Is Nintendo Girls Club Sexist or Are We Overreacting?


“Nintendo Girls Club,” a YouTube channel created by Nintendo UK, has been causing a great deal of debate in the gaming community – as gender topics normally do with gamers. The channel was created to promote Nintendo games on the 3DS and Wii U to young girls. Particularly amongst female gamers, this new channel has been perceived as sexist and stereotypical. Not only do these criticisms spark from choosing Jorgie Porter, star of Hollyoaks and Dancing on Ice, as their host for the channel, the ads are obviously targeted towards girls that are either casual gamers or non-gamers.

According to Fool, “Nintendo’s consoles perform much better among younger-than-average age groups. According to several online polls, the 3DS’ strongest market is the 13-18 age group, and the Wii U sells well among 19-24 year olds.” Consequently, a portion of the female gaming community takes offense to this as Nintendo is encouraging the segregation of young female gamers by marketing casual games that are stereotypically perceived as “girly” exclusively to them.

In my opinion, I can understand both arguments of this topic. Upon watching the introduction video, I interpreted this marketing method to simulate how young girls go into a toy store excited to see a section of toys marketed specifically to her – such as pink Barbie merchandise and perhaps a nice pink vacuum or stove she can pretend cook on. Yes, the games chosen for these ads are stereotypical and it could be said that this campaign segregates young girl gamers. However, in the eyes of Nintendo, this could be a smart move to recruit more female gamers in the community and make sales in the process. This campaign could be a start for “beginners” that will ultimately be interested in more core experiences in the future. “According to the Entertainment Software Association, 45% of gamers are female, up from 38% in 2008.” Fool reports and further elaborates stating, “However, the ESA also notes that the average age of a gamer today is 30, and that he or she has played video games for 13 years.”

As older gamers, we like to reminisce about the days when gaming was the highlight of our days. When I was little, the only game that I remember playing that could be perceived as “girly” was The Lion King on my Sega Genesis. Other than that, I played the same games as the boys did back then. While this ad campaign is not targeted at older female gamers, I would prefer Nintendo not enforce the same biases that I grew up with. I remember a time when females weren’t considered real gamers just because video games weren’t normally associated with “things girls like”. It would be wise to wait for more ads from Nintendo UK before we place judgement, but let’s just face it, the company is more focused on revenue than satisfying the female gaming population. Sure the ads are slightly corny and the host may sound like a preschool teacher interacting with her students, but there’s no harm in trying to target a certain audience. Either way, the greater good is to recruit girls while they are young and make more sales over time.

Maybe they’ll add a clubhouse for little boys next.

What do you think about the Nintendo Girls Club campaign? Smart move, unnecessary, or is it too early to judge?

Sources: Fool

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Growing up with her big brother being a hardcore gamer, Emerald has been playing games as long as she could remember. She enjoys RPG’s and discovered the love for them after playing Chrono Trigger on the SNES. During her high school years, she looked forward to gaming on her PlayStation after finishing homework rather than hanging out with friends. Hence, this is when she discovered her true love for gaming and the gaming community. She’s a comical gamer, with a touch of randomness, who has a passion for media and writing. Overall, she enjoys the thrill of playing a game that captivates her attention and drives her to keep playing it until the end. Give her a game with an amazing story and awesome soundtrack, she’s content.
  • Personally, idk how to feel about Nintendo Girls Club. Based on the intro trailer, there were some games in there that may be considered unisex like Mario Kart, Super Mario 3D Land, Animal Crossing, and other types of games. I feel like if anything Nintendo Girls Club could be rebranded as Nintendo Kids Club and get away with it. That being said. I find it especially interesting that they chose young girls as the “beginners” to target. Are there not young boys that are also beginners or do boys jump out of the womb with a controller? Like you I grew up with video games that were unisex and for every one. Super Mario Bros./World, The Legend of Zelda, Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc. I was never into super “girly” things anyway. Sure I had an Easy Bake oven and Barbie dolls, but my Barbie dolls were “super heroes” when I role played with my brother alongside his Power Ranger merchandise lol. I was a peculiar child though with a wide imagination lol. Also, my mother encouraged being a good person rather than just being a “good girl”. She was a little weary when my brother was adamant about playing with baby dolls, but she never discouraged him from doing so lol.

    Also, the thing that made me go “O_O” the most from the video is the manner is which everything is displayed and how exaggerated it is lol. Felt like I was watching an episode of Monster High or a Barbie movie. I suppose that’s the idea then? I want to show this to my little neice to see how she responds lol.

  • I agree with Nia, I grew up on unisex games too, and was a tom boy growing up…so I rarely was into all this “pink stuff” lol to me, this pink and princesses stuff isn’t even needed. Girls are going to play these games regardless. The way Nintendo tried to attract girls to this club is kinda funny but I really just saw this as an advert for young girls, 5-15 age ranges. The girl in the video looks young herself. Some of the comments on the vid are over the top overreacting. Nintendo is out of touch with many things, this could just be another one.

  • I honestly think the club is just plain weird rather than sexist. The girl that does the videos doesn’t do a very good job speaking and sounds odd (not her accent, hah). Some of the games they advertise are unisex, so I don’t think they’re trying to make young girls want to play exclusively “girly” games. I think Nintendo is just trying to recruit new young girls to get a 3DS, but something about it comes off as really strange.

    I played some “girlier” games when I was younger (like fashion/makeup games, Barbie games, and Cooking Mama), but at the same time I loved Mario, Pokemon, Kirby, RPGs, and fighting games, so I personally see nothing wrong with young girls playing these games as long as they also try unisex games as well.

  • Honestly I can see this as being sexist, although it may not be the intention of Nintendo to do that. Why should there be a ‘girls’ club for games? It would be just as dumb if they made a ‘boys’ club. Both genders enjoy a lot of the same games, and the same type of games. So why not focus on making games, or talking about games, that everybody will enjoy? I think that would be better.

  • jim

    Just stop with all this sexist garbage.There’s nothing wrong with a club for girls and there’s nothing wrong a a club for boys.Pathetic brainwashed world we live in now days!!!!

  • I feel like this ad belongs in the 90s or something. Nintendo is just out of touch I think.

  • thelittlelaughingman

    The concept of Nintendo Girls Club isn’t sexist. Girls Scouts isn’t seen as sexist just because it’s only for girls. The fact that they have unisex games in there goes against it being sexist, it would be sexist if they were portraying that the only games that girls can play are Cooking Mama type games. That’s not the case here. Nintendo Girls Club is appealing to young girls and that the reason for it.