Whilst it may be stereotypical to suggest that men enjoy video games more than women, it is hard to argue against saying most men enjoy playing video games. Whether it’s super casual and they only play FIFA with their friends or whether they play nearly every game under the sun, it is true to say most men have had experience with video games to some capacity. Now, a shopping centre in China looks to reinforce more stereotypes by installing video game booths designed to give men something to do whilst their wives and girlfriends go shopping!
Even writing this now, I feel like I need to defend myself a little. I have not created this stereotype as I am fully aware there are many women who enjoy games just as much as men. In fact, the amount of women working in the video games industry is growing and it’s great to see equality in more aspects of gaming. It is the naming of this new gaming service that suggests sexism. Global Harbour launched this service and branded these booths ‘Husband Hatches’.
The idea sounds so far-fetched to me. These hatches are only being trialled at the moment in a Shanghai shopping centre. They are small and compact but also encased in a glass box to avoid players from disrupting other shoppers. The response from shoppers so far has been mixed with some people claiming it is ‘the best of both worlds’, whilst some women have complained that they are now waiting for their partners to finish playing games before they can go home.
Unless you don’t have a gaming console at home, or there’s a game you could ‘try out’ in these gaming booths that you don’t already own then I do not see the point. If someone you go shopping with would rather sit down and play a game then leave them at home! Don’t bring them to a shopping centre to play a game!
The only potential upside to installing these booths is the possible exposure to new, indie video games, thus helping smaller publishers and developers gain exposure as the people walking by could find out about new games via these booths!
Who knows if this type of service will ever appear in the UK. GAME’s Belong service is the closest we have and this does not appear to be a popular service to say the least! I guess we will have to wait and see what the outcome is of the Husband Batches trial.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you think gaming booths at shopping centres is a good idea? Would you like to see this in your local shopping centre? Let me know your thoughts!