Gardening Mama?

The proof is here – gardening has finally “made it.”


Not because we get to follow the progress of the First Garden and our First Lady actually getting down on her knees to help plant seedlings – go Michelle!  Not due to surveys suggesting a marked increase in home gardening.  Forget the fact that seed suppliers are busier than ever.


We can be sure that gardening is truly a hot topic because of this … Gardening Mama … a VIDEO game soon to be released for Nintendo.  That’s right … a video game purported to be about gardening – about Mama gardening – not Papa, not Kids, not even Grandma and Grandpa.


I don’t expect this game will provide in-depth, real-life information on how to grow tomatoes, and since I’ve not seen the game first hand I cannot judge how accurate or fun it might be.  Somehow, though, I don’t see it racing to the top of video fave lists.  I’m not a video game player, but I’ve raised a few male humans who are, and I suspect they would only laugh at the idea of playing this game.  But boys are not the targeted market, young girl’s are.


The New York Times quotes a producer with the company that makes the game as saying “We were looking for ways to take Mama out of the kitchen.”


So, Gardening Mama is a spin-off of Cooking Mama.


My blood pressure reaches new highs every time I think about these games – how they feed into stereotypes of Mama in the kitchen and, now, Mama in the garden, and don’t equally show men or kids doing the same things.  My kids would tell me ‘relax – these are just video games, they don’t reflect real life role models that are so much more important.’  And to a certain extent, this is correct.  Millions of kids, mine included, grew up playing Doom and other ‘violent’ video games without reverting to similar violent tactics in their every day lives.


But couldn’t the game makers devise Gardening Family or The Adventures of Cooking Family … or even a related series titled Gardening or Cooking Papa or Gardening or Cooking Kids?  Was it necessary to place Mama, but not a host of other family members, first in the kitchen and now in the garden?



Filed under Gadgets & Stuff, Gardening, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Gardening Mama?

  1. Joene,

    I saw the article about Gardening Mama too and had the same reaction. My first thought was ‘how sexist can Nintendo be’ and I must admit there’s a part of me that stills feels that way. But after looking at a few reviews I think I feel a bit better about the game.

    It sounds like ‘Mama’ is a multi-million dollar franchise for Nintendo. Granted she started out cooking and now she’s gardening but I do think the game might be able to teach some very valuable lessons – for girls & boys.

    Players must nurture their plants and the better job they do the more rewards they get – just like real life! According to one review I read, players “create a garden from the seed up, using the DS stylus, to dig holes, water plants, mix fertilizer, and other gardening-centric tasks”.

    So I guess my feeling is that while it’s not perfect, it’s a start and hopefully a whole group of kids who have not exposed to gardening in real life will learn some valuable lessons in the virtual world.

    Maybe we should start a campaign to have Mama’s next adventure involve saving GM or the banking industry!

  2. joenesgarden

    Thanks for the info, but I’m not convinced that virtual gardening will lead to actual gardening, and I’d rather see kids outside doing something physical, especially at the young age this game targets, rather than sitting in front of a video screen. And I’m still uncomfortable with the Mama cooking and gardening aspect as this falls directly into standard stereotypes. Nintendo has a slew of extremely creative game creators at its disposal. I find it hard to believe they could not encourage a more forward thinking gender-neutral format. The one upside I see is that gardening is popular enough to model in a video game.

  3. hendu

    relax, it is just a game 🙂

  4. joenesgarden

    Progeny speaks.

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