Game design is one of the most exciting industries these days, with the global gaming industry expected to garner around £82.8 billion in revenues in 2017. Still, for women and other groups, the industry can seem daunting – indeed, the number of women working in technology as a whole has fallen over time.
Currently, only 14% of people working in gaming in the UK are women; the average employee in this field is straight, white, male and middle class, which is not great news for women, or black, Asian and minority ethnic people.
The International Game Developers Association is taking important steps to remedy the situation.
For instance, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced a £228 million initiative to increase diversity and provide “more positive representation within the technology and gaming industries.”
The International Game Developers Association, meanwhile has vowed to double the number of women working in gaming by 2025.
It makes sense, considering that research has shown that diverse workforces are more innovative, creative, and productive. If you are keen to spearhead a change in the industry, ensure you acquire the following skills.
Beyond the Technology of Games
Owing to vertiginous rise of the gaming industry over the past decade, top companies tend to seek out candidates with specialised degrees in game design.
Creativity and artistic talent is not enough; candidates will be expected to be well versed in a number of different subjects, including immersion, 3D animation, storyboarding, coding and programming.
However, technological knowledge is not enough. Telling an engaging story is probably the number one factor that connects users to the product; feeling a sense of interaction with the characters and of responsibility for the outcome of missions.
Therefore, you will also need to have a good understanding of culture, languages, music, and other subjects that make your game meaningful and valuable.
Knowledge of human psychology is also crucial. Every game has important emotional and cognitive aspects for humans to grasp and the more realistic reactions are, the stronger is the intellectual and emotional connection.
It is not uncommon for ambitious students completing a degree in engineering or science, to complete an MBA afterwards in finance or management.
A woman breaking into the gaming industry will certainly stand out from peers if she has a solid business background, as well.
An MBA will enable you to opt for management positions after you have spent a few years honing your craft. Important skills you will learn from business studies are project management, leadership, and sound financial management.
It is refreshing for women who are interested in gaming to know that the global industry is intent on promoting greater diversity. Specialised skills obtained in college include technical aspects of the game, but women can do plenty to increase their chances of success by taking up additional credits in everything from psychology to literature, and business.
By Jackie Edwards