«Girls and Boys Playing Educational Games Together – Opportunities and Design Challenges in the Gaming4Coding Project»

Peter Mozelius

Mid Sweden University

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Gaming4Coding is a two-year Erasmus+ project with the aim of developing an educational game where secondary school students should learn text-based programming. At the same time as the game must be a joyful experience for players, it should be a game where girls also should feel welcome to play and learn. The highly motivating features of game-based learning are used to promote interest in coding in the young audience, and especially in girls. Moreover, the game should involve built-in learning analytics, according to the concept of stealth assessment. 

A first pre-study in the project investigated which design factors that are appealing to girls, and which are not (Mozelius et al., 2022). The conclusion was that a girl inclusive game design should consider factors such as narration, game characters, social interaction, game graphics, and sound design. This should be complemented with features for customisation and personalisation of these factors. Furthermore, the game design concept could be described as a game space with a low threshold, wide walls and a high ceiling with as few barriers as possible. Another study (Humble & Mozelius, 2022), evaluated and analysed design factors in a game for learning computer programming. Findings indicated that important design factors to consider are graphics, game mechanics, content, and to stimulate engagement and learning. The conclusion was, like in the first study, to design for a low threshold, wide walls and a high ceiling. Later these two studies were merged to create the preliminary framework for girls inclusive educational game design.


Peter Mozelius works as an Associate Professor and Researcher, at the Department of Communication, Quality Management and Information Systems (KKI) at the Mid Sweden University in Östersund, Sweden. He is part of the Unit for Computer and System Science where he teaches and works in projects on Educational development, Game-based learning and Work-integrated learning. Research interests are in the areas of Technology enhanced learning, Game-based learning, eHealth and Programming education.

More information about Peter can be found on his personal page.

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