Getting Girls Into Games – Free Talk At Dare ProtoPlay Festival

Dare 2013 Opening 004Girls with a love of computer games are being encouraged to consider making games as a career, with a free talk at the Dare ProtoPlay festival in Dundee on Thursday 8 August.
BAFTA-winning Sophia George, who is also the V&A’s first ever Game Designer in Residence, will take the stage with Erin Michno, co-founder of Quartic Llama, to share their experiences of getting into the games industry.
V&A Game Designer Sophia George - BAFTA awards 2012 - with Swallowtail co founder Kristian FrancisSophia and Erin took part in Dare to be Digital in 2011, and have both since started their own companies with the support of the Abertay University Prototype Fund.
Girls of all ages are welcome to attend, with parents and carers encouraged to join them. To register for free please visit http://dare2013womeningames.eventbrite.com/
Sophia George told us:
I’m delighted to be returning to Dare ProtoPlay, two years after showcasing Tick Tock Toys as a competitor, to share my experiences and to tell young girls that they can take the step from playing games to building them.
 
Too few girls and young women seriously consider games as a career, despite half of all gamers being female. The industry is starting to shift and I look forward to more and more girls bringing their creative talents to making games.
Sophia will share her expertise as an artist and designer, while Erin will discuss the maths and programming skills games companies need.
Both speakers will discuss how their love of playing games has taken them into successfully making them as a career – setting out the practical steps young women can take to start building their own games.
[Both Swallowtail Games AND Quartic Llama were featured in the recent Develop Hot 100 developers in the UK you know…]
Erin Michno agreed:
Working in the games industry is an incredible creative challenge, as we’re solving problems every day that ultimately lead to giving other people fun, enjoyable experiences.
 
Girls with a love of art, design or maths may not think making games is a realistic career option for them – we’ll explain how they can take that passion and turn it into job opportunities in a wide range of different skills games companies need.
The Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival is open to the public from Thursday August 8 to Sunday August 11 in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square.
The event is sponsored by Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council and EventScotland.
The girls in games talk is at 3pm on Thursday 8 August. All ages are welcome to attend. Tickets are available for free from http://dare2013womeningames.eventbrite.com/

8 thoughts on “Getting Girls Into Games – Free Talk At Dare ProtoPlay Festival

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  1. I attended this event yesterday with my daughter who is exactly the target market that this event is aimed at. Both Sophie and Erin were a delight on stage, honest and engaging about their experiences as women in the games industry. Pity though that the host of the event studied at the school of “how to alienate and patronise your audience in three easy steps” Should have had a female host who at least has good manners.

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    1. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to ask why you thought I was rude, patronising and alienating. I’ve spoken at a lot of events and was trying to ensure the people in the audience who were not familiar with the games industry knew what the terms like IGDA, DS etc. all meant. If I upset or offended you I would like to know how so I can ensure that does not happen again.

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      1. Referring to a member of the public audience as a “pushy parent” – was uncalled for. It was not funny nor was it an appropriate ice-breaker – it came across as derogatory, offensive and humiliating for the person that was targeted.

        Explaining technical terms which the audience was unfamiliar with is the job of the host but there was too much self promotion – as in the numerous mentions of your involvement in the Scottish Games Network – we got it the first time.
        The audience wanted to hear about women in gaming and Sophie and Erin were lovely. Sadly, you also missed an opportunity to capture names and contact details from those in the audience who would be interested in following this topic some more, especially given the lack of opportunities for girls to become involved locally – a key point echoed by both your speakers.

        As someone with a background in PR you should have been better placed to engage with and understand your audience better

        Islay

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      2. Again, I apologise if you thought I was being offensive or derogatory. As someone who speaks frequently to audiences of young people and families, I try to ensure I am neither. I spoke to the parent in question after the event and will be contacting her again to follow up on several of the issues discussed – as well as the lack of support for introducing game design and development in primary and high schools. I’ll make sure I apologise to her also.

        It would definitely have been useful to capture some audience data, but as the whole event is an Abertay project, they would have had to agree to data capture beforehand and ensure it conformed to data protection requirements.

        Which is exactly why I mentioned Scottish Games several times. It’s the only source of data for the games industry here in Scotland and the issues of educating children and young people, as well as women in gaming are something I feel very strongly about. As I can find information on both of those topics, I’ll make sure it’s added to the site, so the sort of information you mention will become freely available. I should also note SGN isn’t a commercial venture, it’s a project I’ve run for several years now to try and help the rapidly evolving games industry from an educational, cultural, academic and commercial perspective.

        There’s a recently formed Scottish Women In Games Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/109532845914884/ which should be able to provide the sort of resources and information you’re after.

        Again, if I upset you in some way, I am genuinely sorry.

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  2. Good to see Abertay University’s Professor Louis Natanson comments in today’s Guardian highlighting the role of parents in the career choices young people make. Dare Protoplay, he said, “… is about demonstrating to society and to parents – who are a key influencers on their children – that the games industry is a serious thing.”

    Couldn’t agree more – when you want the support of key influencers makes sense then to not insult them at the same time.

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  3. Thank you for your reply Brian – the apology is noted – but as the parent concerned I wonder who you did actually speak to after the event because it certainly wasn’t me!

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