“You had a 50/50 chance and you weren’t even close”*
I spoke out about this on Twitter but I want to elaborate how much it bothers me that Nintendo elected to include a generic male villager from its mega-hit Animal Crossing franchise in the next Smash Bros game.
The first objection is the most obvious: this is a game chock full of male characters. Obviously a fighting game based on a video game company’s legacy is going to skew male; Nintendo doesn’t have a time machine to undo decades of sexist choices. But just look at this list of Smash Bros characters. You can count the number of women on one hand with fingers to spare. This was an easy way to offset that M/F ratio and Nintendo blew it.
What makes this choice insulting is the nature of Animal Crossing: this is a very successful series of games that is extremely popular with women. The latest version on 3DS has sold nearly four million copies in Japan alone. It’s far and away the most popular console game of 2013. Do you really think hordes of men are driving those record sales? Not a chance. I’ve seen the ads and I’ve seen it first-hand: my wife has been consumed by the game since December. It’s practically the only game she plays.
Cross-promotions go both ways. Put a Phoenix Wright in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and suddenly a whole new audience will be curious about his next game. Likewise, people who already know Animal Crossing but not Smash Bros (again, that is a LOT of people, many of whom are women) will hear this crossover news and they will be curious about Smash Bros. Does having a boy villager instead of a girl turn them away? No, but i wager it doesn’t lure them in the way a girl might.
Lest anyone forget: representation matters. For every entitled male asshole who shouts down the notion that women belong in games, there are stories like this of people using video games to explore their own identity in ways they cannot in the real world.
And please, don’t talk to me about Smash Bros being “for guys.” It’s for EVERYONE. Nintendo is in no position to pretend otherwise. Besides, fighting games which are marketed to guys still feature plenty of women on the roster. Those women are often weirdly sexualized, sadly, but they are women. Hell, I’d say that’s yet another reason to choose a female Animal Crossing villager: she’d be the lone asexual female option. Even Samus Aran is a sex object now - stupid Zero Suit.
Picking a girl from Animal Crossing wasn’t even a 50/50 choice, it was the obvious choice. Instead they went with a boy, perpetuating the idea that a male character is the “default” character. So yeah, maybe through alternate costumes it’ll be possible to switch the Animal Crossing villager’s gender, but that doesn’t change the fact that every poster, every website, and every ad is going to feature the boy-version.
At least there’s Wii Fit Trainer…
*name that Bond villain!
All I got from this was “I’m mad that Nintendo is adding a male character in a game called ‘Smash Brothers’! I am outraged!” This has honestly been the only complaint I have heard about the gender. Seriously, this website isn’t happy about anything (and yes, I am generalizing).
I just wanted to get that off my cheat before I blacked out for the night.
You got me: the name of the game is “Smash Brothers” so it shouldn’t have any girls in it at all! Samus, Peach, Zelda, GTFO this game is for bros not hoes. Also, I guess this means everyone in the game is now related, because the word Brothers is right there staring us in the face.Source: feitclub