Thesis Chapter 1 in Progress
“Why don’t women play games?”. This was the question that set me down my thesis path
● Why Young Girls?
○ Benefits of educating girls separately
○ Gap between boys and girls in tech careers
On gender sensitive education (subheading)
When girls are educated in an all-female school environment teachers seem to move away from traditional gender stereotypes and this contributes positively to personal development by focusing on the individual qualities that define each student (Hembrow-Beach, year). Benefits include higher leadership aptitude, courage, and self-confidence. [move to list of references “Developing the Girl as a Leader”]. ; For example, girls are more comfortable to try something new, learn from failure and take on leadership roles clubs like math and science, or roles like funniest or most athletic. Passages Northwest, an all-girls educational program, seeks to provide supportive outdoor environments that allow girls to build and test skills while also forming new relationships. [Developing the Girl as a Leader, Yes, I can find the original source and quote more if needed]
In a different approach teachers create scripts and assign speaking parts to students based on their personal, economic, social or educational standing in school (Zambo, year) [Young Girls Discovering their Voice].. This program, Readers Theater, provides young children of both genders with the means to build confidence and solve personal issues by taking on the voice of powerful and positive role models in literature. Divided by gender, one group performs in front of the other, and special care is given throughout the practices so that each child benefits from the role. An example given by Zambo is that a girl with relatively low social standing is given the lead role to boost her confidence, and a more popular girl is given a smaller role to help her understand the importance of supporting her fellow classmates. Girls are provided with a positive setting that allows them to try on a persona outside of their own. They are encouraged to read their words with strength and force to convey the nature of their role.
This fantasy play is important for young children…. [new reference]
On Games for Learning (subheading)
● Why Video games?
○ Benefits of games
○ Successes in implementing game learning
○ Educational games
[Now, introduce games from a research contribution perspective in relation to education for young girls] In video games, a common format for adventure gameplay is to present the player with a puzzle that seems impossible and provide them with the skills to solve that puzzle. Players are learning skills very specific to the game (Educational Fantasy, year).
Based on a study of a game-based initiative in Scotland between 2007 and 2010, games evidently improved problem solving skills, confidence and self-esteem (Groff and Howells, year). In the classrooms where games were used to facilitate learning, teachers saw an increase in student enthusiasm and interest in the lessons. For example, a lesson used the game Guitar Hero (Activision, year). Teachers initially designed a lesson around gameplay within Guitar Hero and subsequently students directed the theme of the lessons, designed a website for the band, created biographies for the members, recorded a single for the band, wrote newspaper articles on shows they played at and even designed ads to sell their CDs. These activities helped them achieve learning outcomes in a more comprehensive way than traditional methods. In this example, a game was the basis for the lesson, creating an environment for students to participate and contribute meaningfully, thus making the experience more tangible.
Repeated and encouraged exposure to games and game design has been shown to have a positive effect on young girls’ perceptions of the gaming industry (Van Eck, year) [expand].
Games for Girls: Principles of Design (sub heading)
Because young girls learn differently from boys, can benefit from all-girls educational surroundings and positive female role models, there is way to design a game for girls using these observations. [all female demographic, role playing, fantasy, repeated exposure] Targeting an all-female demographic allows for the game to encourage the player to try on roles she might have previously believed to be reserved for boys. She can take on a new identity and learn new skills crucial to her success at saving the world. Similar to an all-girls school or excursion program, games provide a more controlled atmosphere. Positive reinforcement can be programmed into the game, and the consequences of failure can be calibrated to the level acceptable to young girls. (what level is acceptable?)
● What challenges do young girls face?
○ How do girls define themselves at this age?
Games offer a healthy alternative to traditional teaching methods that are offered to young girls today [says who?]. Some schools offer programs for young girls and boys to talk about current issues, healthy relationships, and engagement in school (Ringrose & Renold 2012) [and the relevancy of this statement to the topic…]. These programs are helpful, but have to adhere to the rules and regulations of the institution [says who?]. In their study, Ringrose and Renold noticed a disconnect in the desires of the students’ willingness to attend and talk about the local SlutWalk and it is implications with the reluctance of the teachers to even use the term “slut” at all. Some students attended the SlutWalk with their parents, but the teachers leading the program we unable to accompany them, and attended the event separately. There was a limit to the discussions and questions the girls were allowed to have, set by the school. While it is important for institutions like schools, recreational facilities, and churches to offer social programs for young girls, there will always be a limit to the resources and scope these programs offer. [Ok, finally, are building your understanding of the problem and found one study. You need a few hundred like these to have a basic understanding of the area. One paper is definitely not enough to set the context. Don’t be discouraged. This is a good find and a good start.]
● Where are there gaps?
○ What areas are missed by the traditional help?
○ What about the digital?
● How can games fill in the gaps? [Ask first, can games really fill these particular gaps? If you say yes, then cite credible references]
○ What relevant issues are solvable through games? Why?
○ What type of game solves this problem? Why? [Don’t worry about “best”; worry about any solutions and classify them]
● Learning and Fantasy