I find it a little funny that video games are discouraged for girls. Certain cognitive skills are far easier to develop and hone in video games simply because there is little to no platform (particularly for kids) to practice those skills in daily life. In most children’s games, this mostly applies to spatial orientation and fine motor skills (I’m talking the difference between pressing your thumb 4mm to the left, when 7mm to the left means you fall into a pit and die, or a specific type of swivel of the joystick that takes no longer than 1 second to execute/fail at). But in games that are geared to adults (like Dark Souls, review linked above), the challenge is in the limitlessness of the challenges and possible solutions, as well as the absurdity of things that can happen unexpectedly and without precedent, which allows the player to boundlessly hone problem solving and logical reasoning skills, and be prepared for anything.
So while boys are tirelessly developing their ability to adapt their cognitive skills to generate solutions to increasingly complex problems, thereby preparing themselves for a creatively generative day-to-day life, what are girls up to?
Honestly, if I recall my own childhood accurately, dolls, tv/books/movies, and arts & crafts. We decorate and dress things up and follow pre-written storylines, fantasizing out loud to each other what the dialogue might be between Barbie and Ken. How many times in this fantasizing did I face Barbie with a challenge, other than, “How do she and Ken meet and become happily ever after?” Did anybody ask me, “What if Barbie wants a goddamn job?” or, more importantly, “What are the many reasons why Cinderella had bigger fucking problems than finding a man, and how is she gonna solve them by herself?”