by Sande Chen
Nov 17, 2002
On a recent Sega Girl Gamer Poll, the results revealed that 70% of those polled on the site wanted more Web coverage of girl gamers. Why? Because girls do play video games!
There's even less coverage about women in game development. Granted, the issues facing women in game development are often the same as men in game development: getting hired, crunch times, and OK, let's even toss in baby-sitting flex time. But when you're the only woman in a small game company - let's face it, there are some concerns that only pertain to women. It doesn't even have to be about sexual harassment, but just about dealing with the nuances of being in an all-guy environment. Or issues like why aren't there more women in game development? If more women were in game development, would it make any difference?
These are the reasons why I would like to start a column on gamedev. I've been working in the game industry for about five years and I'm currently an Associate Producer at ImaginEngine. I am busy, but I would like this column to appear regularly, perhaps monthly. I'd like it to be free-roaming. It could be reviews from a woman's perspective, interviews with women in game development, or even scholarly summaries of gender research. I'd welcome feedback on what you'd like to see.
For women seeking employment in game development, the IGDA has forums at its site, but the mailing list is more active. There are men as well as women on the list. The list isn't locked down on the issue of gender and sometimes meanders into technical subjects. However, if people can get to a local IGDA meeting, I find that this is the best way to start a job search. worldWIT, which stands for Women in Technology, is another great networking site.
The Center for Digital Imaging and Sound near Vancouver, BC, also offers CN$35,000 in Girl Gamer Scholarships to encourage girls and women to enter the game industry. The deadline is November 30, 2002. An additional CN$200,000 is given out for the Top Gun Scholarships towards the game programming track.