U.K. Game Devs Would Hire Women If There Were Any

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U.K. Game Devs Would Hire Women If There Were Any

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Game design firms in the U.K. said that they want to hire more women but that none are applying.

Because of the appeal that games can now enjoy across gender lines, game developers are interested in hiring more women so that they can help design games that would appeal to them. Sounds like a great idea except for the fact that, in countries like the U.K., very few female game designers exist. Employment agencies across the island nation complain about the lack of females applying for game design jobs.

"The studios actually want to employ more women," said Ian Goodall for the game industry recruitment company, Aardvark Swift. "They recognise they need that input to make games that appeal to women and to make games that appeal to families."

"It bothers me, the number of applications from women we receive is very low," said Torsten Reil, CEO of Natural Motion, a creator of 3D animation middleware. "We're trying pretty hard right now to attract more into the company."

Kaye Elling thinks she knows why there is a lack of female designers in England. Elling is former game designer at companies like Acclaim and Blitz Games and current lecturer on game design at Bradford University.

"It's perhaps not considered something that's cool for girls to do," Elling said. "Girls think that games are all about spotty boys in the bedroom. They may not know that it is a viable career, something where you can get a steady pay check, where you can get promoted and become really successful and make a lot of money."

Well, I'm not certain that all game designers are making bank, but there's no doubt that educating younger girls about the viability of a career in games is a good thing.

Perhaps they should be inspired by games with prominent female creators such as Uncharted 2's Amy Hennig, Portal's Kim Swift or Christina Norman, the lead gameplay designer at BioWare for Mass Effect 2.

Source: BBC

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Maybe if it weren't the same old story of every applicant needing years of experience for even the most junior roles they might just get what they want.

Hire me! Hire me!

.. oh wait.

so that they can help design games that would appeal to them.

Don't hire me. *grunts and walks off*

We don't apply because you don't really seem to take us on as interns and allow us to build up credibility within the industry without grabbing a collage degree only avaliable in the US.

Now shut up.

Mhm. Any other industry making that argument would long face sexual discrimination charges. The games-industry can make this as a valid argument, I think.

Can't imagine any other industry more focused on men. Porn may be. Naaa, lots of women there.

Many female pornstars produce themselves.... So I have heard... From a friend.

It would probably help if the industry reduced the number of male protaganists that's built like a fridge with a basketball on top of it. I want to see more protaganists like FemShep, Alyx Vance, JC Denton etc. I think we've had quite enough of the brainless bodybuilder-soldier guy as main character.

Anah'ya:
Hire me! Hire me!

.. oh wait.

so that they can help design games that would appeal to them.

Don't hire me.

Don't worry just lie about about your interests. They'll never know.
<.<
>.>

OT: That's not really that surprising, what with video games still being a largely male controlled industry.

and whoever said the gaming industry is never sexist!?

I still have yet to understand why it would make a difference other than to wipe clean a few statistics towards the CEO's and government's arse.

it does seem like a shame that there is an imbalance but like any job/interview only the best of the best candidates should get the position and should never be judged towards the poxy matters like sex/gender and so forth.

They complain about not many women being hired and yet I've searched high and low for a job in the games industry that I'd be qualified for and I can't find anything. I'd love to be a script/plot/character writer in the industry. Even on apprenticeship websites with a games industry category there's just nothing going.

I live in the UK. I have BTEC in Graphic Design and Illustration as well as 5 other A-Levels and do you think I can find a job relevant to what I want to do? Pah.

But wii shovelware appeals to families? I don't want to make wii shovelware.

What kind of qualifications do you need to make it in the gaming industry anyway? Whenever I brought it up in school last year when deciding what university courses to apply for, I got laughed at, told to stop being so silly and a pat on the head from my guidance teacher. BAH!

Although if anyone's got some jobs going... 'sup?

mad825:
and whoever said the gaming industry is never sexist!?

I still have yet to understand why it would make a difference other than to wipe a few statistics towards the CEO's and government's arse.

it does seem like a shame that there is an imbalance but like any job/interview only the best of the best candidates should get the position and should never be judged towards the poxy matters like sex/gender and so forth.

also; this.

It is important to remember that in all sex-and-job-debates one premise is "given equal qualification".

Hiring a woman for a job shes not qualified for, cause she has got a nice personality, a nice smile or great eyes would be the worst kind of sexism.

Yay for balance in dev teams.
Boo for the applicants not helping.

I have asked women her in the UK if they are interested in gaming and more often than not they give me a look as if I asked them if they play rugby, confused and slightly insulted. As if I have questioned their femininity.

It'd loveeeeee if more girls were interested in video games over here, alas, I will be alone forever.

It's funny how to every 5 big names there is likely a 100 just as big, or smaller men working in the industry.

People complaining about the media being male dominated and yet no females apply, what really jerks my chain is the fact people act like it's males TRYING to drive the women out.

ive just started a uni course in the uk for games design and in a class of 80 game students there are 2 girls so yeh industry needs more girls

Greg Tito:
"Girls think that games are all about spotty boys in the bedroom. They may not know that it is a viable career, something where you can get a steady pay check, where you can get promoted and become really successful and make a lot of money."

Right, someone should really get them off the stove and kids and give them a joystick so we can finally stop with these prejudices!

The IT sector in general is getting more women as are the sciences, but it seems games just hasn't caught up yet.

Of course hiring someone over another person because of gender is Illegal is it not, or at least bad form.

Women? Play games? Pah!

I think there's just a lack of interest. Technology on the whole seems to be less appealing to most women. But how much of that is really the fault of society, and how much is just the natural wiring of men and women?

It's ok to acknowledge that women have different interests on the whole from men.

Not surprised. Has anyone seen the majority of women in England? Until you hit college, the girls are swimming in make up and buy a new phone every 6 months, go on holidays every 6 months to somewhere different and have fake tans. When I hit college the girls were much nicer and more responsible with their actions (I.E not getting shagged in an Alleyway.) I don't want this tto apply to anyone specifically, and it could just be my area, but you know... it bugs me.

Calumon: Ants bug me... :S

Charli:
We don't apply because you don't really seem to take us on as interns and allow us to build up credibility within the industry without grabbing a collage degree only avaliable in the US.

Now shut up.

I'm pretty sure you can cut out pictures and stick them to a sheet of paper without having to go to America.

OT: Fair enough. I don't think that was really a secret, but there you go.

I've seen plenty of women into gaming in the UK, but I've never seen anyone with an interest in any areas of game development.
I know for sure they exist but there's definitely a male majority.

If we did have more women in the industry they'd be better off making games that appeal to both sexes, rather than suddenly making casual women-only games. Things like Cooking Mama and Style Boutique strike me as slightly sexist, "but women just do shopping and cooking right?".

If anything I'd rather see a male version of Bayonetta than another Cooking Mama spin-off :D

Wing Dairu:
Yay for balance in dev teams.
Boo for the applicants not helping.

The people to blame here is not the gaming industry but the EDUCATION system!

That is the only possible reason for such a discrepancy at the applicant level, women are just not getting the insight, support and guidance as much as males. Though this could be largely down to societal prejudice that of games being "boys toys" though THE PLACE to dispel that prejudice would be in the actual school/college/university system. The industry could be more pro-active to counter that with outreach programs and guidance on entering the industry, what skills/degrees are wanted.

Sun Flash:

What kind of qualifications do you need to make it in the gaming industry anyway? Whenever I brought it up in school last year when deciding what university courses to apply for, I got laughed at, told to stop being so silly and a pat on the head from my guidance teacher. BAH!

Typical. No wonder UK is failing so hard, no wonder the only part of the UK that is Tax positive (contributes more tax money that it takes in) is the London inner city bankers wheeling and dealing with money they don't own or doesn't really exist.

Video games are the perfect product combining artistic talent and excellence with cutting edge technology for a globally exportable entertainment product. Entertainment export = money coming into the UK with minimum expenditure. One video game can makes billions of revenue in a month, easily rivalling the biggest Hollywood blockbusters and WE can be a part of it!

I think U.K devs need to remember that the UK sucks ass and that the few females who would look into that probably knows enough about the industry to go to America or take up moonspeak and hit Japan. Britain is incredible in that people are really quite obsessed with self-image (as a Brit, I will admit myself included) and thanks to long standing stereotypes about aforementioned spotty boys, they're never really given ANY incentive to even think of pursuing it. And honestly? This doesn't look likely to change on British society's end much for years to come, meaning it's up to the Game's Industry to work unfairly hard to try and bring more of them in.
It's really society's problem, but I do see a more balanced, mature and professional evolution of storytelling in games helping significantly. But sadly, this is a cycle as it is hard for Devs to write a female-appealing story with so few females among them. Apparently. I mean christ, it's pretty easy to assume that they have trouble talking to women the way their "strong female leads" tend to come across.

In today's society, if you like video games, you're a tomboy that doesn't have class. And I don't mean to say this as an insult. But let's just face it- if relatively young male politician were found playing Halo, it may not necessarily go over well, but it would more likely be taken as a "boys will be boys" thing. If a relatively young female politician were found playing a non-casual video game? Take whatever backlash the young man would get and add the fact that it would severely damage her reputation as a lady.
And don't say "It doesn't matter." There's a difference between it not mattering and you not giving a damn about it.

Really, I can't go into game design and fine art, unless I want my being a game designer to define how I am perceived as an artist. I could probably write gruesome snuff novels and not have it affect peoples' judgment on my work as much as making video games. I'm not saying this is how it is for everyone, but that's how things are for me and many of my closet-gamer female friends.

Woodsey:

Charli:
We don't apply because you don't really seem to take us on as interns and allow us to build up credibility within the industry without grabbing a collage degree only avaliable in the US.

Now shut up.

I'm pretty sure you can cut out pictures and stick them to a sheet of paper without having to go to America.

OT: Fair enough. I don't think that was really a secret, but there you go.

Yeah, Yeah funny.

Sun Flash:
But wii shovelware appeals to families? I don't want to make wii shovelware.

Who says you have to? "Games that appeal to women" and "crap" are not synonymous.

Here's the thing. Even if a woman doesn't set out to "make games for girls", her perspective cannot help but be shaped in part by her gender. We are a product of many things - our family, our geography, our gender, our experience, and the sum total of those things it what makes us unique individuals. So a female influence in design might be something as big as a main character that's a strong, believable woman, or as small as putting a heart on the side of the Companion Cube - both, however, are elements that make games more appealing to females.

My Computer Science class of the last 4 years had 150 people. ~90 of which were on the Games Development tangent. Of which 3 were female.

It's a serious problem. They should work on the industries image tbh.

This isn't going to be one of those "positive discrimination" cases is it?

I think someone at that age who decides jobs by how cool they are, doesn't deserve the supposed good pay.

But I don't like that as an insentive either. These women shoudl want to work on it because they enjoy it and are into it, not just because they get paid. But, of course that relates to them thinking it's not cool.

We need to improve the image of games by having only attractive guys show their faces in public!

hazzar this means my Girlfriend should be able to walk strait into a job once she has finieshed in college!

Just wait till they meet my friend Megan. They'll want to clone and create an army of her.

Well, I'm doing a game development course in the UK... (it's a correspondence course, but anyway...)

And guess what? Of the 30-40 students I've actually learned the gender of, 2 are female.
And one of those is me. (And I'm a transsexual at that.)

So yeah. 1 in 20, if that, and you wonder what's going to happen with the jobs themselves?

Erana:
In today's society, if you like video games, you're a tomboy that doesn't have class. And I don't mean to say this as an insult. But let's just face it- if relatively young male politician were found playing Halo, it may not necessarily go over well, but it would more likely be taken as a "boys will be boys" thing. If a relatively young female politician were found playing a non-casual video game? Take whatever backlash the young man would get and add the fact that it would severely damage her reputation as a lady.
And don't say "It doesn't matter." There's a difference between it not mattering and you not giving a damn about it.

This is true. It's really sad that women can get marginalised for their choice in hobbies.

The frustrating thing is that most gamers, male and female, will agree that the more people playing the games, the better. But through the combination of politics, the media and plain old peer pressure - it often feels like women are being forced out of 'the boys club.'

I've seen women I used to work with descend upon another woman like a plague of Hitchcockian pidgeons and peck her apart just because she wanted to drink a pint, for God's sakes. Another girl I worked with got ridiculed for admitting that she likes Led Zeppelin because that's 'lads music.'

How can society progress when there's always people trying to drag it backwards?

It takes a strong person to rise above the stereotypes inflicted upon us, if I were a woman I'd never feel comfortable admitting that I'm a gamer in public. When I put on the dress at weekends I feel this weird sense of embarrasment whenever someone takes a picture of me near an X-box.

It's always the way though, popular, mainstream society just can't keep up with what's actually happening in the real world. Hence why some fat cat types and the Terminator are even now plotting to destroy us in California.

This is a sad world - I'm off to drink paint thinner until I see pretty colours, who's in?

stukov961:
It would probably help if the industry reduced the number of male protaganists that's built like a fridge with a basketball on top of it. I want to see more protaganists like FemShep, Alyx Vance, JC Denton etc. I think we've had quite enough of the brainless bodybuilder-soldier guy as main character.

that last line made me think of pretty much ALL my games xD

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