There are now girl games available to the Internet. Yes, thanks to the online game revolution and the subsequent branching out of these easy-to-make pick-up-and-play Adobe Flash games you can load and tinker with on your browser, game developers are now getting to explore demographics they weren’t previously able to explore (and Nintendo WII attempted to appeal to): The mainstream, non-hardcore-gamer market. Videogames like Baby Hazel represent a new game subgenre of games called girl games. Many of these games are limited to dress-up, dress-making, cooking, cleaning, and traditional female gender roles, but as this demographic develops, the games and how developers cater to this untapped audience should improve over time.
The Present State of the Girl Game Genre
At present, girl gaming is at its infancy, although you could say it’s in its teenage years if you consider games like Farmville, Texting of the Dead, Little Big Planet, Angry Birds, Pac-Man, Bubble Bobble, and Dance Dance Revolution as “girl games” (most gamers don’t). Games outright called “girl games” are limited to cooking, cleaning, laundry, other household chores, and many non-games like concepts that would make you swear they were made with your mother in mind.
Then there are the concepts covering child-rearing, playing dress-up, playing house, shopping, tea time, and other girly things that make you suspect that these games were made with girls seven and up. The “big girl” games are more mainstreamed and general audience games anyway, so at present, there’s no definitive, super-successful girl game that really makes a major impact on its designated demographic.
Not that these games are bad, per se. Cooking games are quite engaging because they require the gamer to follow precise steps needed to ensure that the food would be cooked or baked or fried correctly. They’re a good experience for young girls who want to learn how to cook, although an Easy Bake oven is a lot closer to the real thing than a video game about cooking.