Growing Opportunities for Women in Gaming

There’s a well-known yet little-understood dynamic in the video game industry: while 45% of all game players are female, the overwhelming majority of game creators is male. Estimates suggest that at least 75% of workers industry-wide are male, and in areas such as engineering and programming the number may be as high as 96%.

Part of this may simply stem from history; for years, men were the primary audience for the gaming industry. But as women are becoming more frequent consumers, many wonder when the industry will pivot toward better representation of female characters.

In some ways, the perceived “boys’ club” of the video game industry may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In order to have representation of females in video games, it’s important for women to be working in design, production and engineering jobs in the field. Currently, approximately one in four video game producers are female.

Though rare, high-level female executives in the video game industry do exist—and they’re leading the charge for women who want to work in gaming. Shannon Studstill, studio chief at Sony Santa Monica, has worked alongside talented teams to produce hits including the “God of War” franchise. Studstill’s position in the company provides her a unique opportunity to level the playing field; Sony Santa Monica’s current staff is about 20% female.

Not only do women in the industry provide better, equal gender representation for game characters, they are also able to provide a fresh perspective on many aspects of production and design. Any time a single demographic makes up an entire creative team, the product tends to suffer.

"I feel like having a female in the room changes the dynamic in a positive way," said Studstill in an L.A. Times article. "And we should acknowledge that and embrace it and be giving these women the opportunities that they deserve to have a voice at the table."

Gaming is both a popular and highly profitable endeavor; the computer and video game industry as a whole had $14.8 billion in sales in 2012, according to an ESA report. As more games are created to cater to even more demographics (and research shows that movies and games with more complex female characters make more money), the opportunities for female game producers are limitless.

If you’ve ever dreamed of working in video games but weren’t sure where to start, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of a rapidly evolving industry. Check out the many open video game jobs available on 4EntertainmentJobs.com and make your mark. 

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