For many teenage girls, fashion is an important aspect of life. Traditional dress-up and makeover games can be played alone or in the company of friends. Girls can mix and match clothes and accessories from their wardrobes or put on a fashion show. Technology also offers additional forms of "dress-up" play for teens, such as free dress-up Flash games, computer games and fashion in online social networks.
Online Flash games are simple "drag and drop" dress-up games in which teens can choose characters and pick their wardrobe from a select batch of clothing items. GirlyGamez and PuterDolls.com both offer free dress-up games in which players can mix and match outfits for anime characters or dolls and select from fashion themes such as beachwear, casual and business attire. I-Dressup.com is another website offering free Flash dress-up games. Players can dress up celebrities, dolls or fantasy characters, and select games offer virtual fashion inspired by retailers such as Wet Seal.
PC & Console Games
Teens can enjoy dress-up games on their computer or home gaming consoles. For example, the developer Big Fish Games has over 20 dress-up games for PC, ranging from dressing up avatars for fashion shows and designing their clothes to creating a wardrobe for dogs and fashion match games. "Imagine Fashion Party" for the Nintendo Wii allows players to mix and match clothes, makeover a character's hair and take a turn on the catwalk, while "Style Savvy" for Nintendo DS boasts over 10,000 clothing items for gamers to dress characters in.
Social Network Games
In addition to one-player dress-up games, the Internet provides an outlet for free fashion games that tie in social interaction and networking. These games allow players to create an "avatar," a unique character persona, that they can dress in a variety of outfits and accessories. TinierMe allows teens to create an avatar in a "chibi" style, similar to that found in forms of Japanese anime and manga. Players can buy new clothes and visit each others' "rooms" to leave messages. IMVU avatars come in three-dimensional graphics. The interface lets players create their own content and has a heavy emphasis on chatting with other users. Second Life is another social playground geared towards individuals aged 13 and older. Avatars can be dressed as desired, and players can socialise, trade and play games. Second Life also has applications in education, art and other fields.
Teen girls can play traditional dress-up in real life alongside virtual games. Girls can rent or purchase costumes for a party, or they can invite their friends over for a fashion show. In addition to trying on clothes and putting together the perfect outfit, teens can also consider giving each other makeovers or manicures and pedicures.
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