A few weeks ago, the fabulous folks over at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center invited me to write a post for their (really quite) fantastic blog exploring a topic related to gender and gaming. Having just watched the footage from last summer's 3G Summit (The Future of Girls, Gaming & Gender), I was inspired to write about the ongoing debate around girls and games (e.g. why don't more girls/women design games and/or play non-casual games, etc.), where it stands today, and how it overlaps with similar concerns about girls and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). I also wanted to touch upon potential for UGC games to open up design practices to a greater diversity of players - and this seemed like a good place to start working out those relationships. The result, Getting (More) Girls into (More) Games, went live earlier today, and I'm quite pleased with the feedback so far (albeit, all through personal correspondence...that comments section is looking mighty lonely!). Here's an excerpt:
While the issue of "girls and gaming" has resurfaced several times over the years, there has been a noticeable shift in approach. During the past decade, girls and women have continued to play digital games in greater and greater numbers. They have done this in various ways, from embracing mainstream games, to contributing to the massive success of gender-inclusive games like Mario Kart and Dance Dance Revolution, to sustaining a small but enduring "pink games" market. Much of the discussion has now shifted onto the importance of paying better attention to the games girls do play, and finding out more about how and why. The conversation has also broadened to include boys and men, through a more inclusive consideration of the issues that all players face when it comes to games and gender.
In other respects the gender gap first observed in the 1990s remains as wide as ever.To read the rest, please check out the original post on the Cooney Center Blog. Big thanks to Marj, Michael and the rest of the team for inviting me to contribute to what's turning out to be an amazing online resource for media producers, educators, students and users. I've been following their informative updates and thoughtful debates with great interest (e.g. the Waiting for Superman discussion from a couple of weeks ago, and ongoing posts on the Creativity Crisis), and am thrilled by the opportunity to add my voice to the mix.