fun and gratifying. Even if you don’t like war games, first person shooters can be very therapeutic!
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Melissa Flagg OSC