I have to admit, I like the game Zombie Farm. Quite a bit, actually. It’s got all the good bits of the *Farm Facebook games, but doesn’t require Facebook (iOS only, sorry). The game mechanics are such that you can min/max as much as you want… but aren’t penalized for not doing so. That and… well, farming zombies. How cool is that?
And then I thought they avoided the Plants vs. Zombies sexism problem that the Border House talked about (and I later critiqued a bit). There’s female zombies. They have their own special abilities toward game balance. Okay, cool. No problems ahead, right?
Yeah, I was idealistic.
In Zombie Farm, your zombies can get special abilities – whether through defeating certain enemies, or “mutations” (I have a zombie with a potato head and celery arms, for example). It adds a nice little tweak to the game.
And then I saw this special ability:
Chivalry: Girl Zombies are stronger around you.
Ooooookay. At least it’s making women stronger (despite calling them “girls”). That’s not too bad. It could even be a nice twist on chivalry being all about disempowering women. And then I unlocked the complementary ability…
Grace: Regular zombies are stronger around you.
Yeah, it’s the embedded sexist idea that “regular” is equivalent to male.
I figure The PlayForge did notintend sexism here – it’s a product of our nice sexist culture where “normal” defaults to “straight white male”. And luckily, it just takes the change of a word in the description text (“regular” to “male” or “boy”) to nom some embedded sexism the way zombies nom brains.
So, PlayForge, I’ll be waiting for that update, y’all.