No, this title does not refer to institutions struggling with global economic downturn. Instead, it refers to banks for children, said banks being manufactured by a Japanese firm with a clever idea. In order to encourage children to save money, these banks reward the deposit of a coin with a video game. In essence, they capture for the child the coin he might have spent in an arcade.
This all sounds good -- except for one thing. Of the three banks pictured and described in WIRED magazine, two feature the usual shoot-the-monsters tough-guy games. The third is pink and the game is a shopping marathon.
Now, I suppose that girls could buy any of the three banks. but, of course, children don't buy these artifacts -- adults buy them for children. And it's the same old message: boys go out and do things, girls shop. In pink.
When do these stereotypes expire? I know women who hate shopping; in fact, I'm one of them (Gene Wolfe once affectionately called me a "closet man" because of this). I know girls who want to shoot monsters. Why don't toy makers know them, too?