A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lovely Lisa doesn't only exist in the world of this video game -- she's a popular Japanese doll as well. However, Lovely Lisa and Friends never appears to be trying to sell Lovely Lisa toys (which are not even readily available in the U.S.). Parents should also be aware that, among the many, many activities that Lisa can try in this game, most perpetuate gender stereotypes (taking care of children, cooking, shopping, doing laundry, putting on makeup, walking the runway of a beauty pageant, etc.), although a few don't such as helping her father build furniture.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Is it any good?
There are some aspects of Lovely Lisa and Friends that are absolutely great. With dozens of mini-games to choose from, there's a ton of variety -- and all those games are well designed for young players. The fashion design mode is a wonderful creative outlet; you can draw your own patterns onto clothes with the stylus, or you can capture real-life pics with the DS camera and place them onto clothing.
At the same time, though, it's hard not to be distracted (at least for an adult) by the perpetuation of gender stereotypes. It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with a young girl cooking, caring for children, or even applying eyeshadow, but the game also contains some refreshing non-traditional activities, like the furniture building and Lisa's volunteering at the police station. It would have been nice to have a bit more of the the non-gender activities to feel more balanced. To sum it up, this is a very well-made game that could bother some parents with its themes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about gender stereotypes. In the game, Lisa helps her father build furniture and helps her mother cook and clean. Could it (or should it) be the other way around? Do gender stereotypes like this hurt people in any way?
The game also allows you to design your only clothes. What kinds of patterns do you like to create? What is the inspiration behind your designs? What kind of real-world patterns (from the DS camera) would you like to use for Lisa's clothes?
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