Monday, September 21, 2015

EDUCATION - Girls Coding Video Games

"Teaching girls to write the rules at video game coding camp" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2015


SUMMARY:  Video games are still largely aimed at a male audiences, which is no surprise since women make up a small portion of game designers and programmers.  But that doesn't mean that girls aren't interested in playing and creating.  Girls-only computer camps aim to balance the gender gap in the next generation of coders.  Special correspondent Sandra Hughes reports.

SANDRA HUGHES (NewsHour):  It’s no secret that video gaming is aimed at a male audience.  From creation to design to playing the games, the mostly violent first-person shooter games target boys, not girls.

No wonder.  In 2013, women accounted for just 11 percent of computer game designers and only 3 percent of programmers.  Ten-year old Scarlett Thompson isn’t too young to understand there’s a gender gap.

SCARLETT THOMPSON, Alexa Cafe Participant:  I love video games.

SANDRA HUGHES:  Do you really?

SCARLETT THOMPSON:  Yes.  So, I mean, there’s really…

SANDRA HUGHES:  So, what’s it like — what’s it like for a girl who likes video games?  Is it a tough world to be in?

SCARLETT THOMPSON:  Kind of, because then, like, you have to compete with people, and it’s just — sometimes it’s really hard, like, online.  It’s not as fair and, like, I — like, oh, no I have a girl on my team.  What am I going to do?

SANDRA HUGHES:  These girls want to be more than just on the team.  They want to create the game.  They spent their summer break, along with thousands of others, at girls-only computer coding camps like the Alexa Cafe and Code Like a Girl.

These camps aim to balance the gender gap in the next generation of coders by supporting an early interest in technology from girls.

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