Several times I assigned Brenda Laurel’s Utopian Entrepreneur, which described the rise and heartbreaking fall of her girl-centered, girl-positive gaming company, Purple Moon during the 1990s. My own daughter (who is 13) has enjoyed man more opportunities to be both girly and nerdy — something that seems to have been a lot harder 20 years ago. Offworld recently published a thoughtful article about the current landscape for girl gamers.
My sister is 17. She runs a One Direction fan Twitter with 10,000 followers. She plans to major in fashion marketing. She’s a cheerleader. She is as close as anyone can get to what gaming’s sweaty fever dreams envision, desire, and shame as “Girl.”Like me, she knows from personal experience that girls play video games, and would hotly defend it if challenged. But a second tenet holds sway, as contrary as it is simultaneous: video games are for boys. The video games we’ve played don’t count. They’re concessions, scraps, snatches at the lucrative attention of little girls. It’s not that my sister and I don’t like real games; it’s that the games we like aren’t real. —Offworld