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Brief Published: 31 Mar 2016

Gender-Neutral Gaming for Kids

Toca Robot Lab

Children can play digital games that address issues of gender stereotyping and understanding emotion at The Games Europe Plays exhibition, to be held at the Finnish Institute in London from April 2-10, 2016. Games to look out for include:

  • Gender-Neutral Play: Toca Robot Lab is an app that allows players to build a robot from pieces of scrap and, once completed, let it fly. "Swedish creators Toca Boca have a very clear mission: to make games for young children which are non-gendered. It's not going to set any gender stereotypes in your three-year-old," curator Ghislaine Boddington told Stylus.

    The concept will appeal to younger consumers, who increasingly believe that sex doesn't define a person as much as it used to. See Gen Z & Gender: Beyond Binaries for more.
  • Liberation From Labels: Perfect Woman, from US developer UCLA Game Lab, also celebrates non-conformity and diversity beyond preconceived gender roles. The game sees players building their ideal career and life path from complex choices by using motion-sensing input device Kinect to act out a character on-screen.
  • Funny Faces: The goal of Finnish company Gigglebug's Face Race is to copy expressions and emotions displayed by animated animals. Using facial recognition tech, the app recognises how accurately a gamer mimics movements expressing different emotions and awards points accordingly. We explore how consumers crave emotional connection in Raw Human.

Initiated by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), the exhibition forms part of the London Games Festival Fringe and is free to attend.