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December 1, 2014

Girls better than boys in making computer games

Utilise their talents in literacy and storytelling to develop rich gameplay.

By CBR Staff Writer

A new study commissioned by the University of Sussex has found that girls are more skilled at developing programming code for computer games than their male counterparts.

The study involved a group of 12 to 13-year old trainees who worked for eight weeks developing their own 3D role playing games. They used a visual programming language which illustrates computer programmes in simple English.

The study proposes that girls can utilise their talents in literacy and storytelling to explore programming and develop rich gameplay experiences.

University of Sussex researcher Dr Judith Good said: "Given that girls’ attainment in literacy is higher than boys across all stages of the primary and secondary school curriculum, it may be that explicitly tying programming to an activity that they tend to do well in leads to a commensurate gain in their programming skills.

"In other words, if girls’ stories are typically more complex and well developed, then when creating stories in games, their stories will also require more sophisticated programs in order for their games to work."

Researchers added that girls deployed seven unlike triggers, which is two times as many as the boys, and have successfully developed complex scripts with two or more part and conditional clauses.

However, their male counterparts nearly always preferred triggering their scripts when a character utters something, which is the initial and easiest trigger to study.

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