Serious Games as Innovative Approach to Address Gender Differences in Career Choice

  • Pia SpangenbergerEmail author
  • Linda Kruse
  • Felix Kapp
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11385)


Serious games have been recognized as an innovative approach to introduce instructional content of subjects at school [14]. In German middle school career choice is part of the curricula to introduce different career options and, at best, providing individual advice. Unfortunately, career choices of girls are still influenced by missing confidence in their abilities, role conflicts as well as resistant discrimination and harassment in the technology field [3, 11]. Women are also still underrepresented in the game industry, however, the number of female players is constantly rising [7]. Considering this, serious games seem to be a promising approach for girls to learn about career choice. The following paper will combine career choice findings and game design to present the German serious game “Serena Supergreen and the Broken Blade” - a point-and-click adventure aiming at promoting girl’s self-concept and interest in technology associated tasks. Results of a qualitative content analysis concerning girl’s perception of the game will be presented.


Serious games Career choice Girls 


  1. 1.
    Boyle, E.A., et al.: An update to the systematic literature review of empirical evidence of the impacts and outcomes of computer games and serious games. Comput. Educ. 94, 178–192 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Canney, N.E., Bielefeldt, A.R.: Gender differences in the social responsibility attitudes of engineering students and how they change over time. J. Women Minor. Sci. Eng. 21(3), 215–237 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Eccles, J.S.: Understanding women’s educational and occupational choices: applying the Eccles et al. model of achievement-related choices. Psychol. Women Quaterly 18(4), 585–609 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    ETH Zürich: Kinderleichte Spitzenforschung. Accessed 19 Aug 2011
  5. 5.
    Hayes, E.R., King, E.M.: Not just a dollhouse: what The Sims2 can teach us about women’s IT learning. Horiz. 17(1), 60–69 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hartmann, T., Klimmt, C.: Gender and computer games: exploring females’ dislikes. J. Comput. Mediat. Commun. 11(4), 910–931 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    International Game Developer Association: Developer Satisfaction Survey 2017. Summary Report (2018)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Johnson, C.I., Bailey, S.K.T., Van Buskirk, W.L.: Designing effective feedback messages in serious games and simulations: a research review. In: Wouters, P., van Oostendorp, H. (eds.) Instructional Techniques to Facilitate Learning and Motivation of Serious Games. AGL, pp. 119–140. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mayring, P.: Qualitative content analysis. In: Flick, U., von Kardorff, E., Steinke, I. (eds.) A Companion to Qualitative Research, pp. 266–269. Sage, London (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    McGonigal, J.: Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Penguin, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Seron, C., Silbey, S.S., Cech, E., Rubineau, B.: Persistence is cultural: professional socialization and the reproduction of sex segregation. Work. Occup. 43(2), 178–214 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Spangenberger, P., Kapp, F., Kruse, L., Hartmann, M., Narciss, S.: Can a serious game attract girls to technology professions? Int. J. Sci. Gend. Technol. 10(2), 253–264 (2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Virvou, M., Katsionis, G., Manos, K.: Combining software games with education: evaluation of its educational effectiveness. Educ. Technol. Soc. 8(2), 54–65 (2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wouters, P., van Nimwegen, C., van Oostendorp, H., van der Spek, E.D.: A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. J. Educ. Psychol. 105, 249–265 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zauchner, S., Zens, B., Siebenhandl, K., Jütte, W.: Gendersensitives Design durch partizipative Mediengestaltung: Evaluationskonzept zur Entwicklung eines Online-Rollenspiels für Mädchen. In: Schachtner, C., Höber, A. (eds.) Learning Communities, pp. 247–258. Campus Verlag, Münster (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.The Good Evil GmbHCologneGermany
  3. 3.Technische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

Personalised recommendations