Gaming and computer science: Bridging the gender-gap
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According to the literature, women are still unrepresented in the field of information technology. Although many women study computer science at first year level, the dropout rate for women—before they graduate—is high, and if they graduate many decide neither to continue with their studies nor to work in the field of information technology. Research has shown that women who have been exposed to computing at some point during their school career or early in their lives, tend to be more open to choosing a career in computer science and are in many cases successful at it. The aim of this research is to understand what factors influence women to choose a career within computer science and to consider whether gaming would encourage young women to enter the field. Design Science Research was the methodology employed. It was chosen since an artefact was developed. For each of the five steps of this methodology a different method was chosen to address the research question. Surveys were administered to first year computer science students and both IT high school teachers and computer science honours students were interviewed. Non-computer science students were involved in the participatory design process.