“We are two strong women” – Designing Empowerment in a Pervasive Game


  • Jon Back
  • Annika Waern


gender aware, pervasive game, design for young women


Gender-aware design is important in computer games in general, and perhaps even more so in the design of pervasive games, as these are played in the ordinary world. As pervasive games blur the distinction between game and non-game situations, they influence the everyday lives of their players. We discuss the design process for the game ‘Codename Heroes’ from a gender-aware perspective. The focus is on how players reacted to the experience of playing the game during a sequence of design workshops. We found that playing the game made people less sensitive to ‘fear of the outside’. The participants were aware they ‘should’ feel unsafe in unknown neighbourhoods, but mostly did not. Furthermore, a combination of collaboration with internal competition fostered a sense of empowerment. Finally, we could confirm what previous researchers have seen, that women participants tended to blame themselves, rather than the technology or the situation, for errors.





@Conference{digra678, title ="“We are two strong women” – Designing Empowerment in a Pervasive Game", year = "2014", author = "Back, Jon and Waern, Annika", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{https://dl.digra.org/index.php/dl/article/view/678}", booktitle = "Proceedings of DiGRA 2013 Conference"}