If you’ve watched TV recently you might have seen this set of commercials promoting the Nintendo 3DS as a device that’s not just for gamers. The commercials show one popular female star (such as Sarah Hyland from Modern Family) playing a 3DS as she relates to some real-life experience and connects it to the game she’s playing. At the end, she says “My name is ______, and I’m not a gamer. But with my 3DS I’m a INSERT WITTY THING HERE.”
It’s pretty clear that handheld video games have taken a huge hit by the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android gaming devices. These devices have managed to bring a whole new demographic of people into the world of games-on-the-go, and Nintendo clearly wants a piece of that success. These commercials are an obvious way to attract women who don’t see themselves as ‘video gamers’, trying to set the stage for the 3DS to be a handheld device that the mass market purchases to play games on.
I roll my eyes when these commercials come on, as there is a whole slew of problems associated with them. The fact that women who have a handheld gaming device in their hands, who are literally playing a game have to say “I’m not a gamer” at the end could be read in a few ways. Is that because women can’t be lumped in with the gamer label? Is that because being a gamer requires you to only play hardcore shooter titles on your Playstation 3? Is it because the types of games that these women are playing aren’t legitimate games? All of the above? Here’s the videos, decide for yourself.