Happy international women’s day! To celebrate I was going to do a piece on some of gaming’s finest female leads (I still might), but then I thought that it might actually be better to highlight some women working in the field of game design and development, and to maybe pay tribute to some unsung talent out here in the real world. Shortly afterwards I realised that I wasn’t aware of any women in the industry. Could not name a single one. This made writing the article somewhat difficult.
So I’ve endeavored to correct that, and to learn a little bit more about who the women behind the pixels are. That takes time though, and rather than writing up a hastily thrown together list of the top results from Google I thought it would be better to offer some of the more interesting resources I’ve come across, and maybe you can educate yourself along with me!
Women Composers: The Legacy Music Hour Episode 51
Skip to nine minutes in to avoid the preamble, some music in there that’s immediately recognisable and some that’s great even without nostalgia. Yoko Shimumura’s work on Street Fighter is of particular note.
Lady Designers: 10 Female Game Designers
Here see Kim Swift, who co-created the game Narbacular Drop before being hired by Valve to recreate it as Portal.
In the industry overall: List of Notable Women in the Video Game Industry
Sure it’s a Wikipedia article, but until reading it I wasn’t aware of Kellee Santiago, who co-founded Thatgamecompany of Flower and Journey fame.
Within are listed the women at the roots of gaming, many of whom have helped mould it to what it is today.
Feminist Frequency provides a critique of the gaming industry as a whole, in particular examining how women are treated in the games we play.
It’s far from an in-depth look at women in the industry, but it’s a start. It’s worth noting the challenges that women who want to work in gaming face, and examining whether the right environment is being cultivated so as to allow for equal opportunities therein. There are advocacy groups such as Women in Games who are helping to encourage this, and industry giants Team Xbox sponsored the Women in Gaming luncheon this year, while Sony Playstation are hosting an all-girl summer camp for young women interested in game development. So, when somebody sits down to write an article like this ten years from now, it ought to be a piece of cake.