The world of gaming generally has been attributed to man. When you talk of gamers, the picture that forms in mind is some group of guys with headphones, some big goggles with bent fingers. It has come to the point of distinguishing women who are gamers. “Girl gamers” they are called. Things are changing as of today, as more women are beginning to be identified as gamers than they have ever been. The participation and interest of women have gone beyond the playing of games alone, but also in the design and development of games.
History of women in game development
Indeed, men have been the objective of games right from time. A long time ago, the development of sports was based on the judgment that men would play them. But women in history changed that mindset. An example of one of these game-changers is Dona Bailey, who in the 1980s was in the Atari’s arcade game division. She co-developed a game called Centipede: an iconic shooter game with a female being the target audience. Women have always been in the game industry since gaming started gaining ground in the ’70s and ’80s. And they were in every sector. In the design and programming of games, Carol Shaw is a perfect example. She started her career at Atari. After this, she joined Activision, where she created the award-winning pilot shooting game River Raid in 1982.
Speaking of game character design, Reiko Kodama, a great video game artist, made the mark at the early stage of game production. She designed the characters for Sega arcade games, after which she created the characters for Phantasy Star, the best-selling Role-playing game in 1987.
The role women have played in the gaming industry cannot be ignored. They have always been in all sectors, including Manufacturing and market research, marketing and sales, Editing and writing games, etc.
Changing the game
Now with the games that are in circulation, the interest of women has been more aroused towards gaming than ever before. For example, playing online slot games sounds ‘manly.’ But now we have slot games that target women as their audience than men. An example of such games is the double up slots. The design of the game is ‘girly’ with the fruity interface.
Coming to the mobile games, a game that has made the mark is Candy Crush Saga. The game has a reported demographic of 58% women-players, with the majority being youths and children.
With fascinating games like Candy Crush Saga, Tomb Raider (Lara Croft), The Last of Us, and other games with a female protagonist, young women start to develop more passion for gaming. Not just playing games but also trying to be a part of the game development world. Social Media has helped so far in the propagation of discussions on and by Successful female figures in the game industry. This propagation has helped so far to inspire thousands of girls to also aspire to a career in gaming.
Game development is an excellent means of bringing in women to participate in technological activities, as there is ever-increasing importance of tech in our daily lives. An increase in the number of ladies joining the game development will increase the number of female gamers as there will be more games with women as the target audience. And with this, the stereotype will be eradicated in the coming generation about gender segregation in the world of the game.
Also, having girls participate in the gaming industry will bring equality to the game industry so that we will no longer have the game industry to be a male-dominated world.
It is believed that a lot of women don’t know how to utilize gadgets to their maximum. Diving deep into gaming will bend your inclination towards learning about devices and other tech gadgets, and thereby breaking the trend of women being marginalized when in the game industry and tech world generally.
The assertion of “women not loving to play games” is a strong expression of a negative stereotype. Giant strides have indeed been made in game development, but we’ve not entirely eradicated the barriers. However, all restrictions would be brought down when more young women participate in programming and game development.