Well, not no change entirely.
But the sentiments reflected in the final chapter of From Barbie to Mortal Kombat are still pretty significant today.
I don’t agree with all of them, but it’s worth the read and it’s sad that this chapter could essentially be from a book released now, eleven years later. By far, my favourite quote (which I feel is still true today) is this:
Makes me wonder if the gaming industry is even catering to what guys want in the first place. Maybe it’s just what they think the guys want. (Michelle Goulet for Game Girlz)
Michelle argues that while the sexpot female is supposedly the male ideal, so are the male characters. If they’re not bulked up strong guys, they’re skinny outcasts who either have a science degree or access to a magical sword. While there have been some women who are “average,” there are still plenty of assumptions about what guys who play games would like. This is the default, and making assumptions about what girls would like ends up making it into “Girl Games.”
I’d really like to see a so-called “Girl Game” advertised at an expo with perfume-ad worthy male models. To quote Michelle Goulet again:
Fabio’s stereotype just doesn’t make it into a lot of games, and if this were the case, I don’t think I would have as big of a problem with the “big busted bimbo.”
Nor would I.