Current Research: Addressing Gender Binary in Game Culture
Games are an integral part of how we learn and are a part of every student’s experience at school. Games, particularly board games, card games, video games, and sports, are often played as a part of recess, during extra-curricular activities, and for educational purposes during class (Schrier, 2019). Games can offer students meaningful learning experiences by modelling complex concepts, improving social skills, and exploring new perspectives (McGonigal, 2011). However, in all game cultures, professional, casual, and academic, there exists a male bias (Lopez-Fernandez et al., 2019).
The gender gap in game participation is evident, but there is more to be learned about the social reasons girls play less frequently, and about what educators can do to create more equal game cultures.
The purpose of this study is to learn about how K-12 teachers perceive game participation across the gender binary in schools. This study is designed to inquire about how educators view the gender gap in game participation, their strategies for promoting mixed-gender play, and their perspectives on gender equity in extracurricular activities. Ultimately, this study seeks to contribute towards creating a more gender-equitable game culture in schools.
Qualitative interviews were conducted in this study. Because of the social nature of games, gathering qualitative data through interviews is necessary to capture information on the subtle social interactions which occur during game play (Agee, 2009). Their perspectives offered essential insights on students’ game play habits, conscious decisions, as well as information on what actions have been taken to promote mixed-gender play and improve gender equity.
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