I’ve had a few readers ask me how did I start Digital Dollhouse (and something in the way they approached the topic gave it the significant context of “just how crazy do you have to be to want to build a virtual dollhouse?” ) I completely understand why it must seem strange that a woman nearing 40 would be in love with the idea of creating a perfect virtual toy. But then again, I was the same person who used to change the outfits on the Barbie outfits on her desk with some regularity. Thank goodness I worked at Mattel and only a few people thought it was strange.
My answer and thoughts about this matter are a little complicated. I am still extremely aware of my…I guess you could call it “inner child” (I live in Los Angeles so I’m allowed to say such things.) I remember being eight like it was yesterday. My husband is often shocked at how clear my memories are -and how quickly I can revert to some rather unflattering child like behavior. I also find that I have always had a strong affinity for young girls. Girls between five and twelve immediately peg me as the one adult who will gladly share her lipstick, discuss the Jonas Brothers and show you how to make a fortune teller out of paper that really works. I’ve lost countless beaded necklaces to strangers’ children and am pretty much willing to dump out my whole purse if a perfume sample will make some little girl somewhere happy. I speak Barbie, Tinkerbell and Disney Princess fluently.
Digital Dollhouse exists because I wanted to make something beautiful and affordable for girls of all ages to play. I didn’t want it to be too frilly or young so that a 12 year old would lose her self respect by playing “dollhouse” but I still wanted it to be pretty enough and engaging enough for a six year old. I know so many kids are into the cartoony and complex worlds of Sims and Habbo and Club Penguin but I wanted to create something truly unique. I keep reminding myself that this is an experiment. There are no guarantees that enough girls will come to play here and buy gifts and treasure what they create. I’m often stupified when I realize how far I (and the team) have yet to go with all the necessary features (the new Beach House, the Facedoll (more about that later) and more explicit feedback between members and the site.) But I also remind myself that every day is an adventure at the dollhouse and that this was my choice. And the site gets a little bit better every day and that is all I can ask of my tremendous production team.
So I hope that answers some of your questions. More dollhouse updates to come. Here are some new rooms from our amazing member designers.