I have an idea for the ultimate video game for girls. I call it What Goes With What. I haven't worked out the details of the game yet, but you could imagine lots of varieties around the core concept I will describe.

Imagine at the beginning of the game your screen is filled with images of shoes, purses, scarves, pants, blouses, and all manner of human adornments. The screen is totally packed with these images, all smallish. The computer randomly highlights any one of these images and you have 30 seconds to click on all the other things on the screen that would look good with the original item.

This combines the joy of shopping with the skill of quickly deciding on style and fashion. I believe this would be pure catnip for girls.

Another version of the game might involve furniture, carpets, window treatments and the like. Again you'd have a time limit to figure out which things went well with other things.

It's a running joke that females enjoy shopping. While there are plenty of exceptions to the stereotype, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that evolution probably wired women to find pleasure in shopping in much the same way boys are wired to enjoy blowing up stuff. The video games that work best are the ones that connect to those most basic urges.

As custom requires, several of you will tell me there is a video game that does exactly what I described. Then you will provide a link to a game that is different from what I described.
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Nov 16, 2009
If you could also make one about chocolate and desserts...that would be great!
May 27, 2009
I like the implication that this game is what Scott Adams would play, were he a 10-year-old girl (an irresistible image.. ). It combines rapid decision-making with categorizing, matching, fitting things into patterns. The time limit also makes it competitive. So it has elements which appeal to HIS basic urges, though superficially it looks like a girl's game.

The problem is surely not sexism but consumerism here. Kaladorn takes this idea to its logical conclusion and can still say 'Wow' about it, which just baffles me. How can teaching children the "skill" of owning hundreds of pieces of clothing and knowing what 'goes' with what be at all valuable? Girls have enough to deal with in this world. They are bombarded with enough advertising telling them if they don't have a certain look, they're not cool or beautiful. The level of credulity the media assumes of women is unbelievable. (Sarah Haskins has some witty and interesting opinions on this topic, if you know how to work Google.)
May 27, 2009
I have a 10-year old girl and I have to have this game for her IMMEDIATELY.

Yes, girls DO play video games. My daughter loves Wii and Nintendo DS..
May 24, 2009
What I find funny is not how predictable games or this idea is, but how predictable the people in this thread are; I'm reasonably certain that Scott Adams doesn't believe this would actually work as a game, nor does he pretend to have big plans in the videogame industry. But everyone gets aggravated by his suggestion of a game geared towards the stereotypical teenage girl (or younger/older, I suppose).
Oh, and as an obvious aside, the presumed stereotypical girl would almost certainly be defined, within the same stereotype, as not visiting sites like this, so it makes sense that there are few people here saying they'd actually play the game... Scott's trying to sell the idea of a for-girls game to a predominantly male audience. Good luck.
(In response to the comments on the quality/quantity of girl gamers; I agree that far fewer women play videogames, I agree with Scott that, since most games feature the explosions that I agree, men prefer, men play videogames more. But I can't think of a basis for any argument that women are worse gamers. Unless there's an evolutionary basis for faster thumbs on men....?)
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 21, 2009
I usualy think u s.ck but this was brilliant.
May 21, 2009
The really fascinating part of this is the video-game-cum-expert-system that this could provide. I think this suggestion is just scary-good. It's the first time in a long while in IT that I've had an idea which is both technically interesting, has many angles as a revenue generator, and can leave everyone feeling like a winner. That's some sort of magic!

Just think of it: Guys know little or nothing about what goes with what (at least in the eyes of women and since guys view what they are wearing as less critical than if they are sleeping alone, effectively the same result). Take the understanding that girls and even women enjoy shopping and matching up things to make good looking things (be it rooms, clothes combos, whatever), and you've got dynamite on your hands.


System which works as you say, is termed a 'game' but works with *real* window coverings, *real* room accessories, *real* spaces, *real* clothes, *real* shoes, etc. In fact, some of them will be latest and greatest from the new designs. And you, the female of the species primarily (with a few guys who like that kind of thing - artists and those who lean towards the effeminate -- kidding! -- involved) will get a chance to decorate a succession of new spaces, to put clothes on new people, etc.

You'll get to vote on other 'decorators' work to help determine the best consensus looks and you'll maybe get some nice prizes from the server host for participating - inevitably discounts to encourage more shopping at selected stores, maybe even opening access to even more decorator options (exclusive rich ones) if you prove to have an eye that vast majorities of people agree with.

The other users of the service will be guys and girls who want to look spiffier. They'll submit personal pics (to give skin, eye, hair, complexion, etc) and/or pictures of their rooms (and the computer software will provide 3D models for the designers to work with). They might even pay a small micropayment fee, perhaps more to have 'recognized designers' encouraged to work on their project (them or their rooms). Their reward output is being shown all these wonderful combos *that they can then promptly click on and buy and have delivered to them (if goods) or applied (if redecorating, via links to contractors who can deliver in their area)*.

Even if all they do is take the suggestions and shop themselves, they feel they are further ahead and so does the fashion or home decor industry generally. But people will probably often use the attached links and so particular advertising and participating fashion designers, clothing houses, paint companies, window treatment companies etc. will make their reward for supporting the whole thing. So will PayPal, Visa, etc. And the company putting this out will get a cut of everything.

You can also get universities involved to collect sociological data, get social networking sites involved to provide buzz and advertising but in turn to expand their own offering by adding designers corners, groups dedicated to 'the latest new online designs', etc.

The cross-over marketing for this from every economic level from 'I shop at Winners' right up to 'I shop at stores so expensive that they don't need a name - you find out about them from rich friends only'. You can pull in many different cross promotions with lots of types of business. And it can actually make everyone involved come off feeling better, more upbeat, etc.


And I just summed it up for the first Dilbert-blog reading VC to snatch up and run with.... <shakes head at self>
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2009
When I finish my design, can I blow it up?
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2009
I don't think fashion goes with speed. You need to have time to be admired.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2009
Very funny, loved it.

I wish i had read the post the day you posted it so that i could have predicted that lots of comments would try to frame you as a sexist.

-5 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2009
you idiot, girls don't play video games
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 19, 2009
Hmmm. Clothes and accesory's being matched, best matches being decided by an expert.

Now take that down a layer so that instead of just Jeans, or shoes, you have a choice of brands, designs etc.

Next we start charging the companies that make the clothes and accesories a fee to be included in the game. The fee goes up a little if they want their item to be "favoured" by the experts.

All of a sudden we've gone from a game to subliminal advertising, setting new fashion trends rather than commenting on them and making a mint in fees and spin offs.

Where do i sign up to invest my 10 sheckles Scott?
May 19, 2009
Adrian Monk

Who cares? Im sorry but my short male attention span doesn't allow me to even read your whole post let alone care.
Girls are bad at video games because they have smaller brains then us.
It must be true because Borat said so.
May 19, 2009
Excellent! I'm looking forward to those links. I'd really enjoy a game that is different from what you described.
May 19, 2009
I'm a teenage girl, and I think this game sounds stupid.

For the most part, my idea of matching clothes is a pair of jeans and a clean t-shirt. However, this doesn't mean that I don't act 'girly' sometimes. I paint my nails occasionally. I wear a little bit of makeup. For special occasions, I like to get dressed up. There is nothing wrong with this. This doesn't mean that I want to spend hours matching virtual clothes. I like doing math problems instead. You can't fit everyone into nice little categories.

Also, I know that most of you aren't teenage girls, but have you ever talked to one? For most of the people i know, shopping isn't about matching or control or anything like that. It's a social thing. Most people don't go shopping by themselves unless there's something specific they need. When I go to the mall, I go with my friends. We don't have to go to the mall. We could go to the pool or the park or the movies or whatever. The mall is just convenient. It's not the activity, it's about spending time with people you like.

i know that this doesn't apply to all people. I'm sure people would buy the game, particularly girls age 8-10. I'm just speaking from personal experience. You can't design a game that's a surefire hit for half the population. People are too complex for that.
May 19, 2009
Wow, this is pretty insulting. I don't this idea would go anywhere.

The reason I don't like video games is they are all basically the same. Same gameplay, only slightly different themes each time. Very repetitious and predictable. Take video games somewhere interesting, have a real story line, like a movie only with multiple paths that can be taken through it and numerous outcomes. Bring in some emotionally interesting situations and content.

A better idea is to create some sort of video game with a 3d full body interface that challenges your whole body, not just your fingers. If you could combine exercise with the feedback and total involvement of a video game, then you would really have something. Dance dance revolution is okay, but it's just footwork.

May 19, 2009
Way to stir up the pot Scott. As always, bravo.

May 19, 2009
@ Namenotavailable

Firstly, I'm just going to straight-out ask - are you messing with me or do you mean any of this? If you've been kidding or silly all this time, great. I get the feeling you're not though.

"Perhaps you should check the fact that this is a non-serious, humorous blog, but if I offend you Im sorry (note the way I apologised in advance, giving myself the moral high ground in my own head, just the way you did, apology accepted BTW)"

I understand perfectly the tone of this blog. Thank you for attributing to my sincere statement in the beginning ulterior motives and attempts to "salve my conscience" or somesuch, but I was genuinely unsure whether or not you were serious (text is of course *very* easy to misinterpret), and did not wish to offend if you were merly kidding. I still don't, but I'll continue to proceed on the assumption you are, since if you were kidding you wouldn't be responding in this fashion.

"Firstly, there is so much overwhelming evidence to the contrary it's difficult to even know where to begin. "

Im going to assume you’re a girl for starters since you just proved my point about females liking to argue and not knowing the first thing about video games."

Except, who's responding to my post? It takes two to argue, last I checked. And really, what an ingenious argument - a female can't respond to your post without "arguing" - therefore your statement that "females like to argue" must be true!

I'm genuinely sorry I didn't know what one word meant. I do not play violent games on principle. That does not mean I don't know the first thing about video games.

Also, I was responding to your claim that "girls are bad at games in general" - not to a claim of lack of knowledge, which you did not make originally.

"Overwhelming evidence against what? That females don’t want to be pawed over and harassed by every gamer once its known that there female?"

True enough. Also completely and utterly irrelevant to your claim that girls are bad at games in general.

"Or that girls are bad at fast paced spatial awareness and judgement games that reward aggressiveness and reflexes? Which is what males are generally better at funnily enough."

And where might the overwhelming evidence for that be? (Evidence that many males are better at spatial awareness etc does not mean that females are bad at it)

"Ever heard of Sherena Williams?

Or how about Dona Baily, Carol Shaw, Carla Meninsky, Julie Hoshizaki, Roberta Williams, Dani Bunten Berry, Brenda Brathwaite and Anne Westfall? They *develop* the games you play."

No I haven't, And I assume if I were to look them up they wouldn't actually develop games at all, or maybe they were the team behind Big Rigs - over the hill racing."

LOL - and you blast *me* for a lack of knowledge! :'-D

Serena Williams (and her sister Venus) is a world champion tennis player. I cited her as one of manymanymany examples of female athletes who might like a word with you if you were to say "girls are bad at games in general" to their face.

Dona Baily programmed the original Centipede. Carol Shaw, River Raid. Carla Meninsky, Star Raiders. The women I mentioned programmed, wrote hardware drivers, designed games, and founded game companies.

Ever play Killing Time? (Win 95) Programmed by a woman (Nicky Robinson). A woman designed levels for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory for the PS2.

Shall I mention the women who worked on Prince of Persia? Or how about the one who produces the Assassin's Creed titles? The one who produces Shadowrun? The one who produced Mercenaries? The one who wrote M.U.L.E.?

The point is, these are not precisely "minor" games. Women have written, collaborated on and produced some of the most popular games since the days of the Atari 2600 right down to today.

"I assume that you know nothing about games by this gem of an Induhvidual quote:

"Ignoring the atrocious spelling, the sentence does not even make sense if you rewrote it "...and within minutes you'll be responding from him." Beg pardon?"

Um, "re-spawning" is a term used by 100% of the video game community, in FPS, (or First Person Shooters, which is a genre of games which focuses on you taking the role of a protagonist's first person view with a gun sticking out from the bottom of the screen, the game is primarily focused on shooting enemies) when you are killed or "fragged" by a 4 year old who's just picked up the controller you naturally come back to life to continue fighting, however there is a time penalty that you must sit out as a penalty for dieing. The act of coming back to life is known as "respawning" and the penalty time is known as "respawning" "

Aw, namecalling! (That's mature)

I know full well what an FPS is. I choose not to play them on principle, thus I do not know the terminology behind them. Thank you for explaining the term "respawning" to me, and I apologize for assuming it was a misspelling and not looking it up. It does not, however, mean that I know nothing about games - merely that I know next to nothing about that particular type of game.

Your statement that a (I assume you mean male, since it wouldn't make sense otherwise...) 4 year old could "just pick up the controller" and start beating seasoned players is interesting, and possibly even accurate, but irrelevant, since such a 4 year old would have experience playing the game (unless toddlers can beat you without ever having played ;-), and it is unfair to compare someone with no experience playing games to someone who has a lot of experience, no matter what age (like comparing her ability to yours when you've likely played for years). I daresay the very first time you picked up a controller or started a PC game you did not have the hang of it either. It requires a bit of practice, and is not an innante skill. It is not related to gender.

"Let's see, ignoring again the spelling/grammar errors, your statement of a "female's base impulse" being arguing is, quite frankly, an embarrassment to your gender and an indicator of base ignorance. "

I find it ironic that you respond to an obviously ridiculous statement that I made, by arguing, and proving my statement."

You simultaneously claim you were kidding and then say I prove your point. Either it was a joke or it was not. Which is it? (And you used "there" instead of "they're", to cite one example of an error)

If you'd simply said "Lol, you’re an idiot" I'd have agreed, and if you challenged me to a game of just about anything you'd probably beat me at it too.

So...a statement that I find a post idiotic with no reason given garners more respect from you than a post explaining why I find it so...? Uhm, okay...

"...you'd probably beat me at it too."

Sarcasm? (Since you don't seem to believe girls are much good at games...) Or just "throwing me a bone"?

Oh and for the record my Girlfriend > All Women

I was not trashing your girlfriend at all - merely stating the obvious, that experience with her does not speak to all women nor does it justify such sweeping generalizations. I was saying your girlfriend is not all women.

+2 Rank Up Rank Down
May 19, 2009
I read your blog often, and I understand that you try to be "frank".
It's easy to mix up being "frank" with being insulting.

Let me start thus:

Assume we have a video game called "Slosion Remix". All you do in this game is explode things. This would be an awesomely fun video game for boys everywhere. Of course, it would also be fun for girls as well.

What you fail to take into consideration is that the difference between girls and boys is quite narrow. Boys just have a slight predisposition toward mechanical accuracy, and girls have a slight predisposition toward harmony accuracy.

I use the term "mechanical" to refer to a system in which complex elements directly interact in a simple manner, and I use the term "harmony" to refer to a system in which simple elements directly interact in a complex manner.

Explosions are complex objects (fuse, timer, gunpower, &c.), which react in a simple manner (simple fluid motion, &c.), when separated. However, explosions are also simple object (expelling force), which reacts in a complex manner (collisions, dynamic motion, &c) when taken from a "chunked" point of view.

Let me demonstrate why, perhaps, Halo is a male game:

You have complex elements, including guns, pistols, stabbing weapons, grenades, vehicles, and locks which all fit together in a complexly wired, but simple on an individual level.

Girls might not like this sort of game because the complexity of the elements is implied, but when "chunked" become boring.

Here is the neutral version of Halo (i.e, appealing to everyone, but less to the male target).

The guns, and all of the elements still interact, but the range of weapons increases, and the complexity of the situations decrease.

The outlined "male" elements have been removed (to the best of my analytical skill, please notify me if this is incorrect).

Now, to add a female element to the game, (we'll call this "Halo" for girls "Leho"), we need to increase the complexity of interactions.

In this game, perhaps the weapons can only affect certain types of objects in very specific ways, and must be solved like a puzzle. The locks on the doors, if there are any, would have to be solved by looking for combinations of different objects, and every single solution would have a combinatorially huge number of solutions.

Your game that you outlined is about simple objects reacting in complex ways (i.e., the laws of aesthetics), but to really consider this a "game" rather than perhaps a "minigame" is insulting.

Also, the main player of the game should be a girl that looks like she didn't spend three hours a day getting her hair and makeup ready. Role models are another reason why "girls don't play video games".

To paraphrase Randall Munroe, the reason why girls don't play video games is because girls aren't given credit.

Please come up with a good idea, and realize that your idea would be this equivalent for boys (still fun, but not really a game:)

"I have an idea for a game where you have to throw marbles into cups, and get a prerequisite number of marbles into each cup. There would be a large number of obstacles, and you would be given time to decide where to best put the marbles."
May 19, 2009
Female human being enjoying making quick decisions?

Which alternative reality are you from?

It is the male of the species that can and will make all clothing decisions in well under 100 ms.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 19, 2009
Methinks game designer Ernest Adams would take issue with your idea.
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