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FutureKnightX

Official Nintendo FE Cipher Women's Club

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http://fireemblemcipher.blogspot.com/2015/07/news-nintendo-to-host-womens-club-for.html

So, it seems that Nintendo is starting to do "Women's Clubs" for this game, as they apparently have in the past for the Pokemon TCG. It seems to be for adult women only (20 or older) and seems to be something that might be occurring regularly. I think we all agree that this is cool and all that, especially if they serve alcohol like I think they might, seeing as all who can attend must be drinking age.

Now, anyone can discuss whatever involving this, but what I wanna talk about is why is this necessary? I can certainly attest to the fact that places to play TCGs aren't the most inclusive places (it gets to the point where I expect at least one person to substitute the word "gay" when they mean "bad" when I go to my local card shop and yes, that is very much a pet peeve and rather offensive, even when unintentional), but is it so bad that this is needed? I'd like to hear you guys' thoughts on this. Is there something specific to Japan that makes this needed there?

Also, Toiya, if you're reading this (and you likely will lol), then thank you for including that statement about the lack of confirmation about whether trans or genderfluid individuals are welcome there. It's good to see that people know that people at least care about such things. I really hope Nintendo chooses to include them. I really doubt many who would go to these places wouldn't be able to at least empathize with them wanting a place to play games while being themselves without being harassed.

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I think the problem lies with the high rate of sexual harassment and the such that occurs in Japan where some girls don't feel safe being in certain places. We have issues in America as well, but it doesn't seem nearly as bad. There are train cars that are exclusive for female use in Japan to prevent them from being molested on crowded trains. While I think they don't have to worry much about murder and theft on their end, they have to worry about molestation/rape a lot more. But that might be an assumption on my part.

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I, for one, am happy to see anything that'll bring a few more women into my hobby! Would it be possible to organize something like that here, even for an existing card game?

I think the reason why it's 20+ is because the event looks like it'll be hosted at a bar.

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I don't see why that kind of event couldn't happen in other places. Just need a place that would allow it and people to show up.

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I don't see why that kind of event couldn't happen in other places. Just need a place that would allow it and people to show up.

Well, I would love to go to an upscale bar and play cards with people, at the very least! ^^ And I don't think guys need to be barred outside of Japan seeing as our sexual harassment problem isn't close to Japan's level (though I do acknowledge our violent crime is certainly worse).

I would like to go to a place where I can play children's card games without children around (lol) and maybe enjoy a nice cocktail while playing. But I do wonder if there is any place where such a bar would thrive...

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Really depends on the area. There are gaming oriented bars across the US. Not many, but there are a few of them scattered about. I'm still waiting to see if we get any distributors in the US that will try and sell Cipher. There's a good deal of places that sell JP Weiss Schwarz cards and host tournaments. Would like to see Cipher follow suit.

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It's just a marketing thing, so Nint can take pics of the event, stick them in a powerpoint with a bunch of colored graphs and at their next shareholder meeting say, "hey look how popular our new TCG is with women" and how they are "breaking new demographic ground" "stocks will rally" etc.

Trans/genderfluid would only be welcome if they can fit the marketing image of a woman that Nint is hoping for.

There are several places in Japan that are women only, or guys can only go if they are together with a woman. Clubs are usually cheaper or free for women and more expensive for men. Almost all TV shows only let 20-30ish women in the audience. An open restaurant I really like has a nice upper floor, and they wouldn't let me go up alone because they had issues in the past where guys were persistently trying to pick up the girls there. In Japan a lot of girls feel safer around girls, and they are less likely to get their legs grabbed or taken upskirt photos of.

As for why that bar specifically, probably the owner is friends with someone at IS or something :p

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I think the most interesting aspect of this is the targeted age range. I've seen girls-only events for Vanguard and other games that aren't age restricted at all (and obviously, aren't in a bar). This indicates that Nintendo is really shooting for the 20+ audience with Cipher.

Joshikai's also been translated as "girl talk" elsewhere, which is basically the tone of these types of events, but it has an implication of a protracted gathering. Women's clubs/gatherings have been around for a while now in Japan, and companies like dear ol' Ninty have just coopted them to help promote products, and slap together nice looking powerpoints/event reports like audiotronica said. Girls like them because it's an opportunity to hang out, meet other girls and talk about things they can't in front of boys. If any of you have watched Cardfight!! Vanguard G, IIRC one episode this season showed a girls-only event that was pretty much in line with reality. Hosting a women's club improves Nintendo's portfolio by showing how inclusive they are and all the levels Cipher is taking off on. I'd be more surprised if the company didn't do this.

As for the whole trans/genderfluid issue, Nintendo's unlikely to address it directly. The reality for a trans person is pretty similar to a cisgendered person; if they fit the marketing image, they'll probably be included. Gender issues are very hush-hush in Japan (the twist in Banana Yoshimoto's "Kitchen" is still considered shocking almost 30 years later) but this is also the company that lets men wear makeup and dresses in Animal Crossing. Conventionally attractive trans people that hone closer to what an OL is expected to look like are more likely to get the invites to these events than trans persons that don't; it's all about public image.

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I get what Nintendo is trying to do, really, and it is cool and all, but is it really to the point where literally 50% of the population is generally uncomfortable with the other 50% in public places? Because that's kinda...sad. And this kinda stuff just means segregation and separate drinking fountains and all that. No wonder gender issues are more prominent there. Yes, yes, I get that we have more violent crime thanks to NRA lobbying to allow felons to buy guns and all that, but that doesn't mean that this is okay, people. At least this allows for skinship among people of the same gender, you know, provided they don't get attracted to the same gender...

And now I feel like an overly judgmental person...Great...

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I think the most interesting aspect of this is the targeted age range. I've seen girls-only events for Vanguard and other games that aren't age restricted at all (and obviously, aren't in a bar). This indicates that Nintendo is really shooting for the 20+ audience with Cipher.

Joshikai's also been translated as "girl talk" elsewhere, which is basically the tone of these types of events, but it has an implication of a protracted gathering. Women's clubs/gatherings have been around for a while now in Japan, and companies like dear ol' Ninty have just coopted them to help promote products, and slap together nice looking powerpoints/event reports like audiotronica said. Girls like them because it's an opportunity to hang out, meet other girls and talk about things they can't in front of boys. If any of you have watched Cardfight!! Vanguard G, IIRC one episode this season showed a girls-only event that was pretty much in line with reality. Hosting a women's club improves Nintendo's portfolio by showing how inclusive they are and all the levels Cipher is taking off on. I'd be more surprised if the company didn't do this.

As for the whole trans/genderfluid issue, Nintendo's unlikely to address it directly. The reality for a trans person is pretty similar to a cisgendered person; if they fit the marketing image, they'll probably be included. Gender issues are very hush-hush in Japan (the twist in Banana Yoshimoto's "Kitchen" is still considered shocking almost 30 years later) but this is also the company that lets men wear makeup and dresses in Animal Crossing. Conventionally attractive trans people that hone closer to what an OL is expected to look like are more likely to get the invites to these events than trans persons that don't; it's all about public image.

Again I think the target audience is another economic decision. 20+ women are more likely to have disposable income, be more familiar with Fire Emblem (based on age alone, maybe their husband or something plays), and can go out later. To be honest though, it's not like finding 20 adult women who know about Fire Emblem in a metro area with 35 million people is a daunting task or anything. I also think that Nintendo already has a very strong sales with the under-20 female audience (especially children: Wagamama Girls Collection, Animal Crossing, etc.) and 20-34 is probably one of their weaker areas and they are trying to show they are engaged in it. Especially recently Nint is being extremely aggressive with their marketing and FE is no exception. If the event is a (PR) success, they will probably have all ages events as well.

Anyway it's just about the most ordinary thing for a bunch of girls to get together and talk, but when you put it under a sociological marketing lens, it starts to seem stranger and stranger.

Everything you said about transgender/fluid is spot on. Just from a marketing standpoint they aren't a big enough part of Japanese society to be explicit about.

I get what Nintendo is trying to do, really, and it is cool and all, but is it really to the point where literally 50% of the population is generally uncomfortable with the other 50% in public places? Because that's kinda...sad. And this kinda stuff just means segregation and separate drinking fountains and all that. No wonder gender issues are more prominent there. Yes, yes, I get that we have more violent crime thanks to NRA lobbying to allow felons to buy guns and all that, but that doesn't mean that this is okay, people. At least this allows for skinship among people of the same gender, you know, provided they don't get attracted to the same gender...

And now I feel like an overly judgmental person...Great...

It's not a 50/50 dichotomy, it's definitely blown out of proportion by a few but still alarming cases. It's a combination of many socially awkward people influenced by traditional gender roles that cause little experience with the opposite sex outside of family, and semi-frequent sexual harassment. There are still many all-boys, all-girls schools (from pre-k to graduate school) in Japan and many of those students grow up in closed environments with little chance or desire to get out of their comfort zone. Imagine you are a 22 year old who has never talked to any guys besides your father and younger brother. The only other experience you have is getting rubbed up against on the train a few times in high school and being asked by some drunk guy your father's age "how much" on the street at night. I'm not saying this is a common case all for one person but it's possible enough to happen (I know people who fit the description). That kind of environment makes a kind of omnipresent fear, and one person feeling that way or one perpetrator is enough to make it a big deal or societal issue. There's also a difference in what Japanese think is "dangerous" and what Americans do. Japanese think a group of foreigners or homeless walking around is "scary" "suspicious" "up to no good" etc. I've heard it plenty of times. The truth is, you are probably not going to raped or killed by them.

..Anyway hopefully something good will come of this Joshikai :D

Edited by audiotronica

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I don't see why that kind of event couldn't happen in other places. Just need a place that would allow it and people to show up.

Events of this type are usually arranged through "Collaborations" in Japan between the company promoting the product and the owners of the bar/property. These are extremely popular in Japan and especially Tokyo where there is a severe lack of event spaces (as you can imagine there's a severe lack of space full stop.) In prime locations like Akihabara or Shibuya, if you're trying to organize an event of some type, you are extremely unlikely to get an event space to rent out, so you are pretty much forced to work with this collaboration bars.

This means there are several successful companies in Japan (most notoriously Pasela Resorts) who essentialy own giant buildings filled with bars and restaurants which are "rented out" for these collaborations. Sometimes the collaborations last a week, some for much longer. For example I visited a Sailor Moon Crystal collab bar in Shinjuku (don't ask, it was the wife's choice), which was only available for two weeks. The locations are usually 20+ because alcohol and themed drinks are served. Don't forget that a drink after work with your colleagues is also a cultural staple in Japan, so these collab bars really feed off of that too. And much like audiotronica mentioned, it is very strongly a business decision as well since the 20+ year old working ladies are easily the ones with the most disposable income.

I get what Nintendo is trying to do, really, and it is cool and all, but is it really to the point where literally 50% of the population is generally uncomfortable with the other 50% in public places? Because that's kinda...sad. And this kinda stuff just means segregation and separate drinking fountains and all that. No wonder gender issues are more prominent there. Yes, yes, I get that we have more violent crime thanks to NRA lobbying to allow felons to buy guns and all that, but that doesn't mean that this is okay, people. At least this allows for skinship among people of the same gender, you know, provided they don't get attracted to the same gender...

And now I feel like an overly judgmental person...Great...

In regards to the women's only clause, audiotronica explained it much better than I could. There are several train lines throughout Tokyo that have "women's only" carriages to be used during peak times for women and accompanied children only, unfortunately these were created for the same reasons that were explained in his post.

The truth is this is still a highly controversial topic in Japan and as such it is somewhat taboo to discuss it or bring it up. It is one of the many things people will shrug off and accept because that's "the way things are". Of course seeing these things through your eyes, from a completely different point of view, you will react to this kind of stuff differently. Nothing judgemental about it.

You noted your local card shop is not the most accessible place for most women, and unfortunately that is the case not only where I live in England, but also in many places in Japan. I won't even begin to barge into all of the stereotypes, but there is a reason they exist and whilst visiting a number of tcg places like Card Kingdom with my wife I couldn't help but try and think how awkward she felt with the amount of staring and weirdness (myself being a "gaijin" probably didn't help either).

And you know what, at the end of the day this is a marketing/PR event, and you are far more likely to get a positive reaction from a group of girls if they are in a relaxed environment with a group of likeminded girls (the same applies to most men! This is only natural).

Anyway, the event sounds pretty cool and I wouldn't be surprised if the ladies are given a special female unit promo card! They might have themed drinks too? I hope so.

Edited by Colino

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Don't get me started on "the way things are"...

Anyways, I would love to be able to play TCGs with mostly females and maybe even get cocktails while doing so, but I doubt many card shops can even afford to bar kids at any point in their business hours and the gender ratios are just...well, I think we all know what I mean by that. It's just...I'm more feminine in personality than appearance (I like my beard, thank you very much!), so I tend to get strange looks from guys sometimes, so it can be hard to cut loose with fellow males. I never really ever had such problems with females, however. Can't help but feel a tad jealous lol. Wonder if I can get in by accompanying a female and saying I'm gay (which is true, but still)? lol

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