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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what book everyone else is reading but it's not this one
Before going into the review proper, I will state those downrating this book on the basis of factual innacuracy seem to be looking at an older edition (probably the hardcover), as it does, in fact, correctly identify Mortal Kombat as containing one female character, and Lara Croft's name is spelt correctly. However, even if these facts were still incorrect, to judge the...
Published on 27 Nov. 2007 by Mr. J. R. Harris

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother.
I expected more from this book. The title is misleading, for one. What the contributors offer is a lot of opinonage about games for girls, etc. When they start getting to the meat of the matter, commenting on female characters in games made for males, they drop the ball, and offer wishy-washy "answers" to potentially interesting queries. I knew this book...
Published on 23 April 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what book everyone else is reading but it's not this one, 27 Nov. 2007
By 
Mr. J. R. Harris "J. Harris" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Before going into the review proper, I will state those downrating this book on the basis of factual innacuracy seem to be looking at an older edition (probably the hardcover), as it does, in fact, correctly identify Mortal Kombat as containing one female character, and Lara Croft's name is spelt correctly. However, even if these facts were still incorrect, to judge the whole book based on two (minor) factual innacuracies is shortsighted.

As for the book itself, it should be noted that it is definitely a product of its time. Around and just before 2000 multimedia CD-roms were very popular, and as such the book's main focus is on them. As that fad has ended the book will seem rather old-fashioned and limited in scope, as there is consequently relatively little discussion of "real" games (and I use this term with a fair degree of self-consciousness). However, it is not blind to its own limitations, openly discussing the argument posited by some that 'Barbie Fashion Designer' and other such titles are not games at all. However, the topics discussed are still pertinent and thought-provoking. Far from coming across as crazed feminist ranting, the book examines all issues from a variety of angles. For examples, the entire last chapter consists of quotes from "Game Grrlz" that provide a very contrasting perspective to all that has been said in the book prior.

As a side note, I feel it necessary to mention that although I've said the book does not focus on "real" games, there is a whole chapter interviewing a (female) representative of Sega, and Henry Jenkins's own chapter, ("Videogames as Gendered Play Spaces") provides an excellent discussion of how adventure-based games relate to traditional outdoor children's play, and a genuinely eye-opening analysis of 'Nights into Dreams' from a gender-focused perspective.

If you're interested in the subject and don't mind having to stretch your perceptions a little to accommodate when the book was written, ignore the negative reviews and pick this up.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside view of computer games for girls., 30 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Hardcover)
If you have only boys in your family or have never put down money for a computer game, you probably haven't kept up with the brouhaha that has been developing over computer games for girls that has appeared in the last four years.
The focus on computer games for girls became a issue when it was noticed that while boys liked playing computer games and were more comfortable with computers; girls stayed away from these games. The result - girls would be computer illiterate and be unable to compete in the technical job market.
The book is openly feminist, dealing with how girls and women are represented in computer games; bringing in academic research into gender play, and interviewing the women in the game companies who are designing and producing the games. The interviews with the women in the game industry offers outsiders the rare opportunity to hear the opinions of the designers and developers. Some explain how market research determines what they produce, others provide a more personal view of what moves them to design. The word "empowerment" appears repeatedly.
The editors conclude with ideas for game play that gives voice and play space to both girls and boys. The book's inclusive points of view ends with a talk back piece by Game Grrls - women who enjoy playing action games to compete and win - often over men. The book provides a scholarly treatise on girls, computers, and society. Each of the academic chapters are followed by extensive bibliographies. For whose who are interested in the subject it is extremely valuable to have everything in one place.
Genevieve Katz © 1999, Games4Girls
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother., 23 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Hardcover)
I expected more from this book. The title is misleading, for one. What the contributors offer is a lot of opinonage about games for girls, etc. When they start getting to the meat of the matter, commenting on female characters in games made for males, they drop the ball, and offer wishy-washy "answers" to potentially interesting queries. I knew this book was gonna suck (offical Art Historian's terminology) when I searched the index for Lara Croft references and, upon finding a few, realized that they spelled "Croft" with an "s" EVERY TIME. Do these people even know the games/characters they're talking about? I guess it's up to art historians to pick this topic up, dust it off, and talk about it with respect. This book will make an excellent doorstop.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!, 23 May 2004
Brilliant book! I found the discussion about girl-specific software particularly interesting. Yeah, as other people have pointed out there are a few factual errors, but on the whole it is very well constructed and presented. I also enjoyed the strongly feminist perspective. This book will definitely go on my 'necessary-references' shelf. It is great for academic purposes as well as pleasure reading, and I firmly recommend it to anybody who's interested in computer games and/or gender relations.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't get past the first chapter ......., 4 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Hardcover)
What a great idea for a book. It seemed really well thought out. I'm reading chapter one, and enjoying it greatly when BAM it loses me. While talking about Mortal Kombat, the game in the title of the book, it claims the game has no female chracters. So much for doing research ...... Yes, Mortal Kombat has females, even as far back as the first game with Sonja Blade. In fact some narrow-minded people objected to her at the time as she could kill or be killed. Street Fighter II which started this whole genre of games had a female player character and almost every game after it has had one or more. Recently released "Dead or Alive" features three females on the cover -- just the girls, none of the guys. Next time, check the facts. Anyway, I didn't read any more, maybe that was the only mistake in the book, but I don't know. Too bad, it's really good idea for a book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Hardcover)
excellent
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars laughably constructed, 28 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Hardcover)
This book has such potential. The topic is interesting and could offer insight on gender and technology issues. However, the writing is shabby (Nikki Douglas, anyone) and the book is a disappointment.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a dimb book, 16 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Hardcover)
I started reading it and than read that there was no female characters in Mortal Kombat. I have all the Mortal Kombats, even the first one. The first one had Sonya Blade as a character. And she was treated the same in the game. I did'nt hesitate to kill her because she was a woman. I kill everyone in games!
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From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games
From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games by Justine Cassell (Hardcover - 30 Nov. 1998)
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