(This is part of Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. We write about small moments. You write, too.)
They were standing in line, waiting to put the laptops back on the computer cart. We’d been gaming in the classroom, working with Gamestar Mechanic to begin the process of understanding video game design by playing and analyzing games. This week, they will start the initial stages of storyboarding and building their own science-based video games.
“Girls don’t like video games,” he said to no one in particular, and there was a moment of silence as all the girls turned around to stare at him. He seemed taken aback. “I mean, they don’t right? Girls don’t like video games?”
He spoke that last line as if he walked into a pit of vipers because there was a sudden burst of loud response from the girls. I think I saw a few of his friends shake their heads, knowing what was coming.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Of course, I like video games. I’m probably better than you.”
“We may not like the same games, but we like games.”
He seemed a bit shaken by the response. That’s good.
“Sorry, sorry,” he mumbled, and that gave me a teaching moment to talk to the class about the stereotypes we have of gender and technology. It’s true not every girl likes video games. Not every boy likes video games, either. But some girls are great at both playing and designing video games. And we had just had a long discussion on game design elements, where plenty of girls shared deep thoughts about design and and the games they played. (Had he even been listening?)
I think he got it. I do. And if not, the girls are going to set him straight. Count on that.
Peace (in the room),