Improving Gender Balance and Equalities

Research suggests that there can be benefits to playing video games in terms of developing problem-solving, cognitive function and special awareness skills (Gee, 2005; Adachi and Willoughby, 2013; Green and Bavelier, 2006; Przybylski, 2014; Subrahmanyam and Greenfield, 1994; Spence and Feng, 2010; Connolly et al., 2012). Research by OECD (2015) shows that pupils who play video games have higher success when sitting computer-based tests, specifically in problem-solving and mathematics. The OECD also suggests that pupils who interact with computer software are more confident when faced with the prospect of a computer-based test.

It is widely known that more boys interact on a regular basis with video-gaming software than girls. It is vital that we encourage all pupils to interact positively with computer software so that all pupils can benefit from the skill development and confidence working with technology can bring. By encouraging and empowering boys and girls to engage with technology in a positive way, we move closer to closing the gender-based gap within the STEM subjects and inspire more pupils to consider a diverse range of curricular areas and learner pathways.

As part of CfE’s Health and Well-being Experience’s and Outcomes under ‘Planning for choices and change’, we ask that learners “experience activities which enable them to develop the skills and attributes they will need if they are to achieve and sustain positive destinations beyond school”. In a world where technology is ever present in the work place, it is important that all young people are provided opportunities to engage in exciting learning opportunities, such as GamesCon.


Adachi, P.J. and T. Willoughby (2013), “More than just fun and games: The longitudinal relationships between strategic video games, self-reported problem solving skills, and academic grades”, Journal of Youth Adolescence, Vol. 42, pp. 1041-1052.

Connolly, T.M. et al. (2012), “A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games”, Computers and Education, Vol. 59, pp. 661-686.

Gee, J.P. (2005), “Good video games are good learning”, Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

Green, C.S. and D. Bavelier (2006), “Enumeration versus multiple object tracking: The case of action video game players”, Cognition, Vol. 101, pp. 217-245.

OECD (2015), The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence, PISA, OECD Publishing.

Przybylski, A.K. (2014), “Electronic gaming and psychosocial adjustment”, Pediatrics, Vol. 134, pp. 716-722.

Scottish Government, Curriculum for Excellence: Health and Well-being across all learning: Responsibility of all, accessed 03 September 2019 at

Spence, I. and J. Feng, (2010), “Video games and spatial cognition”, Review of General Psychology, Vol. 14/2, pp. 92-104.

Subrahmanyam, K. and P.M. Greenfield (1994), “Effect of video game practice on spatial skills in girls and boys”, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 15/1, pp. 13-32.