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Google claims the controller for its new Stadia console is ‘gender neutral’ in bizarre marketing campaign

Patrick Kelleher November 21, 2019
Google Stadia games controllers

Google Stadia (Drew Angerer/Getty)

Google is apparently trying to market its new games console Stadia to women by choosing “gender neutral” colours for its controllers.

Google vice president and head of Stadia Phil Harrison bragged about their “gender neutral” design in an interview with CNN Business.

“Some of our historical competitors in the console space have been a bit more masculine and a bit more mechanical in their approach,” he said.

Google Stadia developers are very proud of themselves for selecting a ‘gender neutral’ light green colour.

So, Stadia developers considered hundreds of colours, polled gamers, and eventually decided on three extraordinary options for controllers, likely never seen by human eyes before: white, black and a light green “wasabi” colour. They’re particularly proud of the “wasabi” controller because of its “universal appeal.”

Google director of design Isabelle Olsson, ignoring the existence of non-binary and genderqueer people, said: “Both men and women gravitated towards this colour. It ended up being super gender neutral but still very expressive. It’s really hard to find colours like that.”

Some of our historical competitors in the console space have been a bit more masculine and a bit more mechanical in their approach.

Elsewhere, Google officials patted themselves on the back for being so kind as to make the controllers “for small and large hands” so it’s usable “for a large segment of gamers that aren’t always appreciated”, industrial designer Jason Pi said.

The bizarre marketing campaign hinges on the idea that light green is a gender neutral colour.

To say the marketing campaign is unusual would be an understatement. It seems to hinge on the idea that all other games consoles are somehow not made for women.

It is also, frankly, bizarre that they tried to come up with a colour that was “gender neutral” – here seemingly meaning that it appeals to cisgender men and women equally – and got as far as light green. Groundbreaking, as Miranda Priestly would say.

We’re sure women everywhere will be absolutely thrilled to learn that they can finally play video games thanks to Google kindly discovering a “gender neutral” colour such as light green.

Google Stadia is a cloud-based gaming platform that was launched earlier this week. Sadly for the tech giant, it has not opened to the best reviews. According to The Verge, the platform works, but has some issues.

More: gender neutral, Google, Google Stadia, light green, wasabi

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