No, it’s not a typo. Angry Brides is an actual game launched on Facebook by the site Shaadi.com. The brides in Angry Brides deploy common household items such as slippers, rolling pins or frying pans at grooms. Each hit decreases the “value” of the groom. To understand the concept, a primer on Indian society might be helpful. In a culture of arranged marriages, the bride’s family is expected to pay a dowry to the groom’s family. The dowry operates on a sort of sliding fee scale where a medical doctor, engineer or pilot commands higher bride prices than those of less means. Angry Brides aims to level the playing field, in the fantasy world at least. In Hindi, Shaadi means marriage and the site shaadi.com, said to be one ofIndia’s “best known brands,” is Indian matchmaking for the digital age.
While the game may take a playful look at the issue of dowries, there’s a very serious side to this. In 1961 the Indian Government outlawed dowries but, as is the case with many social ills, the practice continues in covert ways. Every year inIndiathere are reports of women being killed for non-payment of dowries. There’s even a Wikipedia page on Dowry Deaths. Angry Brides developers say the game is their way of “condemning the menace” encouraging gamers to take a stand against it. Perhaps Angry Brides is a first step to getting beyond such practices or perhaps simple statistics will make a difference. With Indian families demonstrating a preference for male babies, we have arrived at the point where there are fewer girls – 914 girls to 1,000 boys.