When I was about 10 years old I wanted to design and manufacture toys and games. Because of my ever expanding and diverse hobby list, my mentors recommended that I pursue a career path that would allow me to transition to such industries if I ever felt compelled to revisit my desire to join the game designer ranks. Ten years into my mechanical engineering career, I had the opportunity to think about this goal but there is one thing that have always kept me from pursuing it: knowing that women are still not treated as equals in this male dominated field, a sentiment I can attest to besed on my own experiences as a female engineer.
My questions were answered by sheer serendipity. Out of the blue, booth appeared in the middle of the 2017 Emerald City Comic Con main floor right next to where I was standing. Magic! Between the many books one caught my eye: Girls on Games, A Look At The Fairer Side of the Tabletop Industry. Curated by game designer Elisa Teague, the narrative is comprised of stories from the industry’s iconic and very distinguished women that explore what works, what doesn’t work, what has changed and what needs to transpire to modernize the gaming workforce who needs to embrace diversity and evolve. Incorrect and outdated is now the notion that women aren’t gamers – see Women in Gaming for stats – and furthermore, that they aren’t good enough to be effective contributors and change agents in the industry.
Mike Selinker, CEO of Lone Shark Games offers up in the foreword that women are needed and more than welcome in his company since the diversity of thought and experiences they bring to the table are what make companies like his shine and produce high quality entertainment. As an advocate of equality, Mike makes sure you understand that these stories of discrimination and sexism still happen everyday in the corporate world, and to keep an open mind when reading the short essays, and to become advocates for pay and professional equality. It’s a very touching gesture because as a man, the only thing he can do is open doors for the next group of women looking to breakthrough, to explain to his fellow men that the attitudes towards women have changed. They are here to stay.
The many accounts of discrimination, discomfort, ignorance and sound advice for future game designers are heartfelt, short, sweet and inspiring. Not all is bad when participating in game design and marketing but it can be an uphill battle to be taken seriously as a woman in this male dominated world. The saving grace is that many of the victims decided to take a stand and turned the culture around by becoming advocates for themselves and later for the women that suceeded them. Many opened their own studios and firms, bringing a new perspective to a market that was saturated by the same old ideas. Women making games for gamers, not just gender specific fluff. A challenge and adventure for families and friends to face and enjoy together.
This self published book can be purchased through Amazon and in select Cons. Follow Elisa on the web for more info: http://elisateague.com