for the past two years or so, i've received nintendo games via a branding company, and it's a pretty cool deal. every few months, a white box arrives with a game and presto, i'm off in a magical land, solving clues or searching for the princess. there have been a few times, though, when the games weren't my style.
one such was the personal trainer: cooking. you entered in some form of what you wanted to make (like "sushi") or the ingredients you had, specified things to omit and kazaam, you had not only a recipe but an illustrated how-to guide. sounds cool and for most people, i think it'd be awesome. but yes, there's a big but here. the program didn't jive with my lactose-minimal, vegetarian diet. i think i ended up with a total of five potential entrees that i could make. the set-up was really awkward, and when i cook or bake, i make a mess. flour makes it into the most unlikeliest of places, and i'm a firm supporter of dirtying whatever need be for culinary greatness. placing my (albeit complimentary) nintendo ds lite precariously in the line of (zesty tomato) fire worried me. after trying to get past the first few recipe instructions a few times, i gave up and passed it along to a nintendo-playing girlfriend and her foodie husband, both of whom eat meat. but i kept the apron that came along with it, mainly because it had "becca" sewn across the breast, and i had some inkling that a bearded dude named "lee" wouldn't have a strong urge to wear it.
a little time after this, i was emailing with one of the branding women and commented that personal trainer: cooking just didn't work for me, so she sent me a game about rhythm. apparently a lot of women were going crazy for it. me, i have rhythm, but i was getting headaches with this game. soon after, the branding ladies sent out an email asking for feedback and info on our likes and dislikes, so i offered some insights and as much information as i could, hoping to improve the process.
and then dumdumdahdaaaaaaaah! professor layton and the diabolical box arrived. this one made me use my brain, and there were twists and turns! i liked the one before it, with the curious village more, maybe because the concept seemed newer and not so repetitive... but still, the professor and i solved puzzles with astounding speed, and i felt like we were buds! hooray!
right before the holidays, style savvy arrived along with a cute little bag of very sparkly makeup. this one's a game where i could create my own clothing boutique and become a savvy, fashionable entrepreneur. keep budgets! maintain an inventory! dress your clients! i already project manage at work, so doing this for fun just wasn't doing it for me. and i'm really, really not into fashion like that. or fashion-focused games. the solution: send it to my tweenish half sister (with only some of the makeup. living in florida, i didn't think she really needed the bronzer and she's way too young for 3-day long mascara). rumor has it the game made her day, and i scored a few bonus points.
so down, up, down. the next arrival should be a plus, right? but. well. erm. today i received a large box that the facilities guy had to cart into my office with... a cart. inside the box was a cuisinart stockpot, a bamboo cutting board, onion goggles (no, really, don't cry!), and the america's test kitchen: let's get cooking program.
now, i haven't actually used the recipe program yet, but from the reviews only, it's another cooking demo trainer. or more so, it's an electronic cookbook featuring the top 300 recipes from america's test kitchen. i'm a little wary again. i love atk, but more so for its baking recipes and cookware recommendations; i've just found its recommended cooking recipes to be more highly geared towards meat and buttery fats (to get the best of the best of the best?) as opposed to what i tend to have in my kitchen. as i found before, 1) cooking tutorials aren't for everyone and 2) i don't want my nintendo device in the kitchen, period. what's next, a "how to remove that ring around the tub" trainer? or a "how to take care of a baby" program (which follow the first and second in the series: "how to make a baby: trainer" and "how to give birth: trainer")?
dear totally rad branding women,
please don't think i'm ungrateful because i'm not. really. the brand enthusiast program is a great outreach and word-of-mouth tool, and i'm very lucky to be a part of it. but i feel pigeonholed into a corner regarding what someone else thinks a woman gamer should like: fashion, cooking, puppies, and fitness. i can guarantee that women also enjoy puzzles, role playing (no doctor/nurse role playing, mind you), wielding a laser gun, and trivia games.