Horrible Dating Sim Objectifies Women, Treats Men Like Idiots

Just, no. No.

ZOOB: Just say no.

I’d thought I’d seen it all when it comes to misogynistic, women-as-objects gamification strategies out there, but apparently there’s yet another fine example sent directly to our Cult of Mac inbox recently.

Here’s the pitch for oh-so-scintillating dating simulator, “Mingling At The Gallery:”

Don’t have the time or comfortability to go out, date and meet new people? That’s no longer a problem because ZOOB has created a game providing the experience of your own dating adventure, mingling with people through an engaging, fun and educational iOS app called “Mingling at the Gallery.”

Sure, the company name sounds like the ugly stepsister of n00b + boob, but it might be fun to play a game about the complex interactions needed in successfully navigating a night out at an art gallery, with maybe some tips thrown in for those of us who need a little practice.

Then I watched the promo video.

Alright, let’s break this down. First up, this is clearly an app for men. All the potential dates are women wearing incredibly clingy, low-cut dresses. There’s the party girl who won’t hang out with you because you don’t drink. There’s the “cougar” who wants a man to “take charge,” and–make me take a vow of celibacy now–the girl next door you really want to fall in love with. Because (obviously) the other girls are hot, but why would you fall in love with them?

Aside from the horribly one-dimensional, stereotypical, objectified females in this “game,” the video is breathless in its description of all the things you can do. You can eat food! Get in fights! Oh, and lest you forget, you can “drink!”

Are they targeting this to young men who can’t figure out how to eat, drink, or avoid ridiculous high-school style fights? Are we really this clueless?

Further on in the email, we get this amazing statement:

“For the first time (at least for some men), the romantic possibilities are endless.”

Sigh. Not really. Look, fellas, this is an interactive movie in which you get to figure out what specific options will work to get the three or four caricatures of women to like you and probably pretend to have sex with you. It’s not romantic, it’s not real, and it’s incredibly insulting to both women and men.

Do yourself a favor and go to a real art opening in your local town, and–why the heck not–try talking to people you’re interested in, and share a bit of your own self with them while asking them about themselves. You’ll not only be more likely to enjoy yourself, but you might actually get to “eat food” and “date” if you focus on real people instead of these mannequins.


If this seems like something you’d enjoy, you can get Mingling At The Gallery in the App store for $1.99.


About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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