Girls Creating Games: Cafe Universo

Girls Creating Games: Cafe Universo


Eighty Latina middle school girls from the Central Coast of California build and publish web-based digital games that imagine life in outer space based in astrobiology content.


Built on a prior NSF-HRD funded "Girls Creating Games: Increasing Middle School Girls' Interest in Technology," ETR Associates offers "Girl Game Company ," a three-year, out-of-school technology program for rural, Latina, middle school girls from the Central Coast of California. Each of 80 girls will spend 120 hours/year for two years building and publishing web-based digital games on a range of topics. The project utilizes Numedeon, Inc.'s online virtual world "Whyville" where the games are posted in a virtual Girl Game Company clubhouse. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District's after school program provides the program and recruitment structure through their existing after school program. Activities are organized around a three-semester after school and summer program. New process strands support and evaluate IT/science activity, focus on group cohesion, learning by design with project-based IT, linking science to IT, and career and identity exploration. Strategies to meet the participant's social needs include pair programming, peer mentoring, family activities and adult female IT role models. Staff development, evaluation of the girl's involvement and web based documentation provide sustainability. In order to provide scalability the instructional materials will be made available to teachers and after school providers via a Teachers Lounge in the online community of "Whyville" Publications Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat brings together new media theorists, game designers, educators, psychologists, and industry professionals, including some of the contributors to the earlier volume, to look at how gender intersects with the broader contexts of digital games today: gaming, game industry and design, and serious games. Read more at:



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2006 - 2010



ETR Associates Outside of US


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