Earlier this year I participated in a discussion around the topic of women in the games industry. It was a featured special on Good Game, an Australian TV show “for gamers, by gamers”.
I was honoured to be one of the speakers on it, alongside many wonderful, hard working and talented games industry folk. My appearance is brief but I am glad that I was able to contribute some of my thoughts to such an important issue.
The topic is quite a controversial one. Many people still believe that women aren’t interested in playing or making games. They also believe that if they do play games, they are only the casual, point and click type. These beliefs constantly make me want to bang my head on my desk. Yes, it’s true, some women aren’t interested in games but, surprise, surprise, dare I say it? Some men are also not interested but that is rarely pointed out or discussed.
Having grown up playing games since the early 80’s, I’ve been playing them all my life. Believe me, I am not a Unicorn! There are many women out there just like me.
I studied Game Development at RMIT University in Melbourne, graduating in 2011 with a distinction. Almost half the students in my year were women so please, don’t tell me they just aren’t interested in making games.
There are many wonderful and talented female game developers and aspiring developers out there. I am lucky to know many of them personally. Often, women are discouraged for various reasons and those reasons are not because they aren’t interested. They are more to do with environment and deeply ingrained societal factors.
I personally believe that it’s important to have more women in the games industry because they bring diverse voices from their experiences into the medium. I think that with an increase in diversity and personal stories, we can nurture a greater understanding and empathy for others. We need this more than anything in today’s world.
Watch the Women in Games feature here.