Games 4 Girls

ChicTech, an outreach program of the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science, is extending an open invitation for college women to participate in the second annual Games for Girls Programming Competition (G4G).
Designed to encourage the development of computer games that appeal to middle- and high-school aged girls while fostering the development of communities of college women majoring in computer-related disciplines, G4G is a contest that invites teams of women to design and implement a computer game for younger girls. The competition is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and each member of the winning team receives a $1,000 award. Second and third place teams receive prizes as well.
Applications for this year’s competition must be submitted by December 23, 2005 and completed projects are due by March 13, 2006. The winning entry will be a collaborative effort involving approximately four college women and will be created using GameMaker, a game-design platform that supplies design flexibility and requires minimal programming. Projects are evaluated on technical merit, entertainment value, and creativity.
G4G was conceived in response to research indicating that boys enjoy a relatively greater degree of confidence with computers than girls because they spend more time as children playing computer games. The research suggests that this difference in confidence contributes to the gender imbalance seen in the field of Computer Science.
The photo above is the logo for last year’s G4G competition-winning game, “Pom Pom Rescue,” created by students from Parkland College.

Sam Kamin is Director of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a member of the NCWIT Academic Alliance.

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