SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
A 6-year-old girl in Ireland, has set off a volley of emails over a board game. Her mother, who happens to be a journalist for the Irish Times, transcribed a letter from her daughter to the Hasbro company of the U.K., complaining that only five of the characters in the Guess Who? board game are women. Nineteen are men. "I'm cross about that," she said, "and if you don't fix it soon, my mum could throw Guess Who? out."
The company wrote back to say Guess Who? is a guessing game, based on numerical equation. The game invites players to guess who is a character - by eye color, hats, glasses or other characteristics, but not race or gender. The company says it wants the game to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences.
The young woman's mother, Jennifer O'Connell, wrote back to say, "Your response has left her more confused." The company wrote back a second time, to say: "We agree that girls are equally important as boys, and we love your suggestion of adding more female characters to the game"; and offered to send sheets with additional characters, including more women with glasses.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIMON: And you're listening to NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.