No girls allowed

I recently became involved with an initiative out of Northeastern university to narrow the gender gap is STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Girls GAMES aims to capture a young woman’s interest in these fields early through he use of video games, then keep them engaged as they move through school. You can read more about at Northeastern’s newsletter: http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2013/06/girls-games/

I was on the hunt for a contact’s name when I stumbled on the newsletter article. Even though I knew the goal of the project, I read the article anyway, as well as the sole comment and its reply.

The commenter was concerned that video games were the right approach for reaching girls:

“Unless things have changed dramatically since I was younger – GIRLS DON’T TYPICALLY PLAY VIDEO GAMES?!?”

Ah, there it is.

In his defense, the commenter did admit that his comment sounded chauvinistic (you think?) and that he was only speaking on console gaming, but his thoughts only echo what so many people, men and women, think – video games are for boys.

The reply to the OP was a polite, fact-filled rebuttal, and I am grateful for that. Turning this gender divide into a shouting match will not help anyone. But what will it take to move past the outdated notion that gaming is a boys club? How do we change these trends that are, at best, misinformed, and at worst, fueled by true misogyny?

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Posted in gaming

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