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Hacking Princess Culture: Girls, Games, & Science

As we work to support women in technology, it’s essential that we provide inspiration and role models for the youngest generations to aspire to the sciences. There's much celebration that girls make up 47% of gamers, but if all of the games and TV they see are focused on princesses, make-up, and pink, how can we inspire girls to do more than wait for prince charming? Join us for a conversation about young girls and the sciences, as we consider what they watch on TV, what games they play, and what toys are on their shelves. More importantly, we will discuss what COULD be happening in each of those spaces to inspire the next crop of programmers, engineers, problem solvers, and critical thinkers.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What effect can pervasive princess culture in toys, games and TV have on young girls perceptions of success and career aspirations? Are the newer "kick-ass" princesses changing girls' perceptions of themselves?
  2. What are some examples of non-princess media and toys for girls, and how are they making a difference? Are they accessible to both girls AND boys? Do gender-neutral kids brands exist?
  3. Are there ways of promoting better science and math role models for girls? Can those images easily co-exist with the brands that currently dominate the kids media space?
  4. How can content creators and game developers approach character development and game narratives without falling into the girl stereotypes and tropes? Is it possible to avoid backlash for creating non-traditional roles? Will girls still like what you've created?
  5. What if your daughter is obsessed with tea parties and ball gowns: is all hope lost?



Sara DeWitt, VP, PBS KIDS Digital, PBS

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