Train2Game News Girls who game study PSTEM

Girls who play video games are three times more likely to choose physical science, technology, engineering or maths (PSTEM) degrees compared to their non-gaming counterparts, according to new research from the University of Surrey.

The study, funded by the British Academy and published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, found that 13-14 year old girls classed as ‘heavy gamers’ – those playing over nine hours a week – were three times more likely to pursue a PSTEM degree compared to girls who were non-gamers.

It also found that 100 per cent of girls in the study who were already in PSTEM degrees were identified as gamers. However, the same could not be said for boys where a similar amount of gamers existed regardless of degree type, leading to thoughts that boys experience far less pressure to conform to the video gamer stereotype if they were studying a PSTEM degree.

The research was led by Dr Anesa Hosein, Lecturer in Higher Education and Programme Director of PhD in Higher Education at Surrey, and a Physics graduate with a self-confessed ‘Geek Girl’ gamer past. Dr Hosein believes identifying and targeting certain female groups early may be a way to encourage more to study it at degree level and beyond.

Dr Hosein said: “Despite the pioneering work of people like Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Surrey’s own Daphne Jackson, the first female Physics professor, there are still too few female PSTEM role models for young women.

“However, our research shows that those who study PTSEM subjects at degree level are more likely to be gamers, so we need to encourage the girl gamers of today to become the engineering and physics students and pioneers of tomorrow.

“It therefore makes sense, in the short-term, that educators seeking to encourage more take up of PSTEM subjects should target girl gamers, as they already may have a natural interest in these subjects. We need to get better at identifying cues early to recognise which girls may be more interested in taking up PSTEM degrees.”

Dr Hosein recommends that educators use the results from her study to increase girls’ participation in PSTEM subjects in a number of ways. ‘Geek Girls’ who have a pre-disposition towards gaming should be identified early by teachers or parents and encouraged to explore PSTEM degree pathways, for example through attending gaming expert talks. School educators could also start including gaming in PSTEM degrees to increase engagement of girl gamers. It is also important for girls who do not fit a geek video gaming stereotype to meet and see more alternative PSTEM female role models during their school education.

The study is entitled “Girls’ Video Gaming Behaviour and Undergraduate Degree Selection: A Secondary Data Analysis Approach”. Read more about the University of Surrey’s Department of Higher Education.

Train2Game News 10 years of Brains Eden

One of the top games events in the UK, Brains Eden, is set to kick off next month and celebrate its 10th anniversary, in the games and technology hot-bed Cambridge.

Hosted at Anglia Ruskin University, the four-day festival which centres on a 48-hour games jam with a surprise theme, has sold out of team places, making it the biggest jam to date.

University teams from the UK, across Europe and as far afield as China, will be travelling to Cambridge to compete in the event.

Completely backed and supported by organisations in the games, technology and education industries, Playstation, Frontier Developments, ARM, Cambridge Assessment English, Jagex, Codemasters and Sumo Digital (just to name a few) will all be present at this year’s festival.

Alongside some of the biggest industry names will be a full roster of mentors, specialising in everything from environment artwork to sound production, helping the student teams along the way.

To find out more about the event visit http://www.brainseden.net/

Train2Game News European Women in Games Conference

Women in Games WIGJ, the not for profit, games industry diversity organisation, today announced that Facebook will be its headline sponsor for the European Women in Games Conference, taking place on the 11th-12th September at City University.

With the objective to educate, inspire and help stimulate future generations, the inspirational two-day event will comprise of keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops with insight provided by key staff members from Facebook HQ. There will also be over 40 speakers and panellists from across the games industry that represent the diverse wealth of sectors and the talent within them.

The event will take place at central London’s City University, highlighting the need to promote diversity through and within education, giving rise to a talented, inclusive new generation in the games and tech industry.

Aoife Brodigan, Head of Games Marketing, EMEA said, “Facebook has a rich history in broadening the audience for playing and building communities around games. We are excited to further this work with our Women in Gaming initiative that offers women in the games industry a platform to share their stories. As the headline sponsor for the European Women in Games Conference, we are looking forward to sharing some of these inspiring stories, working with WIGJ to power meaningful connections between women in the industry. Facebook is committed to supporting diversity initiatives in games and encouraging more young women to lean in to the industry and into leadership positions.”

Dr Radu Jianu, Lecturer in Computer Science commented, “City, University of London feels privileged to this year host the European Women in Games conference for its 8th edition, in central London. As an institution deeply committed to promoting diversity and one of the few universities in the country offering programs with a dedicated focus on games technologies, we are particularly excited about this partnership. We have watched the conference grow rapidly over the years into one that welcomes and inspires hundreds of computer games professionals and are looking forward to becoming part of its journey.”

Marie-Claire Isaaman CEO of Women in Games WIGJ said, “The Women in Games WIGJ, not for profit organisation exists to double the number of women working in the games industry by 2025. Our flagship event is the European Women in Games Conference which has a 7 year history of educating, inspiring, and helping to stimulate future generations of talent in the technology and creative industries. We welcome Facebook as headline sponsor. It sends a clear signal of the intent to change the face of games and the tech sector and we look forward to our long term partnership.”

Women in Games WIGJ is inclusive and male delegates are very welcome.

For further details about the conference please visit: http://www.womeningames.org/ .

Train2Game News National Videogame Foundation on videogame curation


The National Videogame Foundation continues its work with Bath Spa University, developing strategies for videogame curation and exhibition, surveying international work and publishing a new White Paper detailing their findings and recommendations.
While the economic and cultural value of videogames to the U.K. and global creative sectors is widely recognised, the long-term sustainability of games heritage is under threat. Unless we act now, future generations will lose access to their cultural heritage and the next generation of UK developers will be robbed of historical reference material.

A number of museums, galleries and grassroots projects around the world have dedicated themselves to preserving, curating and exhibiting videogames. At the forefront of this are the UK’s National Videogame Arcade, The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, the Computerpielemuseum in Berlin and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

However, this activity is not co-ordinated at a national or international level.

Supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, this year, Iain Simons (National Videogame Foundation) and Professor James Newman (Bath Spa University) will travel to Japan, the USA and Germany to survey colleagues’ work, share practise from the National Videogame Arcade and publish a White Paper sharing their findings and recommendations.

Iain Simons, CEO of the National Videogame Foundation commented:

‘The National Videogame Foundation, with the support of its guests and patrons, is already taking the lead in showcasing and interpreting videogames in the UK through the National Videogame Arcade. I’m excited to be able to share our experiences of videogame curation with colleagues across the world. We need to learn from each other and work out the where the gaps in coverage currently are. By looking at how different organisations are tackling curation, access and exhibition, the NVA is going to take a leading role in co-ordinating this activity and identifying opportunities for greater national and international collaboration. This is a fantastic opportunity both for the NVA and for videogame culture as a whole.’

Prof. James Newman of Bath Spa University said:

‘Despite an increased awareness of the cultural value of videogames and the long-term vulnerability of digital media, game preservation, curation and exhibition practice are still in their early stages. We’re really excited to be supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust and to work with colleagues across the world to help establish ways to preserve and present videogames for future generations.’

Simons and Newman will publish their findings in a White Paper later this year. The White Paper will set out the key questions and offer best practice guidelines for future game preservation, curation and exhibition.

Train2Game News: University student writes about Video Game writing

Gareth BrookRecently University student, Daryl Cox, got in touch with me to get a developers opinion on video game writing, I pointed him in the direction of Train2Game student and founder of Road Hog Games, Gareth Brook.

Gareth helped him out and was mentioned along side some of the big names in the industry of today.

You can read the essay Daryl wrote, below: