Alien games do girls prefer gaines designed by girls?

Carrie Heeter, Rhonda Egidio, Punya Mishra, Brian Winn, Jillian Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This 3-year study used a mixed-method design beginning with content analysis of games envisioned by 5th and 8th graders, followed by a survey of students in the same age range reacting to video promos representing these games. Results show that the designer's gender influences the design outcome of games and that girls expected that they would find the girl-designed games significantly more fun to play than the boy-designed games, whereas boys imagined that the boy-designed games would be significantly more fun to play than the girl-designed games. Boys overwhelmingly picked games based entirely on Fighting as their top ranked games. Girls overwhelmingly ranked those same fighting games as their least preferred. Girls as designers consciously envisioned games with both male and female players in mind, whereas boys designed only for other boys. Both 8th-grade boy game ideas were liberally "borrowed" from a successful commercial game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-100
Number of pages27
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Avatars
  • Competition
  • Game design
  • Game industry
  • Gaming
  • Gender
  • Identity
  • Learning
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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