She’ll need Steven and Brian’s help

Oh good, a “girls can” book that actually says girls can’t. Helpful.

The latest affront to basic decency in gendered toy marketing comes from a Barbie book that tells girls they can’t be game developers or programmers.

The book is bafflingly called Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer. It was written by Susan Marenco and published by Random House. Despite its encouraging title, Marenco’s book actually tells pre-teen girls that Barbie can only contribute to the design of the game she’s building.

As [blogger Pamela] Ribon describes in an increasingly cringe-inducing writeup about the book, Barbie is introduced as the designer of stereotypically “girly” games featuring cute little animals. Barbie’s work resembles Pet Rescue or similar mobile games—you know, not the ones “real gamers” make.

That’s okay, though, because Barbie is apparently perfectly happy with her second-class status. “I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie tells Skipper. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”




  1. MarkDf says

    Here’s a better title for a book: “Roberta Williams: I founded Sierra, invented the entire genre of adventure games, and wrote, like, a thousand games myself. “

  2. moarscienceplz says

    The Simpsons mocked the heck out of Barbie’s sexism in Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy way back in 1994 – and they still don’t get it.

  3. says

    “Roberta Williams: I founded Sierra, invented the entire genre of adventure games, and wrote, like, a thousand games myself. “

    Invented the graphic adventure genre. Which brought us masterpieces like Jane Jensen‘s game “Gabriel Knight, Sins Of The Fathers” … which was actually creepy enough in spots that I got a bit nervous.

    Jane Jensen did work on a ton of games. It’s like they’re ‘hard core gamers‘ or somethin’

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    The Barbie in the picture above must have had some major breast reduction surgery since I last saw her.

  5. says

    Barbie apparently also thinks computers work via lining up different colored blocks to make a puppy do cute tricks. This series of non sequiturs clearly indicates that Barbie should probably not be writing games. In fact, she may want to pack that computer in a box and ship it off to a deserving 12 year old girl who probably could write (or learn to write) games or other applications or roll her own OS…

  6. NitricAcid says

    And *that* is why I tried very hard to make sure my daughter never got any of that barbie crap.

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