Musings….Girls in game development


Okay, this one is not about LoA or Adellion. It is about girls.

Today, I was browsing the Unity forums as I usually do and I found this post: http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/high-school-game-programming-girls.257372/#post-1701732

Yeah, Teila is me.  I believe I am the only woman who posted in that thread. I have seen a few women around the Unity forums, or at least I think they are women. Sometimes it is difficult to tell though because of avatars and names that are not gender-specific.

I can understand some of the things the guys said. Yes, it would be great if contests like this were not based on gender. Yes, the girls are probably getting attention because an all-girl development team, especially high schoolers is rare.  But geesh, I can’t believe the comments that were made on that thread! And remember, these guys are all game developers of some sort. Shouldn’t they be encouraging young people rather than taking offense?

I do admit to going a bit over the top toward the end of the thread, but I was trying to make a point. It appeared to me that these guys felt like life was unfair, these girls were getting a break they didn’t get, and in fact a few brave guys admitted this.

Unfair? As a woman, I know the feeling. Things are much different now than from when I was a high schooler. At that time, we were not expected to be good at math. Most of us because nurses or teachers.  I was one of only a few women in my geology classes. Most of my professors were great but I did have to prove myself to a few of them first. Once I did, my confidence soared. I felt worthy.  The guys? They were worthy until they did something stupid. 🙂  Is that fair?

I have turned down jobs as project managers of games because I felt having a woman at the helm would damage the game. Guys don’t like to play games that women design, especially small Indie games where the project manager can have a huge impact! Of course, things are different now, huh?

I love that young girls are being introduced to male dominated fields, game development included.  I work with several young people, introducing them to various aspects of game development. At the moment, I have three young ladies who are working with me on art assets. All three are talented and one is considering a career in digital arts. Working with them is a pleasure.

Over the years, I have also worked with a number of young men and I equally enjoyed my time with them.  I have to admit though, most of them preferred playing games rather than making them. 🙂

So if you have a spare dollar, consider giving a gift to the girls. I am not sure how popular their game will be and it seems geared more toward younger children, but they did this on their own. They designed, organized, presented, are working with artists and programmers, and are securing their own funding. They have help from a small educational software company but they appear to be deeply involved. Boys or girls, young people engaged, gaining skills and confidence, I am all for it!

Here is the IGN article that started the thread: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-award-winning-rpg-the-hole-story

And here is their Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2020158234/girls-make-games-grand-prize-winner

So, a little love for the girls and their game: The Hole Story!

Teila

 

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