If you pre-order the new Assassin’s Creed game with Amazon you get a nifty download cloak for your Xbox avatar - but only if you’re male.
Amazon exclusively offered a free download of an outfit worn by Ezio, the main character, in the new game in the Assassin’s Creed series: Revelations.
My sister, Eleanor, being the game loving girl that she is dutifully pre-ordered her copy of the popular Xbox Live game with Amazon and got her download code. So far so good Amazon.
Unfortunately when she proceeded to download the clothing item for her online avatar a screen popped up telling her she was not entitled to this item as her avatar is female and this item is only for males, maybe she should pass it on to someone more… penis-y.
Well not in those exact words – IN THESE EXACT WORDS:
“Can’t redeem your code because the item only fits a male avatar. Your avatar is female. You may want to share this code with a friend who has a male avatar.”
Essentially this is the online equivalent of Eleanor visiting a real life game shop offering free cloaks with a purchase and being told she can’t have one as she is the wrong gender.
“I can’t get my “reward for choosing Amazon” because I’m a girl? I laughed a lot when the message came up because I was in disbelief. I thought we were past this in gaming.” Eleanor said.
Female gamers are becoming a larger part of the online gaming community each year. According to study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2010, 40% of the game playing population is female, and women 18 or older now comprise 33% of all gamers.
The biggest kicker may be that the item in question, Ezio’s cloak, is actually available as a female avatar costume option to buy and wear from the avatar marketplace. So why the male-only download Amazon?
“This is just proving that higher up someone thinks women don’t play games, and definitely don’t pre-order them.” said Eleanor.