Middle-to-High School Girls as Game Designers – What are the Implications?

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Game modding

The percentage of young women choosing educational paths leading to science and technology-based employment has been dropping for several years. In our view, the core cause for this phenomenon is not a lack of ability, but rather a combination of low self efficacy, misconception of the IT field, and lack of interest and social support from families and peers. The specific aim of this paper is to discuss a case study – a class named Gaming for Girls. This class was offered to middle and high school girls three times from Fall 05 to Summer 06. In these classes, female students assumed the role of designers and developers engaged in developing their own games using commercial game engines. Based on this experience, we assert that through the activity of designing games using game engines, girls can (a) gain an understanding of the game development process, (b) acquire computer science skills, and (c) increase their confidence level with regards to computing.

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