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.