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Description of Two Toys
The two toys chosen for this paper were found on the Toys R’ Us website (www.toysrus.com). Although both are video games, their packaging and product descriptions offer hints at very different demographics. The first game chosen is Madden 17 by Electronic Arts (see figure 1). This is to be compared to Minecraft WiiU Edition by Mojang under the
authority of Nintendo (see figure 2). The former is the latest in a series of sports video games, while Minecraft is a sandbox series owned by Microsoft with an emphasis on building and creativity.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Figure 1: Madden 17 (Toys R’ Us, 2016)
Figure 2: Minecraft: Wii U Edition (Toys R’ Us, 2016)
Packaging Characteristics, Themes and Placement
As can be seen in figure 1, Madden 17 features a solitary Rob Gronkowski, forehead crinkled in a concentrated grimace as he is about to throw a football down in celebration of a point scoring touchdown, while a crowd of faceless spectators sits in the stands behind him, faces blurred. The message of this packaging is that of individualism and aggression. Though he is not actively attacking anyone else, he stands alone in his endeavor. Out of all the photographs available for E.A.’s art department, they chose one where his face is creased with ferocity. Others are merely accouterments to his personal story because, while they are present, it is only Rob Gronkowski whose face and figure are in focus.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Contrasted with Madden 17, the themes of Minecraft: WiiU Edition are more collectivist. It features avatars available in the game working together to fight off hoards of antagonists. Also of note is the diversity of gender included on the box art; the group of avatars include both the male and female options with a pet pig in tow. However, the aggression is still present a they brandish weapons against the antagonistic non-playable characters (N.P.C.s) featured in the game.
Not surprisingly, the page that featured Madden 17 provided a section that recommended the same game for alternative consoles and platforms as well as other sports games such as NBA2k17. Other recommended toys included a lacross set featuring a net, balls and sticks, Kung Fu Panda Showdown, (a 2.5 D fighting game) and a wireless controller. Minecraft: WiiU Edition’s recommendation section included several family oriented games ( such as Super Mario 3D World and installments from the Lego video game series) and Lego toy sets.
Gender Stereotyping in Toys
The history of gender stereotyping in video games is a long and complex one that still remains a contentious topic to this day. While the primary demographic both to which both of these games intended to sell was predominantly male, there is a slight difference between the two. While the Madden series has been marketed towards young males since its incarnation, the Minecraft series has broken through as a franchise appreciated by women and girls. With its focus on building, creativity and cooperation, Minecraft appeals to attributes typically associated with females. In fact, the box art of this most recent incarnation is deceptive. Combat is a small aspect of game-play in the series. It can be surmised that the image chosen for the box art was an attempt on the part of marketing to appeal to the male demographic by making game-play seem more exciting, dangerous and action packed.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]