Earlier this week Taylor Soper posted a story in GeekWire about a massively cool program to encourage middle-school girls to pursue STEM careers—careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The program, called GAMES Initiative, is a partnership between several organizations to design and build three new, free games. The game designers will ask middle-school girls to help in the design process. The goal of encouraging women in STEM is great, but we think the idea of using girls’ input in game design is great too. We’ve talked before about how women are represented in games—and about how it often seems as if game designers forget all about women gamers. This time, girls will get to say what plots, characters, art, and other elements they want in their games. After the design ideas are gathered,  there will be a game jam to sort through the ideas, and then one company will be selected to develop the top three ideas. Later, when the girls play the games, built-in analytics will help the GAMES Initiative people figure out what strategies work to motivate girls to go into STEM fields. It’s an ambitious project, and its organizer, Tayloe Washburn of Northeastern University, isn’t sure how it will play out. We hope it succeeds. Any effort that helps girls decide that a career in technology is a viable option is a good thing for society. Plus, we just want more games designed with input from girls and women. So we can play them!

(Source: GeekWire)

Linda Breneman

Linda Breneman

Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda Breneman.com or her family foundation's website, ludusproject.org.