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India is making headlines with a new online game called “Angry Brides“, which highlights the problem of illegal dowry demands for women.
The Facebook game, which was created by online matchmaker shaadi.com and inspired by the hugely popular “Angry Birds” game, has attracted more than 270 000 fans on Facebook.
The game allows players to attack prospective grooms seeking a dowry with a variety of weapons, from a brick-red stiletto to a broomstick.
The player is presented with three grooms — an engineer, a doctor and a pilot — who have to dodge the attacks while demanding dowries starting at 1.5 million rupees (US$30 000). Each time a groom is hit, the player wins money towards a virtual anti-dowry fund.
“Shaadi.com has always believed that marriage is an institution of love, where there is a place for togetherness, mutual understanding, family values and emotional support but not for dowry!” it said in a statement.
India outlawed the paying and accepting of a dowry in 1961, but the archaic tradition of the bride’s parents presenting gifts of cash, clothes, jewellery, and even appliances to the groom’s family is still being practiced by some.
Demands for dowry often persist well past the wedding ceremonies, and in the worst cases, brides are tortured and even murdered if they or their parents do not comply. Talk about setting feminism back a couple of centuries.
According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau in 2010, 8 391 women died in dowry-related deaths, and 44 percent of all crimes against women in the country were carried out by their husbands and relatives.
As a game goes, it’s pretty fun. What woman wouldn’t want to do serious bodily harm to a man wanting to take her for all she’s worth? That being said, the fun factor dies out quickly and the game loses its appeal. I’d say this one’s for women only.