girl gamers

“Girl Gamers” are Three Times as Likely to Pursue STEM Degrees

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A recent study published in the scientific journal Computers in Human Behavior found that young teenage women who were classified as heavy gamers (nine or more hours of gaming a week), were three times more likely to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).

Likewise, a startling 100% of young women who were already in STEM degrees identified themselves as gamers. The study shows that encouraging gaming for adolescent girls is likewise encouraging them to consider education and careers in STEM.

The research was funded by the British Academy and led by Dr. Anesa Hosein. Dr. Hosein is Program Director of PhD in Higher Education at Surrey and self-identifies as a “geek gamer.”

“Despite the pioneering work of people like Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Surrey’s own Daphne Jackson, the first female Physics professor, there are still too few female STEM role models for young women,” said Dr. Hosein. “Our research shows that those who study STEM subjects at degree level are more likely to be gamers, so we need to encourage the girl gamers of today to become the engineering and physics students and pioneers of tomorrow.”

Per the study, Dr. Hosein recommends that any young woman with a pre-disposition toward gaming should be empowered to make the connection between her hobby and the adjacent career fields. She suggests attending gaming panels and meeting STEM role models, and for educators to include gaming as part of STEM curriculum.

“It therefore makes sense, in the short-term, that educators seeking to encourage more take up of STEM subjects should target girl gamers, as they already may have a natural interest in these subjects,” said Dr. Hosein. “We need to get better at identifying cues early to recognize which girls may be more interested in taking up STEM degrees.”

lego overwatch

First LEGO Overwatch Figure is Omnic Bastion

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Earlier this year Activision Blizzard announced a partnership with LEGO to produce special Overwatch LEGO figures. The first of these sets is Omnic Bastion, and it’s available to order now exclusively on the Blizzard Gear store. It will also be available at BlizzCon, which takes place November 2-3 in Anaheim, California.

LEGO Overwatch Omnic Bastion is a large, buildable Bastion figure containing 182 pieces. Curiously, Bastion is featured in his orange Omnic Crisis skin rather than his default gray.

Once built the figure stands five inches tall, including the base. Bastion can swivel his waist and move his arms. Sadly, the LEGO Bastion doesn’t transform into a turret.

Bastion’s flying sidekick Ganymede is also included as a small buildable figure. The set has a recommended age of 10+ and costs $25.00.

A full launch of LEGO Overwatch figures is coming soon.

Overwatch is currently in the middle of its Halloween Terror 2018 event. The seasonal event features the return of Junkenstein’s Revenge and adds two new heroes to the fan-favorite mode – Brigitte and Tracer.

New loot boxes add new skins, emotes and highlight intros. The six new legendary skins are Banshee Moira, Bride Sombra, Enchanted Armor Pharah, Jack-O’-Lantern Wrecking Ball, Slasher: 76 Soldier 76, and Swamp Monster Doomfist. You can also find previous years’ Halloween loot and purchase them at a discount.

The Halloween event ends October 31.

the walking dead

Skybound Games to Finish Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season

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The sudden drama surrounding Telltale Games’ massive layoffs and game cancellations continues. This time it’s a glimmer of hope for fans of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series. At New York Comic-Con, series creator Robert Kirkman announced that the game arm of his company, Skybound Games, will pick up the pieces of The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

Details are still forthcoming. According to Variety, Skybound Games “will work with members of the original Telltale team to finish the story, though nothing has been finalized.”

Last month Telltale shocked the industry when it laid off over 200 employees, effectively canceling nearly all ongoing projects, including The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which had just launched its second episode (out of a planned four episodes).

A skeleton crew remained to finish some contractual work and keep the lights running. But recently, according to one of the employees who remained, they too were laid off. The drama has been a hot topic within the industry, highlighting problems of worker’s rights, severance pay, and a poorly managed company.

Telltale recently announced that they were shopping around for a partner to continue the unfinished final season of The Walking Dead, which fans have been clamoring for.

Skybound Games picking up The Walking Dead makes a lot of sense. Obviously it’s Kirkman’s company, and they have the license to make The Walking Dead games. Skybound Entertainment was founded in 2010 by Kirkman, while Skybound Games launched earlier this year, and has published The Long Dark and Slime Rancher.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season is available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. The first two episodes are available, with the final two handled by Skybound Games. They’re rated M for Mature.