Crowdstar, a game developer specializing in Facebook games, has just released their first mobile-only title aimed at girls: Top Girl. Top Girl is a social role-playing game wherein players can use real money to purchase in-game money, or earn money through modeling jobs, to make in-app purchases of clothes, hairstyles and more.
The app description reads:
“Are you addicted to shopping? Do you dream of being a Supermodel? Love to date guys? Become the TOP GIRL!
Do gigs, shop, dress, go clubbing, and flirt with HOT guys!
Customize fabulous outfits and maintain a relationship with your new boyfriend! Kiss him, buy him gifts, and take him out on dates! Photos will be saved to your phone capturing the special moment!”
Top Girl joins Crowdstar’s other girl-targeted game, It Girl: “Unleash your inner It Girl in our latest and hottest female competitive RPG – It Girl. Shop around the world, showdown girls in the trendiest parties, date the rockstar or the CEO, travel to Vegas with your friends (and receive packages of money simply for…existing).”
It troubles me that when game developers think of a game to appeal to girls, they think of modeling, shopping, and clubbing. Blair Hamilton, Crowdstar’s Director of Mobile, says the game is about “you and your career.”Â I like role-playing games, and applaud the idea of role-playing game focused on life and a career rather than violence. But with all the careers in the world to choose from that girls might be interested in, why can’t players aspire to be something other than a vacuous fashionista?
Apparently Top Girl is very appealing to its target audience. Not only has it been very popular and rated very highly on the App store, but there were one million downloads of the app in ten days.Â There is obviously a substantial market for games aimed at girls. But does this necessarily mean that girls wouldn’t be interested in a role-playing game where they could choose from a variety of different careers and activities? Why can’t girls BE the rock star or the CEO, rather than just dating them?
These games perpetuate the idea that girls and women should aspire to be popular, stylish and make money for simply “existing.” Is that really the message we want to be sending to girls?
Want to tell Crowdstar what you think? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org (TIP: Try to be productive — the game maker won’t take your comments seriously if they are angry or harsh).