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Wednesday, August 17 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm

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Rule the Roost: Designing a Game That Builds STEM Identity for Girls

A strong STEM identity is crucial to both choosing and persisting through STEM careers. This is especially true for women and young girls, who face additional barriers. SciGirls is a transmedia initiative that addresses these barriers by engaging tween girls with STEM experiences and changing their perceptions of STEM careers. Rule the Roost is an online game that promotes the development of a strong, positive STEM identity through the integration of SciGirls gender equitable strategies, citizen science, and creative game design. Elements of alternate reality gaming and self-directed learning engage players in completing real world projects that develop STEM and 21st century skills. These skills, connected to game skills and experience points, are reflected as part of an online profile defining the player’s STEM identity, which can ultimately transfer to her personal identity.

More Than Making Games: Exploring the Professional Pathways of Women in the Game Industry

Many educators, researchers, and industry stakeholders share the common goals of fostering inclusivity in game communities and seeking ways to support young women in games and technology. This paper reports findings of a qualitative research study investigating the learning pathways, experiences, and expectations of women who work in the game industry. Interview data reveals that women in games share a common interest in making game communities and workspaces better for the next generation of game designers. Overall, participants’ contributions to these efforts fall into four primary roles: educators, advocates, role models, and leaders. Findings from this study begin to describe how game industry professionals understand their personal and professional pathways, and reveal how participants approach solutions for common barriers. This work hints at a number of possible research directions for researchers and educators looking to design better programs, curricula, and interventions that support young women along their learning pathways.

Understanding the Gap: Gender Similarities and Differences in Persistence and Self-Efficacy in a Coding Game
Lee, Malkiewich, & Slater

Traditional research on gender differences in learning and motivation yield a rich outline of how self-efficacy, persistence behaviors, and learning outcomes differ between boys and girls. These differences are especially prominent in male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects, where girls are less interested and engaged despite negligible gender differences in actual performance. These gender disparities in interest and motivation have been echoed in previous research on game preferences, but are quickly transforming as girls take greater interest in and play more games. This paper investigates affective and behavioral differences between gender when learning to code in a game. Results indicated that girls and boys do not differ in their coding self-efficacy, but girls are more resilient and persist longer in the face of failure. Our analyses provide implications for how future research may disentangle the interactions between self-efficacy in coding and games, failure, persistence, and gender role beliefs.

avatar for Elisabeth Gee

Elisabeth Gee

Professor, Arizona State University
I'm the Associate Director of the Center for Games & Impact at ASU, and co-directing the Play2Connect initiative with Dr. Sinem Siyahhan at Cal State-San Marcos. I'm interested in gender and gaming, game-based affinity spaces, and intergenerational play.

avatar for Laura Beukema

Laura Beukema

Game Designer, Twin Cities Public Television

Alison Lee

New York, NY, United States, Classroom, Inc.

Laura Malkiewich

New York, NY, United States, Teachers College Columbia University
avatar for Amanda Ochsner

Amanda Ochsner

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California

Stefan Slater

New York, NY, United States, University of Pennsylvania

Wednesday August 17, 2016 3:30pm - 4:30pm CDT
Landmark Union South