I am proud to be a female game developer and “gamer”! I don’t define myself by my gender, but there’s no hiding it either, especially when working in the video game industry. I was flattered and humbled to participate on a panel called “Girls that Game” at Otronicon, Orlando’s annual interactive tech expo at the Orlando Science Center.
The panel turned out to be a highlight of Otronicon for me. It was fun to be able to share some of my knowledge and experience alongside of other females in the game industry, especially seeing several young girls in the audience. The other panelists were insightful and inspirational, and I came home with a lot of valuable information for anyone, regardless of gender.
Here are some of my key takeaways from the discussion:
What do you think is the future of gaming and where would you like it to go?
- Necole shared her thoughts that mixed reality games and Google Cardboard were going to be in the future of gaming.
- Erica would like to see new IP (intellectual property) and less sequels!
- As for me, I personally can’t wait to see virtual reality take games and social experiences to the next level, but I also enjoy the throwback I’ve been seeing to retro arcade/pinball games.
Have you experienced any pushback in the game industry due to being female?
- Necole made a very good point that a lot of times it’s more about culture than gender in social and professional settings. To counter this, she says to help break down social barriers by being honest about who you are and build relationships so people know who you are and what knowledge and expertise you bring to the table, regardless of your gender.
- Erica is worried about girls not being encouraged to pursue science and math as they go through school, but she was encouraged to see a lot of girls playing her game and being excited about science and space here at Otronicon. Many girls were excited to build an all girl team of colonists on Mars in TBA Games’ Periareion!
- Coming from education to a technical field myself, I have definitely needed to adjust to the culture of the game industry, but I haven’t felt any push back specifically from being a woman. In this industry, everyone has to constantly be learning and growing with the technology. It is fun to develop games, but it is also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. If you know what you’re talking about and good at what you do, man or woman, that is what people generally respect!
Based on the audience response to some of the players you mentioned on youtube, who are some of your favorite “Let’s Players” to watch or recommend to others?
We had a great time talking to the audience about our love of games and our roles in the current game development industry. Many thanks to Erin, who came down from UF to facilitate the panel! We hope to continue to inspire women to be empowered in whatever they do, and to game with no regrets! Please feel free to contact any of us if you have further questions or comments.
- Erin Winick
- Bethany Borden
- Necole Pynn:
- Erica Holcomb
Click here to view the entire “Girls in Game” panel from Otronicon.