Area Girl Scouts Play Games With DGBL

Area Girl Scouts gained unique insight into the world of video game development thanks to designers from the OU K20 Center Digital Game Based Learning Program.

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Ryan Ralston, Carmen Chilson, OU Computer Science faculty Dr. Deborah Trytten, and former K20 student designer Vanessa Wynn held a special workshop October 4 with between 20 and 30 Girl Scouts from various local troops at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Discussing computer science, teamwork, and individual developer responsibilities, the K20 designers described aspects of building a video game, showed demos, and answered questions.

The workshop was for Girl Scouts who are working toward earning their skill badge in video game development; introduced in the spring of 2013 to encourage girls’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Amy Allison of Women in Games International was quoted in 2013 saying, “Our ultimate goal is to create a STEM-aligned video game badge for the Girl Scouts of America. Creating this badge will get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry.”

According to Wynn, the K20 DGBL program was very successful in realizing this goal of the badge-earning process.

“The girls had some great questions – they were curious about playing them on different platforms (iPads, android phones, etc.) and asked a lot about how long it takes to make the games and which ones (designers) enjoy creating the most. It was very fun,” Wynn said.