Retronauts Volume III Episode 21: Girl Games

Some of us on Retronauts know more things than others, but one part of retro gaming has, for the most part, eluded us: girl games. Of course, it's not hard to believe: The show has been a sausage fest more often than not. Still, even with having several women on the show over the years, the subject matter stayed in our comfort zones. Well, I thought we were due to change that, because there's a whole realm of girly retro game nostalgia begging for coverage.And so, in the spirit of Wrestlenauts (as funny as that sounds), here's a show the hosts can't fully relate to, but that's what an expert guest is for! Joining us is Rachel Weil: Fellow retro game nerd, artist, and orgainzer of FEMICOM, the "feminine computer museum," which catalogs titles through to the end of the '90s that fall under her definition of "girly games" -- the various combinations of extra-cute characters, pastel colors, and yes, stereotypes often slapped with the "girl" label.And we go over all of that, including some obvious examples like Barbie or Japanese games like Sailor Moon, but handheld LCD games, notable CD-ROM games, the Casio Loopy (a 1995 system that dealt exclusively in feminine software, and is a special focus of FEMICOM) and how girl games have been perceived in general.

One important thing to note is that we're not spending 90 minutes trashing girl games, nor is this some kind of treatise on gender norms -- this is, like so many episodes of Retronauts, a largely appreciative, fascinated, fun look back on a part of history we grew up in, but may not have participated in. Either way, it's a fun listen for girls and boys.

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This episode’s breakdown:00:00 | Opening & Introductions

03:04 | Defining a "girl game" / Games as boys' toys

17:42 | Discovering, mismapping girl games

22:01 | Music from Sailor Moon (Mega Drive)

22:34 | Barbie, Princess Tomato, non-video video games, etc.

39:09 | Sailor Moon

43:59 | Music from Barbie: Super Model (SNES)

44:30 | CD-ROM games and critiques of girl games

01:01:16 | Music from Momoko 120% (Arcade)

01:01:46| Chop Suey

01:03:46 | All about the Casio Loopy

01:14:42 | Final thoughts, Rachel's work, other cool stuff

01:24:30 | Outro & Plugs

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