1 min

Babe watch

Barbie's not going to like this

STALIN FOR TIME. Historical revisionism with a twist, in Robin C Pacific's culture-jamming Babes In The Woods. Credit: Xtra files

Part art, part instructional CD-Rom, part story telling – all mischief.

Toronto artist Robin C Pacific launched Babes In The Woods this week, her feminist computer game that, at one point, has Barbie screaming “I dream of nipples, Pollo Pollo!” in an animated fit over her anatomical deficiencies.

Opening with bittersweet memories of Pacific’s childhood encounters with the popular kids’ story Babes In The Woods, the game then launches into a series of off-the-wall challenges and tasks.

The look and tone varies throughout: A lot of the animation is purposefully clunky; then there are pages that combine archival materials and beautiful imagery to illustrate Pacific’s poignant stories.

Along the way, the player learns a great deal about topics like Orientalism and Cleopatra or copyright law and Mattel.

Concern over copyright has led Pacific to happily give away all her copies of the CD before Mattel comes after her, as the giant toy manufacturer has done in the past with people having their way with Barbie on the Web and in other forums.

In true culture-jamming fashion, Pacific hopes users will copy the game and pass it along. The first 30 visitors to the Xtra offices (491 Church St, 2nd floor) will get a free copy of Babes In The Woods (works with both Mac and Windows). Ssh, pass it on.