Improving Girls’ Perception of Computer Science as a Viable Career Option through Game Playing and Design: Lessons from a Systematic Literature Review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEntertainment Computing. 2021, 36 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcom.2020.100387
The objective of exposing girls to Computer Science as a career option has led to research directed towards gaming activities for girls. These activities include both game play and game design. Research about gaming activities for increasing girls’ interest in computer science has gained much attention over the past few years and has resulted in a number of contributions. We follow up with an overview of the status of research through a Systematic Literature Review. We investigate the relation between the various game playing or designing activities and their impact on girls’ perception of Computer Science as a career choice. We further present the design consideration for the games and related activities to potentially improve the perception of girls towards a Computer Science career. The applied method is a Systematic Literature Review through which we investigate which contributions were made, which knowledge areas were most explored, and which research facets have been used. We identify 25 papers to distill a common understanding of the state-of-the-art. Specifically, we investigate the effects that the game play/design activities had on girls’ perception about Computer Science; and what are the key design factors to be kept in mind while designing a serious game to improve girls’ perception about Computer Science. The results of this systematic literature review show that game playing or designing could indeed improve how girls perceive having a career in CS. The key aspects that such activities require are personalizing, opportunity for collaboration and the presence of a female lead character.