December 12th, 2006

Rayman: Raving Rabbids is a strange mixture of cute and dirty. It’s populated almost entirely by bunnies (the “aww”est of all hopping creatures), but they’re ugly bunnies–who do, in all fairness, sometimes end up cuter for their ugliness. The game’s sense of humor, while sometimes sadistic, usually evens out somewhere around bathroom-joke level. Don’t get me wrong, the game is a blast, and I like watching bunnies on the toilet just as much as the next guy, but the gender appeal does get blurry.

For example, I’ve been trying to convince my friends to give it a try, but I’ve been getting a confused reaction. Boys seem to think it sounds too cutesy. Girls seem to think it sounds too sick. Personally, I’m not sure why those two elements can’t be friends, but it does bring up an interesting gender no-man’s-land. I’m thinking in particular of those bunny suicide books: definitely more twisted than Rayman, but still, who do those appeal to? In my experience, it’s mostly girls. So why to they keep turning up their noses at my plunger-loving, disco-dancing friends?

Tags: Blog

4 Responses to “Ugly Bunnies: A Gender Dilemma”

  1. John H. Says:

    The bunnies aren’t ironic enough?

    Anyway, I think they did a pretty good job with the Rayman bunnies, they’re cute without being too cute, and their every expression points to them being brain-dead. It’s difficult to get mad at them, which points to their art design actually being a gameplay decision: angry players could be less likely to persevere through the game.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    Interesting (okay, I think it’s interesting) update: a whole bunch of those same friends came over last night to actually play the game, and it was a big hit, especially with the girls. Apparently the idea of potty-humor bunnies was thumbs down, but potty-humor bunnies in action, thumbs up!

  3. WhiteTigerShiro Says:

    Yes, Rayman seems to suffer from the same dual-discrimination that many half-breeds do in stories. D and Blade, for example, both half-vampires in their stories (or Dhampir, if you wanna get technical). In both stories, it talks about how Humans fear them for being Vampires, yet Vampires hate them for being Human. There are other stories I’ve seen where a Half-A/Half-B character is hated on both sides.

    It’s almost like an elitist thing. There is no gray area, so if it isn’t 100% with you, then it’s against you. It’s only the open-minded who’ll truly look past the dual nature of such a game and see that it’s really quite fun. Meanwhile the average guy will look at it and say “Too cute, not made for me”, and then girl will look at it and say “No, too grusome.”

    So to answer your question of who Rayman was made for: It was made for the non-discriminatory gamer. A risky market to aim for.

  4. Jade Reporting » Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Says:

    […] Ugly Bunnies: A Gender Dilemma […]

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