‘Secret Flirts’ game branded ‘toxic’ by critics

June 23rd, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 23 (ANI): A game called ‘Secret Flirts’, for Nintendo DS, has come under fire because it teaches young girls how to flirt.

Family groups have condemned the game that claims to show girls how to “make everyone fall for you,” and have described it as a dangerous sexualisation of youth culture.

A promotional video that gives a preview of Secret Flirts begins a groovy young girl giving a sly wink and a Cupid’s arrow piercing a pink heart.

In its first “lessons”, the game teaches girls to do their make-up and choose clothes and accessories.

The next lesson is to “improve your attraction” by going to a hairdresser, a beauty centre and a gym.

Then players are ready to listen to advice from the “Love Coach”.

According to News.com.au, Secret Flirt promises: “Become more irresistible day after day - then win the heart of the boy of your dreams.”

Secret Flirt will be available online from June 30, but an Australian retail date has not been announced.

Developed by Smack Down Productions for French company Nobilis Group, the game has been marked suitable for players aged “three plus.”

Angela Conway, director of Pro-Family Perspectives, criticised the “toxic emphasis” of marketing sexualised themes to a young age group.

“Playing Secret Flirt means playing with the hang-ups and preoccupations of the sexualised culture. Secret Flirt is not likely to help young people develop their unique, well-rounded character… for genuine long-term wellbeing and relationships,” said Conway.

She added: “Instead, with its toxic emphasis on reconstructing one’s appearance and personality for the sole purpose of successful flirtation, it risks contributing to sexualisation and increased prevalence of body image problems, depression and anxiety in young people.” (ANI)

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