Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blips: Gender Diversity Down Under

Source: Who makes games in Australia?
Author: Daniel Golding
Site: ABC Arts (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

In the grand scheme of things, I know little about Australia. I've never been there, but would love to visit someday. What I do know is that Australia has a game development industry that's garnered an increased amount of global attention in the past few years. Australian game developers have been behind big-budget titles like the criminal investigation adventure game LA Noire and also smaller indie games like the mind-bending Antichamber. What's surprising though is that in a recent industry analysis, women only make up 8.7% of the development workforce, but almost half of the player base.

In a piece for ABC Arts, Daniel Golding breaks down what these new statistics mean for the industry and how it's leaders are and aren't taking action to increase gender diversity in the workplace. It would be pretty cool if a smaller industry workforce could take on this issue in a successful way that could then serve as a template for larger regions like the US. Golding does a great job of analyzing the issue, looking into factors that affect education down to the fact that labeling game development courses as "game design" instead of lumping them in with "IT" greatly increases the percentage of women who enroll in those courses. It makes sense that an increase of women with game design diplomas would then make for an increased percentage of women in the game development workforce, though there are still other systemic issues within the games industry that won't be fully addressed in the education sector.

Anyway, I don't want to rehash the whole piece here; it's pretty interesting though.

:image credit Jamie Keys:

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