game-based learning

Marielle Lange mlange at
Fri Feb 2 14:11:29 EST 2007

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your comments and the tip on Brenda Laurel, didn't know  
that one. Funny, I found mention of her on  a website "game girl  
advance" <>. I like the pun!

Other games that are said to be highly successful with girls are:  
Alexandra Ledermann 6 : L'école des Champions <http://> (French only) and  
Kitchen Conundrum by Open University < 

Note that in the UK, there is now a new initiative, computer club for  
girls <>. Girls and computing/gaming is an  
interesting emerging market ;-).


On 2 Feb 2007, at 18:32, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> Great stuff, Marielle.  I was especially interested in the comments  
> about girl gaming.
> I saw Brenda Laurel give the closing keynote at CHI-98, where she  
> talked about her experience doing usability research to found her  
> company Purple Moon (since killed by the Mattel juggernaut).
> Reinforcing the observations you noted, one of the most interesting  
> things she noted about girl gamers is their attraction to  
> complexity. According to Laurel's research spanning a 10-year  
> period, the reason girls don't play a lot of boy-oriented games is  
> not because they're too difficult, but just the opposite, that the  
> game play is often too simplistic.
> With Purple Moon, Laurel tried to create games that appealed to  
> girls' appreciation for complex relationships.  Much of the game  
> play involved ethical questions in social simulation scenarios  
> (e.g., do I go to the birthday party for the unpopular girl or  
> accept the invitation for the party by the most popular girl for  
> the same day?), and the complexity of the issues involved certainly  
> carried greater variance in play than "shoot the zombie".
> One of the key aspects Laurel touched on was the self-fulfilling  
> prophesy of game designers:  having delivered games aimed at boys,  
> game designers look to low sales among girls as a false  
> reinforcement of the notion that "girls aren't into gaming".
> That was one of the things I loved most about Myst when it  
> premiered.  I don't play a lot of games, but Myst appealed to a  
> much broader market than games had previously addressed.  It was in  
> many respects the first truly literate game, and its focus on  
> environmental immersion and long, complex puzzles was a radically  
> meditative departure from the shoot-em-up twitchers that continue  
> to dominate the market.
> A thousand Myst-like games have been created since (including the  
> great Alida <>), and  
> while they've been fun I keep wondering if there's an entirely new  
> type of game waiting to be created, something as different from  
> everything else we've seen as Myst was for its time.
> Somewhere out there is a game waiting to be created, something that  
> will open up the world of entertainment software to a whole new  
> audience that isn't currently into games.
> Or as I once put it at a game developer meeting:  Where is the  
> "Catcher  in the Rye" of games, the thing that will appeal to  
> people who like rich, provocative entertainment but aren't  
> attracted to current game play models?
> Maybe it'll be made by one of the readers of this list....
> -- 
>  Richard Gaskin Managing Editor, revJournal
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Marielle Lange (PhD),
Bite-size Applications for Education

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