How to get the girls Gaming: A Literature Study on Inclusive Design
Keywords:Game design, Inclusive design, Games and girls, Game-based learning, Scoping review
Gaming is a ubiquitous activity today where many children spend considerable amounts of time playing various games. Serious games have also become a mainstream educational tool in a wide variety of school subjects. Despite this, many games still have a design that mainly appeals to boys where girls are less frequent players. The aim of this study was to gather requirements for a design of serious games where girls should not feel excluded. The research question to answer was: "Which design concepts are important if girls should be engaged in serious gaming?". Furthermore, the results from this study could be useful for future implementations of educational games. This study strives to address the research gap in the field of inclusive game design, and to gather important requirements for games where girls and boys want to play together. This study was carried out as a scoping literature review to map literature in the field of game design to identify key concepts that can attract the younger girl audience. Scoping literature reviews offer a method of mapping key concepts in a research field to identifying the main sources and types of evidence available. A central aim of a scoping literature review is to synthesise research results to a specific target group as a foundation for future research. For this study, the future research will consist of implementing the found design factors in an educational game on computer science. Findings indicate that there are specific game design concepts that girls find appealing. Important main themes to consider are Creativity and customisation, Character diversity, Collaborative interaction, and Exploration without violence. However, there seems to be several challenges related to the concept of designing specific girl games. The conclusion from this study is rather to choose a more inclusive game design where girls and boys would like to play together. A concept for game design that could be described as having a low threshold, wide walls and a high ceiling. The recommendation for a girl inclusive design is to carefully consider factors such as narration, backstory, social interaction, game graphics, sound design, and personalisation.