Gender and Gaming

03 Oct

For Jason and Bruce’s assessment design, we intend to study the influence of gender on assessment in video game infused pedagogies.  To start, we will find eight examples—4 male and 4 female that possess strong gender markers in relations to video games and possibly sexist character depictions (in some manner).  We will give a batch of four (2 male, 2 female examples) to 8 instructors (4 male, 4 female with various gaming experience) for evaluation without the gender of the creator known.  Not only will their scores be accounted for but we will also interview them about their responses to the game.  Afterwards, we will repeat the process but identify the gender for the respondents.

We hypothesize that gender may influence assessment; however, we do not think it will be a high correlation.  On the other hand, we do believe that gaming experience may have a profound impact on assessment practices in relation to gender—specifically, that those exposed to gaming more will be less likely to react severely to certain gender-specific tropes but may judge more harshly when gender is known.


Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


6 responses to “Gender and Gaming

  1. jc12t

    October 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Hey–interesting topic, but I’m confused about a few things: are the eight examples of avatars or are they making a video game themselves? What are you considering gender markers? Will you have the instructors make their own scoring guide or will you try to make some sort of interrater reliability (whatever that means). And I also have a question about the context and purpose: is this in a K-12 context or a college context? With computer programming majors or amateurs in a middle school elective course? Is this for Teacher response or anonymous, institutional type of assessment (for high stakes tests, etc)? And in those contexts, what purpose would this study have?

  2. sarahm1320

    October 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I agree with the previous post that this is an interesting topic – gender bias in assessment is an important issue, but you are also layering it with another factor: video game infused pedagogy. This new variable is especially relevant to the issue of gender bias in assessment because of the typically male-dominated nature of video games. I was a little confused about what your “eight examples” would be – what is the nature of the materials that are going to be assessed? I think the specific nature of the assignment, the rubric (or other form of assessment device) used, and the types of interview questions that would be asked need to be provided.

  3. E Workman

    October 14, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I agree with the previous two responses that focusing in particular on assessment in video game infused pedagogies makes a productive contribution to the field. Though I don’t know too much about this particular area of teaching and research, I would not be surprised if there isn’t much research on assessment in this type of pedagogy. I am also a little confused as to what the examples of student work will be. I’m also curious about your choice of sample size. Are you choosing to work with 8 students and 8 professors because that number is manageable? Also, I’d be interested to hear more about the connections you’re making between gender markers and sexist character depictions.

  4. jeffnaftzinger

    October 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Comment: I think this is an interesting question, because video game pedagogies are pretty new, but something that I think could be useful. Unfortunately, video games have been considered a “man-thing” for so long. This study could be interesting in figuring out what effect that has on video games being used in the classroom.

    Question: That being said, like Joe, I’m kind of confused as to what the four students are bringing to the table. Are they making avatars? Video Games? Lists of video games they play? I think I’m just not sure what you’re looking for, so it’s throwing me off.

    Suggestion: I would firm up the details a little bit and make it a little more clear what you’re looking at with the students you select.

  5. andrewdavidburgess

    October 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Comment: I don’t understand video games, but I do agree with Jeff that they’re often thought of as gendered. So, what does this do to gendered assessment?

    Question: What do you count as gender markers?

    Suggestion: I’d like to see a clearer picture of just what it is you’re looking for. Interesting stuff, but I’m not sure how the students fit in.

  6. jacobwcraig

    October 20, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I second Jeff, but for a different reason. This may not be the case in game culture, but I know that by and large, the tech industry is a white, middle class, male dominated environment. So there’s already a documented bias. Is your research question about whether those biases extend into the classroom?

    I’m having a little trouble with what you count as gender markers in games. There’s literature about gender markers and writing, but I’m not familiar with play as a gendered practice.


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