Harvest Moon is all about running a farm, wooing a local, and starting a family, so it's essentially Rural Idaho: The Game. You can usually play as either a boy or a girl, but if you decide to drop the Y chromosome in Harvest Moon 3, the developers make damn sure to share their feelings on women in agriculture.
It's fine for a game to have gender-exclusive abilities, but here it's about as lopsided as pitting Master Chief against Cooking Mama in gladiatorial combat. The boy has more stamina, which means that on every single day the dude can accomplish more on the farm, while the girl has to quit early to rest up and fix her hair. And only the boy can upgrade his farm tools to make them more efficient, because the only tool girls can figure out are the ones in the kitchen, right?
Natsume On the Game Boy, the real trick is figuring out which gender you're actually playing as.
But, while playing as a girl makes the game harder, it's the relationship mechanic that really mashes the potatoes (that's a farm expression, right?). If you play as a boy and get married, the game will continue as normal and you'll eventually raise two children. But if you get hitched as a girl, it's Game Over.
Natsume Uhh ...
You immediately pump out a baby in a cutscene, and then leave all that tedious manual labor to your husband so you can watch daytime TV for the rest of your life. Because even in the magical fantasy world of video games it's impossible for a woman to have a family and a career.
Natsume At least you get a beautiful ceremony out of it.
Scott Elizabeth Baird can be found rooting for the White Walkers on his Twitter page.
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