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COLUMBIA - Columbia College is home to one of the country's top video gaming programs.

Saturday, the school's "game hut" will host a different team, though.

Eleven Columbia middle school girls will have the opportunity to create and play video games, as well as meet other girls interested in gaming.

"Some of these girls are already playing and are coming to meet girls who also play," said Columbia College Chief of Staff Piyusha Singh. "We hope we can facilitate those relationships and help them build friendships."

Singh said it's important to get more girls at the console.

"We have a college team here and we've tried to recruit girls. I think the last time we received 300 applicants, two of which were girls," Singh said.

She said the event is just a start and she wants to boost girls' confidence when they play.

She said girls need an entry point to gaming.

"That's usually the hardest part, when you're starting something new, is getting into it. So, if they want to do something, they've met other girls who are gaming, they have us as resources, and so they just have gotten over that first step and that possible lack of confidence."

In addition to playing, participants will learn basic coding skills, something Singh said will benefit them regardless of what their future career is.

"Technology is such a huge part of everything we do. Even if you don't necessarily become a hard-core coder, having the ability to think like one is helpful. You're going to be interfacing with technology in so many parts of the world."

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