The world of video games is no longer just a form of entertainment. It’s becoming a powerful tool to inspire and encourage girls to pursue education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A recent study by Dr. Anesa Hosein at the University of Surrey, as reported by Video Games Europe, has shed light on the significant impact of video games on girls’ educational choices.
The study reveals that girls aged 13-14 who played over nine hours of video games a week were 3.3 times more likely to choose science, technology, engineering, or math for their higher studies compared to those who did not play video games. This compelling finding held true even after considering factors such as socio-economic background, ethnicity, past performance, and their self-perceived proficiency in their chosen subject.
Today, video games are used in unexpected parts of society, such as schools, workplaces, hospitals, and aged care facilities, providing mental and physical stimulation. They have also spawned a vibrant and active fan base, with fans congregating at major international popular culture festivals and video games streamed online (twitch games, let’s play, competitve online multiplayer games and more).
In addition to this, the Games in Schools initiative, led by European Schoolnet, has trained over 3,000 teachers across Europe on how to use commercial video games as pedagogical support in the classroom. This initiative has shown that the use of video games in schools increases student engagement, learning outcomes and by extend increase the inclusion of women in the game industry.
As the video game industry continues to evolve, we hope to see more girls breaking stereotypes, embracing their “geek” side, and making their mark in the world. The rise of the “geek girl” in the realm of video games could potentially revolutionize the way we perceive gender roles in both video games industrie and STEM education.
By embracing this shift, we can create a more inclusive and diverse environment that encourages girls to pursue their interests in these fields, ultimately leading to a more balanced and innovative future.
The next step is to see more women in leading positions within the video game industries. The presence of women in leadership roles can inspire the next generation of girls and young women to pursue careers in these fields. It also ensures that diverse perspectives are included in decision-making processes, leading to more inclusive and innovative outcomes.