Dress up games are a common genre of online gaming for young girls and teens. The core of the game is expressing one’s fashion sense by dressing up a virtual doll. With many traditional dress up games, the game is over once the player is done perfecting their doll’s look. However, with Dress Up 2.0 games, a more advanced version of the traditional game, there are many more aspects in play. These advanced features include elements such as earning currency to shop for clothing, allowing players to design their own clothing, owning fashion stores, and joining fashion guilds. Each of these elements offer valuable learning experiences to young girls and teens, and are skills that they will need in their adulthood. More importantly, these lessons are learned within the platform of a game, which makes it fun and inconspicuous.
Earning In-Game Currency
In advanced dress up games, the clothing is not just given to the player as it is in traditional dress up games. Instead, shopping malls are available within the game, and players must use their in-game currency to buy clothing for their doll. To obtain currency, the players must earn it. They are able to earn it by completing fashion-related quests, winning fashion battles against other dolls, or by selling items to other players that they have created themselves. Not only does this provide an additional challenge within the game, but it also teaches young girls that in life, you must work for the things you want fashion dress.
Also, with the use of in-game currency, players must also learn the valuable lesson of managing their finances. Many advanced dress up games allow players to rent apartments or fashion stores. In essence, this is giving the players the responsibility of paying bills. This causes the players to become conscientious about how they are managing their currency. They know that they must pay their bills, so that will mean they need to put those funds to the side and work a bit harder to earn more for their shopping sprees.
One way that some advanced dress up sites help users manage their currency is by providing virtual banking. Players learn how to use a bank account to save up for big purchases and also what it means to accrue interest on savings.
In addition to providing game-made clothing, advanced dress up games allow players to create their own clothing. Some games provide editing tools to allow players to customize pre-made clothing. Other games offer players the freedom of designing clothing in their own editing tools such as GIMP and uploading the creations onto the website. Allowing players to create their own designs exposes them to advanced fashion and technological concepts like graphic design. Many players really get into this aspect of the game and become wizzes at graphic editing tools, technology, and clothing design in general. These are valuable skills that players can use immediately with school projects, and even later in life when determining a career.
Owning Fashion Stores
Many dress up games that allow players to design their own clothing also allow them to sell their designs to other players. They are typically able to do this by creating a virtual storefront and stocking it with their designs. This entrepreneurial aspect of the game gives players an idea of what it takes to run a business. They learn first-hand about the fundamentals of economics such as supply and demand, marketing and promoting their business, and competing with other store owners for customers. The players learn how to set the price of their designs high enough to earn a profit, but low enough to attract customers. They also learn to use their imagination to come up with ways to differentiate their business from others as a way to stay competitive.
Joining Fashion Guilds
Fashion guilds are groups of players that share common interests. Guilds compete against one another in fashion-related quests. Guild members immediately see what it means to work as a team. Given a task, the guild members realize that they must work together or they will fail. They learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual members and use this to determine how to assign roles for completing tasks. Players also learn to be dependable and accountable, or risk letting their entire guild down. Learning to be an effective team player is a valuable life lesson that these players will use again and again; whether it be on group projects at school or in a corporate setting when they are older.
Advanced dress up games teach young girls and teens that there’s more to life than being beautiful. These games use fashion as a center piece to expose players to valuable lessons that they will use in their every day life.
Angie Jones, 28, is the co-owner and lead developer of Diva Chix, a Dress Up 2.0 gaming community. Angie has a BS degree in Computer Science, works as a software engineer at a Fortune 500 company, and has more than 50 patent-pending inventions to her name. Angie has been featured in several magazines and received numerous awards for her outstanding achievements in the field of technology.