Games and Learning/Topics/Epistemology/Gender
Kafai, Y. B.; Heeter, C.; Denner, J. & Sun, J. Y. (2008), Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New perspectives on gender and gaming, The MIT Press.
Ten years after the groundbreaking From Barbie to Mortal Kombat highlighted the ways gender stereotyping and related social and economic issues permeate digital game play, the number of women and girl gamers has risen considerably. Despite this, gender disparities remain in gaming. Women may be warriors in World of Warcraft, but they are also scantily clad "booth babes" whose sex appeal is used to promote games at trade shows. Player-generated content has revolutionized gaming, but few games marketed to girls allow "modding" game modifications made by players. Gender equity, the contributors to Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat argue, requires more than increasing the overall numbers of female players. Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat brings together new media theorists, game designers, educators, psychologists, and industry professionals, including some of the contributors to the earlier volume, to look at how gender intersects with the broader contexts of digital games today: gaming, game industry and design, and serious games. The contributors discuss the rise of massively multiplayer online games MMOs and the experience of girl and women players in gaming communities; the still male-dominated gaming industry and the need for different perspectives in game design; and gender concerns related to emerging serious games games meant not only to entertain but also to educate, persuade, or change behavior. In today's game-packed digital landscape, there is an even greater need for games that offer motivating, challenging, and enriching contexts for play to a more diverse population of players. Contributors: Cornelia Brunner, Shannon Campe, Justine Cassell, Mia Consalvo, Jill Denner, Mary Flanagan, Janine Fron, Tracy Fullerton, Elisabeth Hayes, Carrie Heeter, Kristin Hughes, Mizuko Ito, Henry Jenkins, Yasmin B. Kafai, Caitlin Kelleher, Brenda Laurel, Nicole Lazzaro, Holin Lin, Jacki Morie, Helen Nissenbaum, Celia Pearce, Caroline Pelletier, Jennifer Y. Sun, T. L. Taylor, Brian Winn, Nick Yee. Interviews with: Nichol Bradford, Brenda Braithwaite, Megan Gaiser, Sheri Graner Ray, Morgan Romine.
Richard, J.; Iacovides, J.; Owen, M.; Gavin, C.; Clibbery, S.; Darling, J. & Drew, B. (2011), 'Digital games, gender and learning in engineering: do females benefit as much as males?', Journal of Science Education and Technology 20 (2), 178-185. http://oro.open.ac.uk/28780/
The aim of this paper was to explore whether there is a gender difference in the beneficial effects of Racing Academy, which is a video game used to support undergraduate students learning of Mechanical Engineering. One hundred and thirty-eight undergraduate students 15 females and 123 males participated in the study. The students completed a pre-test a week before they started using Racing Academy. The pre-test consisted of a test of students’ knowledge of engineering, and a measure of students’ motivation towards studying engineering. A week after using Racing Academy the students completed a post-test which was identical to the pre-test, except it also included a measure of how frequently they used Racing Academy and how motivating the students found playing Racing Academy. We found that after playing Racing Academy the students learnt more about engineering and there was no gender difference in the beneficial effect of Racing Academy, however there is some evidence that, female students found Racing Academy more motivating than male students. The implications for the use and design of video games for supporting learning for both males and females are discussed.
Feng, J.; Spence, I. & Pratt, J. (2007), 'Playing an Action Video Game Reduces Gender Difference in Spatial Cognition', Psychological Science 18 (10), 850-855. http://individual.utoronto.ca/jingfeng1107/FengSpencePratt2007.pdf http://individual.utoronto.ca/jingfeng1107/files/FengSpencePratt_2007_GenderGame_PS.pdf
We demonstrate a previously unknown gender difference in the distribution of spatial attention, a basic capacity that supports higher-level spatial cognition. More remarkably, we found that playing an action video game can virtually eliminate this gender difference in spatial attention and simultaneously decrease the gender disparity in mental rotation ability, a higher-level process in spatial cognition. After only 10 hr of training with an action video game, subjects realized substantial gains in both spatial attention and mental rotation, with women benefiting more than men. Control subjects who played a non-action game showed no improvement. Given that superior spatial skills are important in the mathematical and engineering sciences, these findings have practical implications for attracting men and women to these fields.
Nardi, B. A. (2010), Chapter eight: Gender, in 'My life as a night elf priest: An anthropological account of World of Warcraft' , University of Michigan Press.