Shaena Engle,
For Immediate Use
(310) 206-5951
April 17, 2006


UCLA Hosts Events Focused on Girls and Gaming
Trends show gaming is not just a boys’ club anymore

On May 8–9, UCLA will host two events focusing on girls’ and women’s participation in game design and play.

Associate professor Yasmin Kafai from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies along with MIT professor Henry Jenkins; Brenda Laurel, chair of the Graduate Media Design Program at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif.; Nichol Bradford, global director of strategic growth at Vivendi Universal Games; and a variety of gaming experts from Europe, Asia and North America will participate in “Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender, Games and Computing,” a workshop examining issues of girls and women and computer games.

The workshop will bring together researchers, designers and industry professionals to discuss and review current trends in game design and marketing, and outline a new research agenda.
Additionally, participants will attend “Girls ’n’ Games,” a conference focused on where girls and women are in games and what they want.

The conference will be streamed live at

The conference and workshop — organized by Kafai; professor Carrie Heeter from the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University; and Jill Denner, senior research associate from Education, Training, Research Associates — are sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

“Until recently, boys and men dominated the digital games world, but the idea that computer games are only toys for boys is slowly changing. Newer games, such as the Sims, attract a huge number of female players,” Kafai said. “The workshop and conference will examine new issues around gender, games and computing and develop an agenda for the next generation of research.”

“Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender, Games and Computing” will be held from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 8, at 3340 Moore Hall on the UCLA campus.

“Girls ’n’ Games” will be held from 2:30–6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, at the Experimental Digital Arts (EDA) space in the North Kinross Building, Suite 104, 1100 Kinross Blvd.

For more information on the workshop and conference, visit
-UCLA- SE177