Guest Column| Women paving their way in the gaming industry  

Work culture diversity is not just a buzzword across companies that is trending currently, but it has the potential to transform businesses and the gaming industry is no exception. Though, gaming industry has been in existence since ages, one thing that still remains the topic of discussion is the male:female ratio in the industry. Gaming across the globe is associated with men as opposed to women which is one of the biggest misconceptions. As per the reports by InMobi, women make up to 43 per cent of the entire mobile gaming audience and as the industry grows, women account for a large part of this market share. 

Tanu Jain

The world is currently witnessing the gaming industry thrive and what makes it a great time to be in the industry is the change this growth is bringing with it. For ages, the gaming industry was dominated by men but after so long, we are witnessing this narrative being rewritten. As the dynamics of the gaming industry changes rapidly, women are managing various roles across all stages of designing and developing video, web or mobile games.  This pleasant change is indeed a ray of hope for many women out there who want to make it big in the gaming industry. 

Leading by example are women such as KRAFTON VP Ashley Youngsun Nam, 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross, as well as the woman behind the expansion of the Halo franchise or Media Molecule studio director Siobhan Reddy, which was acquired by Sony in 2010. Kate Gorman is another such example of women in gaming as who leads a gaming company, Fort Mason Games with 70 per cent women employees that create games keeping women in mind. All these amazing women and numerous others have broken the glass ceiling while making their way to the top. 

Gender inclusivity in games

Be it Metroid’s Samus Aran, Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft or Horizon: Zero Dawn’s protagonist character, Aloy along with many more who created history with the popularity and response they received. With more such games coming into existence, it is exciting for female gamers to be able to experience an empowering  female protagonist possessing qualities like physical and mental strength, immense power, killing instinct and survival skills. As per reports, in between the years 2015-2016, just two per cent of video games had female protagonists, but this number jumped to 18 per cent in 2020. With more women entering into the gaming industry, this number is most likely to increase further as we can expect game developers creating interesting women-centric games, narrating stories from women’s perspectives more than what is being created at present.

Leveling the Playing Field

Gaming as a career was not even considered an option a few years back. And when it did, considering the technical aspects of video game development, it was labeled as a field only apt for men. But today, the table seems to have turned as the sector offers equal opportunities to both men and women purely based on talent. In addition to that, inclusive culture is what studios across the globe are going after where individuals from all walks of life irrespective of gender, caste, creed can exchange ideas and work in collaboration while creating their own growth trajectory. 

The coming years in the gaming industry will witness an increase in women engagement as the industry is not only evolving but becoming more gender neutral. As opposed to earlier, women are being encouraged to follow their passion, make their own choices, be it personal or professional which has been empowering. 

Considering the pleasant change the gaming industry is witnessing, it won’t be wrong to say that women are contributing towards the growth of the sector and we will be seeing more women strengthening their positions & roles in this sector in years to come. The advent of more female gamers and professionals will further motivate developers to create more women themed games capturing their perspective while introducing more playable female protagonists. As more women enter the gaming industry, they will act as catalysts and have the power to influence the overall ecosystem. This is the best time for women to be in the gaming industry who want to make a name for themselves and be a part of this rapidly developing industry while bringing in new perspectives, creativity, thoughts and have all the power to change the narrative and create their own stories. 

(This article has been contributed by Reboot Game Studios co-founder Tanu Jain and AnimationXpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views)


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