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American Girl’s New Gaming Set Promotes Girl Gamers

Well, Not Specifically Girl Gamers, But Not Specifically Boy Gamers Either.

In an industry with as skewed a gender makeup as the gaming industry, shifts like the new American Girl Xbox Gaming Set are welcome changes to a tried-and-true formula. And when this “formula” is one that has evolved into a machine that enraptures young male teenagers with images of dominant men surrounded by a supporting cast of scantily-clad female figures, we’ll take all the changes we can get.

The Xbox Gaming Set is the newest little addon pack by American Girl, and is revolutionary not in its promotion of girl gamers but by how the set of accessories is just that – a set of accessories. The set can be paired up with a male or female doll to the buyer’s content, and both will look equally good in their new gear, with a strong selection of gender-neutral colors (AKA not all-blue or all-pink) sending the netrality home.

The set also comes with an Xbox One.

Not a real Xbox One, mind you.. American Girl dolls would have a pretty tough time handling a full-sized controller. But this downsized Xbox One is far from a prop. It still turns on and can be loaded with small disks – ten of which come included with the set.

When a disk is loaded into the mini-xbox, the device projects a small static image onto a nearby wall. This is perfect for playhouse setups: The image gives you an idea of what kind of game the dolls are playing, allowing the creative kid to fill in the blanks with their imaginations.

The set also comes with other bits of gaming garb, including a few Xbox One controllers that can fit easily into the hands of eager dolls and a gaming headset. There’s also one of those bended chairs – I don’t know if they’re specifically made for gaming, but I’ve never seen them used for anything else. You know the ones – chairs like these.

And while all this is well and good, there’s one major caveat. It’s probably not a caveat that’s unexpected, as this is still American Girl we’re talking about here.

You guessed it – It’s expensive. While the message may be cool and inclusive, the pricetag is less so. $50 is quite a price to pay for a tiny set of accessories that can be put on a single doll.

After all, a single $50 set only comes with one doll-sized Xbox Controller. What if your dolls want to enjoy the magic of video games together? Looks like it’s back to begging for mom’s credit card for the third week in a row, little one. These dolls aren’t going to be accessorizing themselves.

Even if this set does still fall prey to the classic conundrums of any purchase made under the American Girl Doll brand, the fact that such a set exists is a good addition to the perception of gaming in modern media. Let’s not forget that the Xbox One was originally intended to be the living room console – the console that families could gather around and use to watch movies or play games at their leisure.

And if a tiny Xbox Controller in the hands of a tiny, very expensive doll helps make the world of gaming seem more approachable to people who would have otherwise ignored it, we’re all for it.

So long as none of those dolls start stealing our high scores. At that point, we might have a problem.

Featured Image via the official American Girl Xbox Gaming Set Product Page.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Alyssa

    August 15, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    This is great to include women in gamming

  2. Caroline Walker

    August 15, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Good, my little sister loves games but is alway self conscious because of the stereotype that it’s only for boys. Breaking gender barriers in small ways is important.

  3. Maya Asregadoo

    August 15, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    This is great! Growing up, I played on XBoxes and with American Girl Dolls. However, I definitely felt as though it was more socially acceptable to speak about my American Girl Dolls publicly, as it was (as it still is) considered “strange” for young girls to play games among my friends and peers. I hope that these new accessories will help to end this gendered stigma.

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