Inclusive or Clueless?

Gazimoff from Mana Obscura posted a link to this announcement that NZXT will be offering their new Phantom Big Tower in hot pink for “the ladies.” Gaz asked if this is what female gamers really wanted, and being a bit of a smart-ass, I responded that I didn’t think it would match my color scheme. To really answer that question, I needed a bit more than the 140 characters that twitter allows!

My gut reaction is one of disbelief. I’ve been gaming for about 25 years. I’ve been on a PC for close to 20. I don’t remember ever having a case that wasn’t black. It’s not like I even ever see my case, as it is locked away in a little box of doom with a fan.

Kitty Not Included

*News Flash* I’m in your video games killing your internet dragons! I don’t need a frilly pink case to entice me to buy your product. I’m more interested in substance than flash. To me, this “news” seemed like a belated realization on the part of the manufacturer that there is a female gaming market, and oh by the way, we’d like your business so we’re going to distract you glitter and rainbows!

On the other hand, maybe I’m just being a snot. After all, I’m older and I seriously doubt I fit into the hot flaming pink demographic market. This is probably meant for younger women, of which I’m not. Maybe they’re really not clueless, but are really trying to make an effort to diversify their product line in order to be inclusive of their entire market base.

Being cynical, I doubt it, but it’s possible. While I only wear pink to save the boobs (you did know October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, didn’t you!?), not store my data I really can’t see the allure of this particular product.

What do you think? Is this an effort on the part of the manufacturer to be inclusive of those female gamers, or are they really just clueless twits?




20 thoughts on “Inclusive or Clueless?

  1. I have a pink case on my desktop. Did the case entice me to buy a machine I would otherwise have not purchased? No. But, when the manufacturer’s website gave me a list of possible cases and the pink case was one of them… I picked it. It’s cute.

    I have a picture handy, since I took one when the subject came up on Twitter.

    I actually have a pink netbook, too. I picked out the netbook based on specs, then clicked the option for pink.

    Do I need pink electronics? No. I do find them fun.

    I also find decals fun. I have decals on many of my electronics – the pink netbook has this (pink/white) decal:

    Pink isn’t the only fun, though. I had this skin on my (white) DS for ages:

    OMG, that’s bright!

    In short, I enjoy personalization, either by colors, cases, or stickers, and that’s probably the market that they’re aiming for.

    • I think this is going to end up being a personal taste kind of reaction 🙂 I just tend to be a tad touchy with “pink is for girls.”

  2. I guess I feel about this similar to the way I felt about the computer scientist barbie. It’s not for me, but if it gives out the message that “yes, computers are also for girls (or guys) who like pink”, then I’m all for it.

    • Better late than never I suppose. It’s obviously not intended for men who like pink (as the ad beings “For the ladies!), but like Barbie, an acknowledgement of different roles (and colors!) for women is a plus even if I’m not a fan of the Barbie franchise in a more generalized sense.

  3. I’m one of those women that hates pink, so I would never buy this. Ever. That’s not to say that I don’t think they should have pink computer cases, that’s personal choice. But it is kind of a slap in the face when they said “For the ladies! NZXT proudly presents the Phantom Big-Tower in pink, which is intended for the female gamer base.” They might as well have started with “OMG pink iz 4 grrls so we sellz pink comptrs…2 girls!”

    *cough* Okay, maybe that’s a little overboard, but in all honesty, I love the sleek black look of my current computer, with its cool blue LEDs. It’s great that they’re offering new colours but that’s the part they should be advertising. “Hey, we offer this in pink now, as well as these other cool colours.” Assigning genders to it only emphasizes the already rampant sexism in the gaming industry. (a la

    Plus what does this say about the men who would buy a pink case for themselves? (They do exist.)

    • I think this is why it ticked me off more than anything else. I know plenty of people who like a bit of flash on their case, but by specifically marketing it for “ladies” they are not only pigeon-holing women as people who *love* pink, but also excluding anyone else who might be interested in buying a pink case. I, obviously, am not into the aesthetics of my case, so I wouldn’t care if it came in pink and white polka dots (ok, I’d be even more likely to hide it), but this strikes me as pandering to, not including women.

    • If NZXT market research showed pink was in demand and they were responding to market pressure, that’s one thing. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.

      I did purchase a pink Nintendo DS, but that was part of a pink ribbon campaign.

      When I needed a deck box for my Magic:The Gathering cards, I deliberately selected a delicate pink box with Anime characters that looks like it was being marketed “For the Ladies”. I took it to MTG tournaments for a potential edge over opponents. If my pink box and some flirting with a homophobe knocked them off-kilter, so much the better.

      My older son ended up stealing that box. I’m not sure it was for the psychological advantage.

      • Psychological manipulation is part of the game too! 🙂 I would actually be a lot happier if everyone in the comments told me I was a snot and they were just being inclusive, but I don’t think that’s the case either. I think they thought “how do we get more women to buy our products” and someone said “pink!”

  4. I don’t like things that specifically target one sex, but I think the world could use a few more brightly colored computer cases. At least this case in particular still maintains its hard edges (usually a masculine aesthetic) and practicality.

    Honestly, this seems like an attempt to interest more ladies in building their own computers. As a woman from a technical field, I welcome any attempt to include us female folk, even if it’s as simple as “hey, we know you exist and you’re capable!”.

    • I’ll admit that I basically scanned through the rest of the specs, and I was impressed to see that the computer IN the case was actually capable of running “serious” games. I think I’m just not a big fan of this type of marketing which doesn’t list things I honestly care about and are actually key to the product (the specs of the hardware), but tries to sell me a product because it’s pretty, and oh btw, it does that other stuff too.

  5. My guess is that they’re trying to get *new* customer. You and me might buy black cases… but maybe there’s some women out there who wouldn’t have considered it until they saw the pink and went ‘oooh pretty!’. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a pink case, but I admit I do squee over flowery-type patterns like the one Zaralynda linked for the netbook.

    • As a first time computer buyer: would you invest in a pretty serious “gaming” system, or would you buy something that looked like it was easy to use and was fairly affordable? Most folks I know who just want a computer for e-mail and checking out the internet tend to buy low to mid-grade systems initially since they don’t need the power that most gaming platforms require. If you’re looking into an investment type computer (which I would think most gaming computers are) aren’t you more likely to already be involved in the market of computer purchasing? In that scenario, I can’t imagine buying a system based solely on the case.

  6. Am I the only one who misses the old beige color for computer towers? Hah, I have a beige case from the early 2000’s that I’ve used and reused and re-appropriated (I build my own computers). Right now I use that case for my tv/entertainment computer, looks pretty good on my white tv stand…unfortunately I had to update the DVD drive and could only get a black option so that’s kind of an eyesore right now. >.>

    The case for my gaming computer right now is black. And…well…I guess I’ve gotten used to it, but I used to really dislike it, preferring the familiar beige/white of my old tower. Right now, given the option, I would pick almost ANYTHING but black.

    I’m not really a “pink is for girls” person, and I do think that calling it out as if only girls would like pink is annoying, but at the same time… I have a pink Nintendo DS and I love it! Mostly because at the time there were only three choices; black (boring), white (yawn), or pink. It’s a nice shade too, not hot or flaming pink….just a nice mellow pink.

    Over all, though, I tend to prefer color. I’m not really a Mac person, but I’ve really envied how they embraced -color-. Remember those old iMac 3gs, color options! iPod available in different colors! It’s not a make or break it situation for me, but I would like some variety.

    Also, like Zaralynda above, I like to spice things up with skins from DecalGril. =D

    • I forgot about the beige towers, but I DO remember my horribly massive beige monitor 😉 There is a lot more flexibility in purchasing a case for your system now for those interested in the look *and* the guts!

  7. Ordinarily I wouldn’t buy a pink case, but if it just so happened that it had awesome cooling fans with a nice shelf built into the top for me to put my phone and ipod when they are syncing/charging, as well has having lockable feature so my kids wouldn’t keep resetting or turning off my computer or opening/closing my bluray drive then I think I would definitely consider it 🙂

  8. I’m like Zaralynda, I wouldn’t buy a computer (or anything really) because it was pink, but if I had the option between black and pink, I’d choose pink hands down.

    I love bright and colourful things. I own bedsheets from the movie Madacasgar (but they’re too small to fit a queens 😦 still trying to find playful bedsheets that aren’t sized for kids), my shower curtain has bright fish on it, my placemats and dishtowels have cute owls on them…. And if I could get a pink case for my computer, I totally would.

    Computers SHOULD offer more colour variety, after all, they are kind of home accessories in this day and age.

  9. I don’t like prescribed gender roles or characterizations. I don’t like the idea that pink is a “girl” color (and the reverse, that girls are into bright, non-threatening color tones) or similar types of characterizations for guys. I’m sure that a much greater percentage of girls like pink than percentage of guys, but a large part of that, IMO, is social conditioning rather than anything innate.

    So, I don’t have an issue with a computer maker offering a pink case. The wider variety, the better. And I don’t have any problem with a girl (or boy) wanting to buy one. But I do wish that society (of which this manufacturer is part, with the “For the ladies!” tag line) would let individuals forge their own taste and role destiny, rather than implicitly steering them toward a certain aesthetic or identity.

  10. That cat made the picture. HONEST!

    Anyway. I do see your argument, and on many levels I am with you. Though at times and in certain situations, it’s nice to spend on the ‘unnecessary items’. Maybe you want your computer to look the part. Mean, I know girls, gamers or not, that want everything in PINK. Though I’m sure there are men too XD

    Cool post,

    – Jamin

  11. Clueless, but there’ll be a market for it. Firearms manufacturers did something similar with introducing pink pistols “for the ladies[*]”… which, anecdotally, have actually become pretty popular with gay men and are often bought by guys for their wives.

    [*] most of these being lightweight snubbie revolvers – not something most guys find comfortable to use, much less women. “but it’ll fit fine in her purse”. the fail, it burns…

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