Exploring Gender Diversity and Engagement with Digital Educational Games by Young People

Opeyemi Dele-Ajayi, Alison Pickard, Rebecca Strachan, Jonathan Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Digital educational games development is an emerging area receiving attention from educators and researchers. Several studies have looked at their educational value, and some have established their usefulness as an effective pedagogical tool. However, few studies have examined the design process for digital educational games and how they can provide engagement experiences comparable to those found in entertainment games. Even fewer studies have specifically investigated how concepts of inclusivity and diversity can be built into games. This study explored gender diversity in digital educational games. The authors have worked with young people to create a digital game engagement framework, which identifies the most important factors that attract and engage young people in a digital game. The factors are: challenge, rewards, clarity of goal, feedback, visual appeal, social interaction, thematic appeal, creativity and immersion. Using a mixed methods approach and a ‘Diamond 9’ tool, young people were asked to rank the nine factors. The results indicate that while rewards ranked highly independent of gender, the importance of other factors (feedback, social interaction and clarity of goal) differed by gender. This study provides implications for designing inclusive digital educational games and calls for further research into diversity and inclusiveness in digital games.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018
Event2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference - San Jose Marriot, San Jose, United States
Duration: 3 Oct 20186 Oct 2018


Conference2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Abbreviated titleFIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Internet address


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