What Types of Games Does a 7 Year Old Girl Want?
Game developers and marketers are always trying to figure out the demands and interests of different market demographics. This article focusses more on the console itself rather than specific games. To learn about the types of games a 7 year old girl would buy, I recommend Judging a Wii Game by Its Cover: The Decisions of a 7-Year-Old Girl.
A Unique Perspective on the Nintendo Wii… From a 7 year old girl
The titanic success of the Nintendo Wii has been a surprise to many. It is the first non-handheld console to really reach "non-gamers" and deliver quality, fun gaming content. Part of the appeal is the ability for people of all ages and skill levels to play the Wii. In this article, I interview my 7 year old daughter who is a big fan of the Nintendo Wii. I hope you will find her insights and opinions interesting.
The Nintendo Wii Console Itself
Q: Why do you like the Nintendo Wii?
A: I like the Nintendo because I like the games.
Q: What do you like about the Nintendo Wii?
A: I like using a remote control. I also like seeing little Miis in the games.
Q: Is there anything you do not like about the Nintendo Wii?
A: Not really.
Q: Have you ever had an accident or gotten hurt while playing the Wii?
A: I clunked my sister in the head once when I didn't know she was there.
Nintendo Wii Games
Q: What are your favorite Nintendo Wii games?
A: My favorite game is Wii Play. I especially like Tank, shooting, the cow riding game, and fishing.
Q: What do you like about the Tank game?
A: You get to shoot the other tanks and use angles. I really like using the bombs because you just set it down and then you can trick the bad guys into riding over it and getting busted.
Q: What do you like about the shooting game?
A: I like seeing the ducks flying around and seeing all the things explode and pop.
Q: What do you like about the cow riding game?
I like how the Scarecrow and the cows look. I like seeing when the Scarecrows get knocked far away. I also really like jumping up and down a lot while playing.
Q: What do you like about the fishing game?
A: I like trying to get the mystery fish and I love seeing all the fish swimming around. It is a very beautiful sight. I also like getting bonuses for certain fish. I really like seeing the King of the Pond… especially on a bonus.
Playing the Wii Alone or With Others
Q: Do you like playing the Wii alone or with other people?
A: Because I like getting a lot of medals and practicing.
Q: Who else do you play the Nintendo Wii with?
A: Usually my family. My daddy and my sister, and sometimes mommy.
Q: How old is your sister?
Q: Is it difficult to play the Nintendo Wii with her?
A: No. It is soooooooo easy. I win every game, all the time.
Q: Does she have fun?
A: Yes. Except when she stops pointing the remote at the screen. Sometimes I let her win, or use her remote so her Mii can win.
Q: Why do you like to win using her Mii and remote?
A: I like seeing my baby sister happy… really, really happy. I really like it when her Mii's avatar isn't so tiny from losing.
Q: Is there anything the Miis do that you don't like?
A: Only taunting when they win. I don't think that is very nice and I would never do that. Sometimes I jump up and down for victory but not for taunting.
A 7 Year Old Girl Designs Her Own Game
Q: If you could make your own Nintendo Wii game, what would it be like?
A: It mostly would have gymnastics. Your player would have to go on bars and if you want to do a pullover you would try to pull your Wii remote down slowly. If you do it too fast you will only fall down on your bottom from the bars.
You could also do beam. You would have to slowly move your remove control forward and keep it balanced. If you moved it too fast you would fall down on your bottom again.
The teacher in the game would get mad if you messed up a lot and make you start all over again.
There would also be tumbling in the game. You would do forward rolls and roundoffs while holding the remote. When you are doing a round off or cartwheel you have to twist the remote control really fast so you can make it all around. If you do it too slow, you'll fall on your bottom…. AGAIN.
Next is stretches. You have to do splits. You have to pull your remote control backwards really slowly. If you do it too fast you would just hurt your legs and bottom cheeks. Your Mii would fall backwards and yell "OUCH!"
Next are pit laps. You have a giant pit filled with foam cubes. You have move the Wii remove around in a circle like you are swimming through the pit. When you are near the edge, you would have to hold the remote up high and push it forward as fast as you can to climb out. You should try to be first. DO NOT FALL IN HOLES. That just slows you down.
What Does This Tell Game Developers?
If you are a game developer who makes games that will appeal to children this is a pretty important question. I think you can learn a lot from these 7 year old insights. Games that involve a lot of activity on the part of the player seem to be appealing. Impressive, bold visuals are attractive. The ability to play with others, though not in a "taunting" manner, are enjoyable. Basic, slapstick humor is always appreciated by younger gamers of course.
Achievement systems have become really popular in many game genres. It is very intriguing that this type of system (the medals in Wii Play) are even attractive to a 7 year old.
While I do not know if this is common, I found it extremely interesting that my older daughter did not like the way the loser's Mii shrunk. That, combined with the taunting, frequently upsets her when she plays against her younger sister. Developers who make games for children might want to take that to heart. Young children may not enjoy "smack talk" style reactions from their characters. That is more of a teenager and up thing.