I won't be so bold to call this a gender gap, but there is something of that nature happening in the American video game scene. I'd like to share some user comments from Metacritic on Ubisoft's Just Dance for Nintendo Wii. Typically, you will always devoted fans of any game, no matter how terrible. That's just human nature and everyone has the right to their opinion. But that's what we're observing here. If we look closely, we can see something deeper, moving just below the surface.
I've read similar comments around the web, on review sites and especially on Amazon. We're seeing the same kind of arguments on both sides play out again and again. Hardcore reviewers (boys) on one side, devoted fans (girls) on the other. Of course, there are women critics at the major sites, and boys who are fans of the rhythm dancing and music games, but that gulf is very wide and very real.
This is what I'm thinking of when I speak of women as a new force in the video game world. This is an emergent community, they have their own expectations and needs, and they are now stepping forward to demand them. Women are the driving force behind Wii Fit and the fitness genre, as well as the rhythm dancing titles. And I'm sure you've noticed how many Wii and DS games on the shelves are aimed exclusively towards girls.
"The Girls of Gaming" has moved from an uncounted niche into a serious force. Their influence and power is growing and will continue to grow in the coming years. And these women are going to be heard. The games industry cannot survive on the backs of 30-year-old males, and everybody knows it.
Here are some of the Metacritic user comments for Just Dance:
Toch Take: Great game if you play with friends. Only hardcore gamers with no friends don't like it. Video game change! at last!
Erin Z: I love this game a lot! It's so much fun to get together with friends and dance. Make sure to have enough room to move. The only thing I wish was better about this game was the scoring and accuracy. I also wish it had some tutorial modes for the dances so you could take your time and go at your own pace.
Talia S: Shake your groove thing and shake it hard! This game is better than the reviews give it credit for. User reviews are very good, why are the “official” reviews so bad? I’m thinking that the reviewers are reviewing a game in a genre that they don’t enjoy. For dance game fans, this game is a cut above just about any other dance game on the market. If a reviewer doesn’t like dance games, they should not review dance games.
Sendhini G: Thank goodness for games like this in a world full of shooters, action and puzzle games, all of which are great but it’s nice to have something creative and different that gets you moving. The only games besides dancing that get you moving are fitness games, and I just don’t like those. For every good dance game there are several bad ones, so it’s with great joy that this particularly good game exists. I love this game a lot, and I think anyone interested in dancing will love it too.
Georgie D: This game makes me feel free. That’s a rare feeling in games. Even games I love usually have some kind of constraint (you must do this before you can do that and so forth). This game lets me just put in the disc and have an immediate and gratifying experience. What an appropriate title! In the best possible way. I’m free to just dance. I like it.
D Wheeler: I'm just going to have to stand up and defend this game. In the uk its only £17.99 (best price) so its perfect for that - only going to play a few times but great to get out when friends are around genre. Its funny, the tracks are great (with 1 or 2 exceptions Baha what where you thinking) and everyone wants to get involved. Dump off you shyness and give it a go the more effort you put in the better!! My only real critisims are that there is no unlockable features and the scoring could be sharper but at this price point who can complain!!
Deliliah K: Honestly, why didn’t someone think of making this game earlier? The Wii is all about accessibility, and Just Dance is easy enough to control for anyone to pick up right away and tough enough if you want it to be for gaming and dancing veterans alike. This game just screams “perfect for the Wii”, this is why I bought this machine in the first place. If we had more titles that were as good as this one, everyone would buy a Wii.