A cold never bothered her anyway
June 13, 2015 3:13 AM   Subscribe

Barbie Breast Feeding had you drag and drop the baby from the cot to Barbie’s chest where it drinks enough milk that it promptly develops a stomach ache and then requires a leg massage and a nappy change. I assume that might be closer to reality, except instead of wiping a flower which exists in place of your child’s genitals you’re actually dealing with human poop and children can get that EVERYWHERE.
Philippa Warr on the Weird World Of Frozen Pregnancy Games. SLRPS
posted by MartinWisse (29 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Weird world, indeed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:08 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sites like Mafa.com appeal largely to girls, accounting for 92% of traffic...Interestingly, however, about 21% of these women are adults aged 18-34.

The author goes on to posit that this older demographic is probably entranced by the gratification of simple feedback systems in the games, but I kind of wonder if it's also not that some young women never come to terms with the same apprehensions that the author hypothesizes are drawing the younger demographic.

Also, this is exactly the type of FPP I expect from the wee hours of the morning.
posted by johnnydummkopf at 4:09 AM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm 42 and what is this?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:09 AM on June 13, 2015 [21 favorites]

"Elsa came to a religious hospital in the wrong decade. Use the wire saw to give her a symphysiotomy."
posted by Rhomboid at 4:22 AM on June 13, 2015 [6 favorites]

I turned around and saw my daughter playing an Elsa pregnancy game the other week, clicking away merrily to help Elsa "pant" through contractions. She just turned 7 and loves all things Frozen. She's also obsessed with pregnancy and birth these days, often falling asleep with this book still in her hands. Since then I've seen her playing a bunch of these games. She loves them.

She and her brother usually start out on friv.com - a site they were introduced to in their "computer" class at school. No joke, that's what they do in kindergarten and grades 1 & 2. In grade three they graduate to googling. They don't even have librarians anymore so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that this flies for computer class.

Anyway, the two of them know friv like the back of their hands. My son can find the most violent games in about 2 seconds. In the same amount of time my daughter will somehow find a way to send pregnant Elsa to get her nails done at the beauty salon. And in the way of porn sites there are popups that direct her to ever more bizarre and complicated games featuring strange wounds she must heal or pregnancy complications that must be dealt with. Watching a kid learn to navigate the Internet is educational. She and a friend once dedicated a good chunk of time to an Anna and Jack Frost fan fic/YouTube marathon until I thought things were getting dodgy (ie worried I'd be reported to the other kid's mom and/or Anna and Jack were going to do the deed) and cut them off.

She wanted to know, the other day, how much having a baby hurt. I told her 5/10, no need to freak out the next generation too early. She probably knows more about sex and reproduction than most kids her age - she and her brother were conceived with donor sperm so we've always been very open about how babies are made and how they arrive. I'm not worried about these games sanitizing things. I confess that I am a bit disappointed that her brother wants to use giant worms to eat and destroy cows and humans while she wants to check someone's manicure. In the world of online games they are thus fulfilling gender stereotypes to a T, and I'm not having much luck fighting it. The computer is parked in plain view in the living room where I will continue to monitor further developments in Elsa's difficult pregnancy, along with my children's strange gaming and viewing habits.

I should note that I'm pecking this out on my phone. It's Saturday morning which means computer demand is at its highest and I won't be allowed on it for some time, unless I pull mom rank.
posted by Cuke at 5:26 AM on June 13, 2015 [51 favorites]

For parents who allow this type of screen activity: What is the positive outcome, either short-term or long-term for your children, and, how much time (total) per day are your kids allowed to be on digital media (screens/phones/TV/computers/Video Games)?
posted by HuronBob at 5:38 AM on June 13, 2015

Forgive me but...

I can't even.
posted by tommasz at 5:45 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by jquinby at 6:06 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

HuronBob, the guilt!

I'm pretty free and easy. We've gone through a bunch of iterations of rules - 1/2 hr/day, only on weekends, screen "tickets" that can be redeemed when the child wants. My son is actually the issue. He'd play 24/7 if I let him. Our last hard rule was weekends only, but that resulted in major meltdowns on Sunday night and Monday mornings as he came to the realization he couldn't play for 5 more days. An eternity in his life.

My sister, who has two seemingly well adjusted kids in university, one of whom was similarly obsessed, told me to stop fighting it. I used similar logic when I gave in and bought the nerf gun. So now I let them play after school as I'm making dinner, if they want, as well as a lot on the weekend. I don't time it. However, we try to balance it with other things as well - for example, the four of us will be leaving for an 17km bike ride in about an hour, which will include stops at parks, a free science exhibit and a train ride home. Tomorrow we are going north to spend the day by a lake.

What they get from it - well, my kids had googling well and truly under control long before grade 3, they know how photoshop works, they know that people put fun stuff on the Internet, but that they also lie sometimes. My son has spatial reasoning that is off the charts, their English reading is excellent (they go to school in French), we have fun playing games together, learning new software (ie PowerPoint) for school is a snap and moms and kids are generally pretty happy.
posted by Cuke at 6:09 AM on June 13, 2015 [14 favorites]

I confess that I am a bit disappointed that her brother wants to use giant worms to eat and destroy cows and humans while she wants to check someone's manicure. In the world of online games they are thus fulfilling gender stereotypes to a T, and I'm not having much luck fighting it.

Humble suggestion from an admitted non-parent: try Minecraft.

My siblings and I were gender-typical in our gaming habits - and that's perfectly okay! - but at least until my early twenties I really had only two interests: building and destroying everything I could.

Minecraft, at least, strongly encourages the building aspect and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than Legos.
posted by Ryvar at 6:15 AM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Minecraft is great and we've had it since it was in beta. My fault that one, I introduced both kids to it. I actually commented on their weird Minecraft viewing habits not too long ago. My son loves Minecraft - last night he was telling me that he is a master, until I reminded him that the last parkour course I downloaded for him showed otherwise. And then he reminded me that I couldn't even make the first jump on the parkour course he created for me to run. Score one for the kid.
posted by Cuke at 6:28 AM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

A male friend just sent me this link. I'd been aware the subgenre, these casual minigames, for some time. It doesn't surprise me at all, whereas his reaction was, and I quote, 'wut'.

Women have to be more aware of their bodies. Biologically, it's unavoidable, especially by the peri-adolescent years. Socially we are scrutinized - so injury games are transgressive. Biologically, well, I'm convinced that modern women deal with blood geometrically more often than modern men, so this normalizes the strangeness of body changes.

Who is playing is interesting, but I'd love to see the breakdown of who is surprised...
posted by cobaltnine at 6:42 AM on June 13, 2015

Maybe the attraction for at least some players is some sort of ASMR thing. Medical role plays seem quite common in the ASMR YouTube community. And if they are about triggering a state of relaxation, then that would explain why these games are apparently so "tutorial-like", where you just walk through steps without any win/lose pressure.
posted by lollusc at 6:45 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This makes me glad, in a way, that I don't have kids.

I have no idea what is the correct response to this kind of disturbing garbage, nor do I understand whether my disgust is equivalent to how my parents felt when I was playing Super Mario Brothers 2 (can a little plumber man bopping monsters really be equivalent?!). Or maybe it's more like how my Grandpa and Grandma felt when I was playing it...

Anyway, what I'm saying is, I already feel guilty enough for not adopting some kind of intentional lifestyle or becoming Amish. Having kids.... the guilt would be unbearable.
posted by General Tonic at 7:12 AM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

I came here expecting pregnancy-related game which involved stuff kept in the freezer which then melted and got everywhere and was gross. I find myself orthogonally perturbed.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:12 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Orthogonally perturbed" is my new favorite phrase. But um ... what are you keeping in your freezer now?
posted by WCWedin at 7:52 AM on June 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

What the ever loving fuck is this shit
posted by trunk muffins at 7:52 AM on June 13, 2015 [13 favorites]

Internet, you and I can't be friends any more
posted by trunk muffins at 7:55 AM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

As an artist, I'm trying to figure out what exactly is going on in the minds of the graphic artists of these games. Are they thinking "ugh, I can't believe this is even a thing, but it helps pay the bills" or "wow, finally an outlet for me to draw preggo disney princesses!"
posted by picklenickle at 10:31 AM on June 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

And all the weird sims apps: "High School Story", "Hollywood Story", "Pet Story". "Baby Story 2: Twins!" I think the App Store may keep the Anna/Elsa out, or at least my daughter hasn't found that stratum yet.

But their current favorite appears to be Dragon City, where somehow you breed dragons and then have battles. (The thing that stresses me out about them is that some of them have social media aspects, so that you can talk to other random people playing the game. Which, at 7 and 10, I'm not sure I'm ready to have them do.)
posted by leahwrenn at 10:31 AM on June 13, 2015

Maybe it's the anime eyes, the first person point of view, or the helpless Disney princess look, but my first reaction to this is that it feels like violence against women. I have no logic; it just feels wrong. And I'm stunned so I have no capacity to even analyze my own reaction. WTF.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:47 AM on June 13, 2015 [10 favorites]

"Elsa came to a religious hospital in the wrong decade. Use the wire saw to give her a symphysiotomy."

That does actually sound like something those stupid trolls would recommend.

"Elsa is anxious and depressed about her frost powers."

Dr. Troll: "Use the orbitoclast to make the bad thoughts go away!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:48 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

The only thing Metafilter has brought to my attention that was stranger than these games was the phenomenon of competitive tickling videos.
posted by pickles_have_souls at 3:04 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

But then we get to the wooden nails. There’s never any explanation of how a pregnant Disney princess would end up quite so punctured, she just is and you must use some green medical pliers to yank them out. It’s not an easy job either – there’s a real sense of the nails being jammed in and needing a great deal of tugging to pull them out. Bare arms, legs and bump are all afflicted.

Wait..... what?

This can't be officially licensed. No, I see suggested in the article it's not. It's just absurd, all these disconnected elements. Wooden nails embedded all over a pregnant, off-brand Disney princess with no backstory? Medical emergency game that plays like a tutorial? Almost sounds like a surrealist pop art project. The screenshot of Elsa at the throat doctor is reminiscent of Ren & Stimpy though.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:36 PM on June 13, 2015

I mean it's no Hatoful Boyfriend.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:00 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hatoful Boyfriend is much, much less creepy.
posted by asperity at 4:44 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't know. Have you ever heard the stories girls will make up about their dolls given free range? This doesn't seem much weirder than that.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:48 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Except for the part where grown-ass adults are creating these games for money (and I have no idea where the money comes from, but damn.)

My Barbies were all Nudist Camp Barbie because vinyl clothes + vinyl skin = more hassle than it was worth to try to yank that stuff on and off. At least nobody was monetizing that and selling it back to me!
posted by asperity at 9:40 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

This makes me glad, in a way, that I don't have kids.

I have no idea what is the correct response to this kind of disturbing

Until they are older, it's pretty easy to control what your kids do online. There are tons of decent sites for kids to explore or play games on.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:14 PM on June 14, 2015

« Older 6th round Fortinbras   |   Police fatalities in latest format Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments