Why Do "Girl Games" Matter? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios - gaminationstudio.com

Why Do “Girl Games” Matter? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios

PBS Game/Show
Views: 42328
Like: 1686
Viewers like you help make PBS (Thank you 😃) . Support your local PBS Member Station here:

What’s the deal with Pink Games??
Subscribe to PBS Game/Show!
Tweet at us!
↓ More info and sources below ↓

Many of us have a special place in our hearts for games from the late ’80s and early ’90s. This era brought us classics like Tetris, Super Mario Bros, and The Legend of Zelda. But perhaps the biggest thing to happen in this time concerned a very different type of game. For the first time, developers decided to explicitly market to girls. This was known as the Pink Games boom. But where did Pink Games come from? And how did they impact the world of games for the better?

What You Never Noticed About Myst

Why Do Virtual Pets Give Us Real Feelings?:


Follow us on Facebook
Email us! pbsgameshow [at] gmail [dot] com
Follow us on Reddit:



0:51 “No Girls Allowed” article on Polygon

1:48 What Does it Mean to be a Gamer?

1:48 What is a Gamer?

1:49 What is a Gamer? How do you define it?

2:27 Update of my Nintendo DS Lite (pink!)

2:33 Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer – with Noodlerella (Nintendo 3DS)

3:25 The Awfulness and the Importance of the Dress-Up Game

4:31 Girly Video games: Rewriting a History of Pink



“Oh Damn!” by CJVSO

“Digital Sonar” by Brink

“Mindphuck” by Known To Be Lethal

“After Hours”

“Lakes” by Chooga

“Beautiful Days” by Extan

“Spectrum Subdiffusion Mix” by Foniqz

“Good Way Song” by Electronic Rescue

“Alice y Bob” by Javier Rubio and Parsec

“Sleet” by Kubbi

“Toaster” by Kubbi

“Patriotic Songs of America” by New York Military Band and the American Quartet

“Lets Go Back To The Rock” by Outsider

“Run” by Outsider

“Fame” by Statue of Diveo

“Freedom Weekends” by Statue of Diveo


Hosted by Jamin Warren (@jaminwar)

See more on games and culture on his site:

Made by Kornhaber Brown ()


  1. I have a big problem with bunching the Peach game together with all those Barbie atrocities.

    The Peach game is not a pink game, it's an actual game, it just happens to have a female protagonist and traits more centered around femininity. It's not about shopping and playing dressup.

    Another issue I take is with branding the fashion games as "character customization", mainly because doing so is wrong.

    Character customization happens as part of a fictional narrative wherein you have some meaning behind why you have a char look a certain way and where there's goals to achieve. These games however just have the superficial hollow aspect of changing your appearance without any of the meaning behind why you'd even want to in the first place, which is the actual important bit.

  2. I used to love the game "Barbie the explorer" for PS1 when I was a kid and it wasn't a dressing game, it was an adventure game and it wasn't bad.. Even my brother used to play it with me. It was a little hard cause you got to find a way to avoid the multiple glitchs it have.
    Also crash bandicut, crash team racing, bomberman and other old games weren't really exclusive as I saw them. They were appealing and colorfull.. I feel that games haven't get notably inclusive in these years. We have more war games each year and games like GTA gets new releases. I don't say they are bad. It's each creators vision and creativity and I'm ok with it. it's just an observation. Actually I don't play as much as when I was a kid but I still play sometimes Alice madness, Fire emblem, lol, and others.
    Nice video.. it made me remember my childhood and how I used to make my father buy me so many pink games that I thought I would like but ended up playing the ones my brother get instead hahaha
    btw sorry for my english

  3. "Keyword marginally"

    Proof he has no idea what he's talking about!

    Didn't even make it two minuets into the video and he's already giving false information.

  4. I loved playing barbie games when I was little. But I also loved playing pokemon and fighting games. Of course I don't play Barbie games anymore,obviously. But I still play online dress up games for time to time.

  5. I don't think you understand what these 'girly games' brought to the market. Because the answer is nothing. They brought nothing.
    Super Princess Peach is one of the only ones and it actually came because there was a large MALE demographic that thought Peach was an amazing character.

    You also, AGAIN, end your video showing your bias is more important than any actual facts trying to dispute the "50% of gamers are female."

    DO YOU CARE ABOUT GAMES? Do you REALLY care? I don't think you do. You've quickly devolved because of your bias. You consistently ignore facts and statistics, even misreading your own statistics intentionally to convince people you're correct.

    Do you really want to sit down and have a discussion about games or do you just want to force your ideas down everyones throats no matter how wrong you actually are?

  6. The retarded assumption than toy / video game markets have a plot to specifically targeting boys and girls with different products to reinforce gender stereotypes instead of just exploiting what they see what sells to either gender is pretty amusing, do you believe than 9/11 was and inside job and in clem trails too?.

  7. You and your sources are really grasping far with your theories to claim that these pink games had any influence on modern gaming. If anything, the openness of modern gender inclusion happened despite these type of women-only games. It took a lot of time and brave people standing up against sexism to really make things change.

  8. I was thinking about games i know and realy liked, to see if what i liked were more of girl game. Then i thought of soma. At first i was like typical male game with a little more smarts in it. Also the protaganist is male. but then of thought af cath's role in it. And instead of the usual fearful emotional girl that u need to carry around. You the protagonist is the emotionel one! cathrine is the logic one, who tells you what to do, and the simon is the one with the big emotionel questions.
    I donno just something i was thinking about. I liked that game 🙂

  9. I'm not really sure what to say about this. I normally get pretty heated when people start talking about gender issues because so many of them use logic that is completely broken. You actually made some sense here, I think my brain just needs some time to process it all.

  10. I remember when super princess peach came out. i loved that game 🙂 guilty pleasure game.

  11. Do kids talk to their parents? I'm a girl, well, I'm a woman now. I asked for Zelda/Pokémon/TMNT/Lego and that's what I got.

  12. Never thought of Nintendogs as a girl game. I always thought of it as a little kid game.

  13. Should have used Life is Strange over Walking Dead, that game embodies far more of the pink game ideas (but captured the heart of a grim old man).

  14. You need to remember that you defined "Pink Games" by how they are marketed, not the content. So no, a game being story-driven is not enough to make it a pink game. Also, Nintendogs is not a pink game because it has gender-neutral marketing. I'm actually confused how you thought a game about owning a pet is biased towards girls anyways. I don't see pink games disappearing, but I think we'll see more males willing to play them. My Little Pony is marketed towards females but many men like it and Long Live the Queen looks really girly and uses mechanics that are more associated with girl games but a lot of guys will play it because it's really hard and you die a lot of gruesome ways. I think establishing that it's okay for girls to like manly games and guys to like girly games is more important than getting rid of gender-specific games. It's okay to like Metal Gear and Super Princess Peach.

  15. Was seriously not expecting my face to pop up on this video haha
    Excellent video as usual c:

  16. Here's an idea: Boys are bad. Whites are bad. Freedom is bad. Family is bad. Straightness is bad. Blacks have zero responsibility. Women problems – it's never ever their fault. The government needs more power. If we could just give more guns to the government (and take them out of our hands) – we'd have a better world. We must all stand in a line – – uniform, genderless, raceless, sexless – – in front of a recycling bin at the Church of man-made global warming before our socialist masters.

  17. (I am a boy, just to give some insight to my opinion) I believe that the reason most pink games get written off is because a large amount of them end up as shovel ware, targeted towards the corporate created demographic of " girls who like pretty things and should spend more time in the kitchen". Btw did any one notice that Nintendo created most pink games?

  18. Develop a smart, compelling game, and it will transcend gender boundaries. Create one that's trite and simplistic though and it'll end up in the dollar store bargain bin where it rightfully belongs.

  19. yea I stopped treating women like they are more important then guys! I even dropped the door on a girl I'm so proud of myself! lololol jk

  20. I loved Super Princess Peach as a kid. I remember seeing the commercial for the game as a kid and absolutely loved it. It was hillariously awesome. a Military bootcamp with a bunch of little girls in princess outfits moving around the field.

    But I think people hate on Super Princess Peach, not because its "pink", but rather its "girly". Its about emotions, its about a princess who looks and acts like a stereotypical disney princess. And people seem to equate that as bad.

    One can be "girly" and still be badass. You can wear a dress and kick ass. Pink isn't a non awesome color. Look at Gambit from the X-men comics. He's got a full on pink torso and yet he was LOVED by 90s boys.

  21. Child of Light was a fun game that probably fits into the pink game category. It's about a girl who gets sucked into a fairy kingdom and has to save it from evil.

    It has a really nice watercolour artstyle and soundtrack that you'd probably never see in a game marketed towards guys.

  22. This idiot doesn't know that the proportion in hardcore gamer terms males vs females are 7 to 1. Men buy most games on pc and console. Mobile games are casual audience aka women

  23. Does Final Fantasy X-2 count as a pink game?

  24. Half of games may be purchased by or for females but "gamers" aren't nearly 50% by actual play time. If you asked my wife if she is a gamer she would probably say she is, but she'll spend half an hour playing a game and then lament that it's boring and hard.

  25. Personally I play more gender neutral games. I play minecraft, roblox, and the portal franchise. When I was younger, (i'm a girl), I admit I played games that would be classified as pink games. However they were fun and got me into designing and art and all of that. I think pink games shouldn't be thrown out. They still have a purpose.

  26. Biggest Metroid Fan in All Existence says:

    123 dislikes for saying pink game boy and showing a pink ds

  27. pink games…eh look like pretty sh1tty games to me in general(personal opinion). gaming has always seemed gender neutral to me. I started with sports,fighting, and MMORPGs. never saw anything wrong besides that female characters get better outfits >=(.

    i personally think this whole gender thing is all completely pointless. It at least got us all thinking about the topic of gaming and representation. Of course with this gender war you find bias on all sides, but at least i can understand other people's point of view even if i don't agree.

    I personally don't see anything wrong with a game/product being targeted towards certain groups of people. However it is a great idea to market to larger groups. which has already been done in multiple ways…

  28. Let's not forget that the Rock Band vocals system was pretty much ripped from Harmonix's previous game Karaoke Revolution (which you could call a Pink Game.) Let's also not forget the role that Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance have played/are playing in the rhythm game genre as well.

  29. I really wish Jammin could get his history correct. It wasn't Pink games that introduced character customization of display. It was an Ultima game that did that with the Doll Figure mechanic that enabled Armour to be equipped and change the display on the in game avatar (lol the character was also called the avatar).
    Consoles are not the only real source of Gaming… PC never crashed and for the majority of gaming History actually led the charge in many areas.

  30. Hatred is the most pink game ever, buy it ! buy it now ! it's on sale on steam ! go and buy !
    just buy it ! go ahead and buy it !

    Don't forget to buy postal 2, and Killing Floor 2. look of pink ! I mean red is on the pink spectrum, so that count.

    Also you forgot to mention the competitive aspect of most game, and how majority of girls don't like that type of competition.

  31. Every girl I knew used to have nintendog, Its actually the only reason I wanted a ds back then. When i was like 7-8

  32. I think you raised some very interesting and valid points. I have a weird relationship with "pink" games and "girly" media. I feel embarrassed that I enjoyed those fashion games as a child. there's the whole guilty pleasure media of watching a TV show or a movie that is aimed at women. i hide the fact that sometimes I enjoy choosing my characters clothes, especially from men because there is a weird degree of shame attached to it. I'm not really sure where this comes from & I'm fairly certain I am not alone in this. there is this kind of conformists paradox when it comes to being a girl or a woman. media like pink games are aimed at girls & tell them that you should be interested in clothes and make up, but when you are interested in these things you are looked down upon. your just a silly girl, that because she cares about her appearances doesn't care about anything else. but when you don't conform and use media that isn't aimed at you. such as first person shooters, you as a woman aren't really meant to be there. that your not a real gamer, that your strange or some how less of a woman for playing it. I guess you will be judged no matter what you do, despite your gender but I find it weird. sometimes i feels like the media just doesn't like women just because they are aren't men.

  33. Mario has always been for boys AND girls.
    Zelda has always been for boys AND girls.
    Animal Crossing has always been for boys AND girls.
    Kirby has always been for boys AND girls.
    Pokemon has always been for boys AND girls.
    Do I even NEED to mention Metroid?

  34. This also skews development teams to make every game super macho and ignore nuanced game mechanics that would seem "feminine". It makes no sense why you can't pick up trash in fallout 4's build mode. And why can I somehow magically make advanced gun turrets but I can only make a gross broken toilet? Making friendships and co-operating or changing aesthetics are not female activities, they are human activities that can be totally captivating in games!

  35. Boy gamers want blood, gore, explosions, gunfire, and power fantasies=all games are made for men
    Girl gamers want customization, shopping, fashion, interior design= we're all sexist pigs???

  36. Holy hell, was that a rational approach to a powder-keg of a subject.

  37. Well, if I had to consider games that seem more girly, I'd say Hamtaro's Ham-Ham Games and Super Princess Peach are my absolute favorite games that lean in that direction. Ham-Ham Games was actually quite fun and I loved replaying it over and over to get the flags and talk to all of the hamsters as a kid. And then there was Super Princess Peach, which did seem slightly girly I guess but it definitely seemed to fit into the Mario genre quite well. It was difficult in its own ways.
    One other one had to do with some Bratz games for the Gamecube. While I don't like the Bratz nowadays, I really liked those games as a kid.

  38. "Nintendo created a pink GameBoy" shows a DS

  39. Barbie Fashion Design, my favorite childhood game.

  40. I didn't watch this video, but no, girl games don't matter.

  41. I can actually play Fashion Savy games. I quite enjoy them. Though I'll never tell anyone I actually know.

  42. Ehhhh, dude, it's been proved that male animals prefer to play with toys like tanks and soldiers, and females more often play with dolls and related articles.

    Why do you speak of the "games" as this one great industry? No, there are simply a lot of companies designing products, if you do not like the products blame the companies, not all of the "games" as if they were one great entity. It's not games "trying to put women down" it's certain companies. Though, i do not believe they are actually trying to put anyone down.

    Yes, we should preserve girly games, but not because they are girly, but because they are just old games. Like super mario, or tetris.

  43. we have all ready pressumed women desperately want to play games and they are being oppressed. now lets figue out how we can twist reality to fit the conclusions

  44. What is wrong with having a gendered toy section? Boys and girls happen to, in general, like different things. If girls want to play with trucks or play CoD go ahead, but why is it so awful to market certain things to different genders?

  45. ************this video was in my suggestion bar! in 2018!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so thankful to have found you PBS Game/Show! New Sub here!


  47. I want to create my own Magical Girl Youtube cartoon someday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.