Father. Daughter. Superhero board game. Open the box. No female characters.
“What girl can I be?” Cassie asked, digging through the game pieces.
“I don’t think there are any girls, sweetie,” I said, anger building in me. Cause really, DC & Wonder Forge? WTF? You know it’s 2014, right?
Cassie put down the game pieces. “I don’t want to play this, then.” She turned and moved to leave the room, and it broke my heart. In part for her, and in part because I love superheroes, and this should be something we can share.
He thought of a solution: make their own female characters. They did; problem solved.
Cassie loves it and wants play every chance she gets. And this is why I am so pissed about the whole “no girls” thing. In addition to illustrating how they remain creatively stuck in the 60′s, DC is leaving money on the table by continuing to make their merchandise exclusive to boys.
And they are exclusive. I know many would argue that a kid should be able to handle playing a character that’s not their own gender sometimes. I agree! But why should that mean only the girls have to suffer that?
It’s like this: boys are future men, and men (in the aggregate! I said in the aggregate, stop yelling at me!) just are more into heroics, while girls are future women, and women (siiiiiiiigh in the aggregate siiiiiiiiiigh) just are more into that estrogen vibe.
I think businesses tend to make decisions based on more monetary concerns. Maybe statistically it’s more likely to be four boys playing, and they want to cater to that. But if so, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you market only to boys, don’t be surprised boys are your only market. And don’t be surprised if the boys with sisters and female friends end up playing something else entirely.
When comics and game designers exclude or otherwise diminish the role of female characters, they are really telling girls they are not welcome. That sure, they canplay, but they can’t have full immersion. Full immersion is for boys only.
And fuck that.
I fixed this shitty game, but I shouldn’t have had to. We have a right to expect (and demand) that comics companies and the game designers they license to do better. Sure, it’s a free country and they have a right to make boys-only games if they want, but we don’t need to support it, or stay quiet about it.
Oh please, you’re just looking for ways to be offended.
Peter W Brett wrote the piece and the Mary Sue reposted it.