Beyond Game Design for Broadening Participation: Building New Clubhouses of Computing for Girls
The absence of women in IT has been a vexing issue for over two decades. Most attempts to broaden participation in computing have focused on “unlocking the clubhouse” to a more diverse group of participants. One popular approach has been to ask girls to program games, which developed into the Game Design Movement, a series of studies and tools to help develop and empower females as designers of interactive digital media. This paper examines the rationales and successes behind the Game Design Movement in order to outline new strategies for broadening participation in computing. Rather than simply “unlocking the clubhouses” through expanded game-making activities, we argue here that educators and researchers should devote themselves to “building new clubhouses” altogether by focusing on using new programmable materials, interactive activities, and both in-person and online communities that leverage the traditions of girls’ play worlds and the cultural practices of women’s crafting communities.