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Revenge of the License: Barbie Explorer

Michael Crisman writes, "A long time ago, in a now-defunct game development studio, an idea was born. What if girls really could do anything boys could do? Suppose there truly were no limits on their ability to succeed, if gender differences were stripped away, and a positive role model could be found to help girls all over the world realize their full potential? Why, that would mean a woman could be an archaeologist and star in her own adventures just like Indiana Jones! What woman wouldn’t love that idea: traveling the world, exploring lost cities, finding forgotten artifacts, evading danger by the hair of her pony-tail? “Perfect,” said someone in a power suit, “green-light that baby and get it on PlayStation consoles everywhere by, say, September of next year!” Were this the origin story of a certain pistol-packing, dinosaur-slaying icon from 1996, this article would have a happy ending. My editors like happy endings for this column the way you enjoy a vigorous helping of genital rug burn. That means I can only talk about Barbie Explorer from Runecraft Studios and Vivendi Universal, and not Tomb – uh, that other game about a globe-trotting adventurer with two X chromosomes. Much like Indiana Jones, I can only say I’m sorry so many times."

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