18 December 2009
The news is worst for women workaholics. The Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, WI conducted a study of 1500 working women and found that women who only had a vacation once in 6 years were twice as likely to report damaging problems to their health such as hypertension, anxiety, and depression, than women who took regular vacations each year.
02 December 2009
Seattle Women in Games International is having a meet-up/greet-up Happy Hour on Tuesday Dec 8th at Post in Post Alley, Seattle, WA. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This meeting we will be focused on Social Games and Mobile Games/App's professionals, but all are welcome.
Bring a business card and relax with us -Leave the holiday nuttiness aside for a couple hours - Men and Women alike who are interested in the Women in Games groove.
One sponsor spot left for $300 is anyone wants to join in. We will also be taking suggestions for our 2010 panels at conferences at this and the next event.
21 October 2009
"Designing an educational computer game is not a gender-neutral process. Understanding the relationship between gender and computer games is essential for creating games. For educational games to be successful, they must be of a high quality and contain themes that appeal to the game preferences of both genders.
Most researchers have come to agree that although boys and girls are equally skilled at using computers and computer games, boys are more likely than girls to play with them. This is a concern when considering incorporating computer games into a educational system. However, by understanding the causes of the gaming gender rift, educators and game developers, like us, can create successful educational computer games"
Read the rest of the article here.
27 August 2009
What: AGC Reception
When: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Iron Cactus Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar
606 Trinity Street
Austin, Texas 78701
Click here to get directions to Iron Cactus.
06 August 2009
Mr. Silverstein added, “Companies are failing to meet the needs of women in five key ways: Poor product design and customization for women; clumsy sales and marketing; inability to address the need for time-saving solutions; inability to provide a meaningful hook and differentiation, and failure to develop community.”
11 July 2009
Date: July 20, 2009
Location: Triple Door, 216 Union Street, Seattle, WA
10 July 2009
Venue: Good Friends restaurant (Chinese), 24-25 Preston St.
How to get there: 0.2 mi from Develop. Exit the Hilton and turn right,
take the 4th right into Preston St. 4 mins walk.
A chance for women working in the industry to meet and network, just a
stone's throw away from the Hilton. Open to women of all games
industry sectors and disciplines, and to anyone interested in
supporting, investigating issues relating to, and celebrating gender
diversity in the industry.
25 June 2009
10 June 2009
08 June 2009
"Ninety-eight per cent of game developers across the world do not receive paid overtime, despite being frequently asked to work an extra ten to fifteen hours per week."
19 May 2009
14 May 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: ESPN Zone
Street: 1011 S. Figueroa Street
City/Town: Los Angeles, CA
This event is sponsored by Disney Interactive Media Group and Sony Computer Entertainment.
Be sure to RSVP and bring your E3 pass for admission. (No admission without E3 pass.)
Click here for info on how to RSVP.
09 May 2009
08 May 2009
"The criminal lawyer Alan Dershowitz, an advocate of the Socratic method who has taught at Harvard for four decades, has found that classroom dynamics have ''changed dramatically'' with the increase in women's enrollment. After he commented in one class that rape was -- statistically speaking -- ''a rare crime,'' a group of women complained to Professor Minow. When their concerns were relayed to Professor Dershowitz, he asked them to teach a lecture on rape from the victims' perspective. The women assigned the class to read the standards of consent to sexual intercourse and argued that statistics on rape could be inaccurate because of underreporting."
07 May 2009
Time: 6-9 pm
Where: Uber Lounge @ Steamworks (375 Water Street)
Plus, discount code for WIGI members attending GDC Canada.
Register and receive CDN $100 Discount on GDC Canada All Access and Main Conference passes. Enter code GCA09WIGI during the registration process.
03 May 2009
At GDC 2005 and GDC 2006, as co-founders of the non-profit, Girls in Games, Inc., Michelle Sorger and I conducted the popular "Attracting Women to Game Development" roundtables, which focused on recruitment and retention of women in the game industry. One comment during a discussion about bringing games into the lives of teenage girls has intrigued me over the years: a suggestion that the industry create 2 - 3 hour narrative-based games that teenage boys and girls could enjoy together, akin to going out to the movies.
Young girls, according to research, are enthralled by video games just as much as young boys, but in their teenage years, girls' interests typically turn to issues dealing with dating and socialization. Video games just like any type of sciences or maths are commonly viewed as interests for females who are socially awkward and undesirable. Therefore, girls veer away from the very subjects that could make them employable in the video game industry years from now. For years, people have said the issue is not that young female college freshmen are not interested in computer programming, but that teenage and middle school girls are not interested in computer programming. We're wasting our efforts if we devote all our energies to the college level.
But by transporting video games into the realm of social interaction and dating, the act of playing a video game become socially acceptable to teenage girls. It becomes part of the dating ritual, like going to a club or a movie. But what sort of short-form game would be appropriate for a date? And how would that dynamic be?
Normally, when boys and girls play video games together, boys end up playing the game. This has been noted in several studies of games used in educational settings. There are many explanations for this: girls typically are not video game literate and girls' play patterns differ from boys. Noah Falstein in a GDC 2009 session noted that when girls play, one takes the steering wheel while the others crowd around and give comments. For girls, no particular person is in control whereas boys are continually jockeying for control of the controller. Moreover, girls are not comfortable playing a game without knowing exactly how everything works. As Sheri Graner Ray has often stated, even back in the arcade age, a boy was playing the game while a girl stood watching.
However, I would posit that while girls' lack of controller dominance may discourage educational theorists who would want girls to participate (and learn) from games, this is perfectly OK in a social setting. No girl wants the possibility of failure in front of boy and repeated failure only leads to frustration. As casual game developers know, the more a casual player fails at a game, the more likely she is to stop playing the game. Moreover, when considering gender play patterns, it simply follows that a boy playing the game and a girl watching is a normal situation. And a girl's lack of controller dominance does not mean that she is not enjoying the game.
Anecdotally speaking, when a couple of game designers and I went through Gears of War 2 in one sitting, I was quite happy to let the guys go through the game because I knew they could get through it faster. Yet, I felt like I was participating because at choice points, I could voice my opinion, yelling "Right, Right!" or "No, Left!" when we drove over the frozen lakes. Normally, I find it silly to yell when I watch DVDs with friends, but because this game was interactive, I could participate in that way.
I might add that I typically do not enjoy action flicks on the wide screen. I have even fallen asleep during a Vin Diesel film because of the lack of deep characterization. So, it is somewhat surprising to me that I have come to this conclusion that action-packed short-form games would be ideal date material. Simply, in my experience, no other genre of games seemed to be right for this purpose. I have played Braid with the same guys and even though I used the controller with others commenting to me, a puzzle game is simply too slow-paced and furthermore, does not deliver a satisfying shared experience at 2 - 3 hours. I have found the same to be true for RPGs, which often meander and have a slow build-up.
Scientists have said that in the science of love, increased adrenaline output is part of falling in love, which is why television matchmakers try to hook couples up by giving them exciting dates like race car driving or bungee jumping. Fast-paced action games, if at 2 - 3 hours, incite adrenaline and are spectacles to be watch. The narratives, while they could be better, are straightforward and usually on rails like a movie. To top it off, if the couple had something like the Rez trance vibrator, then every time the boy blew away demon-alien hybrids, the girl would receive a happy jolt. However, that's not for first-date hijinks!
So what do you think? Should video games be part of the dating ritual?
25 April 2009
Currently in its fifth year, Women in Games U.K. is an annual conference with the distinct aim of highlighting the most recent, groundbreaking work in computer game research and development to both academic and industrial worlds. WiG has consistently addressed the empowerment and professional development of women working in, and researching into, games and the games industry. In 2009 with the objective of widening the audience and reach of the initiative WiG is running a series of activities in parallel with key games events, both academic and industry, to deliver focused work to the wider community.
19 April 2009
Microsoft held its first ever Women in Gaming Awards Luncheon on Wednesday during GDC, an intimate event recognizing the accomplishments of all women in an industry currently dominated by men.
Winners in the four award categories were:
Executive producer, director of art, Microsoft Game Studios, working on the Halo franchise
Designer and producer at EA, working on MySims, Boom Blox!
Principal engine programmer, Halo Team Microsoft
Producer on LittleBigPlanet at Media Molecule
Attending the luncheon via video was Sims and Spore man Will Wright, who was unable to make it to the event in person. But in his message he said that in his experience in working with women, they aren’t necessarily any better than men at design, but they are able to see things differently, and bring new depth to game design. In all, he’d like to see more women in senior management positions in the games industry
Sande Chen contributed to this report.
18 April 2009
It's more critical than ever for women to get into games, whether it's as a player or as a developer.
That's according to a panel comprised primarily of women on the closing day of GDC. But women don't always recognize or even have confidence in their ability to be game designers.
“The game industry has created a box around itself that says 'get out,'" says Tracy Fullerton, associate professor of interactive media at University of Southern California. "If you’re not dedicated to hardcore games, you’re not a gamer," some believe. That leads some aspiring female designers to doubt themselves because they prefer so-called "casual" games, not Gears of War or Halo.
"I think the industry has to invite people to come in and play.” Nintendo, she notes, is a prime example of making gaming more inviting.
Attracting more females to actually work in the games industry is also tied to encouraging more women to play games. Men and women often play games in very different ways, and the best games encompass all play styles.
Fullerton talked about her experience in a Halo clan that was comprised of both men and women. “I realized we weren't playing the same game. The guys were playing ‘I beat that guy,’ whereas I was playing ‘I am hanging out with my friends,’ yet we were both having fun in that same game.’”
Noah Falstein, president of consulting firm The Inspiracy, was fascinated when he watched girl friends of his 10-year-old daughter play Diablo II. One of them wasn't interested in slaying monsters; she played it like a shopping game, buying different items.
“One of the effects of getting women into game design is that they are going to add play patterns," says Fullerton.
And with wider-appealing game design comes a wider audience, a good thing for the games industry as well as gamers.
Sande Chen contributed to this report.
15 April 2009
by Sande Chen
In this panel put together by the IGDA Women in Games SIG, academics and business leaders came together to discuss the importance of video game literacy for women in the upcoming years. In addition, the leadership skills involved in playing some video games can help women succeed in their jobs.
"Cyber-socialization is different from socialization," said Diane Pozefsky, a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With businesses increasingly using distributed teams of people who have never met face-to-face, women who want to succeed in business will need to understand the subtleties of communication between avatars versus body language.
Moreover, the skills involved in running a remote team are the same ones needed to run a successful guild. As Phaedra Boinodiris, Serious Games Product Manager for IBM Software Group, revealed, IBM has been studying MMORPGs to see how they can be used in leadership and teamwork training. The military has even used fantasy raids in video games in its training.
Tracy Fullerton, Associate Professor of Interactive Media at the University of Southern California, agreed with this practice: "Games naturally help us to understand the forces that are at work in the leadership process. It allows us to rehearse bad and good strategies in leadership."
Online games can also teach women how to deal with environments dominated by males, something that may come in handy if they decide to work in game development.
But more and more, video game technology and video games are entering fields where women, rather than men, are the dominant population. These serious games, as they are called, will become part of the tools used in corporate culture, in the classroom, and in healthcare.
Noah Falstein, a serious games consultant, noted that at the most recent Games for Health conference, the audience there was much more balanced than at GDC. There was no gender or age bias since the teams and audiences for these games exhibit diversity.
That's an ideal the panelists hope can happen for regular game development, although they acknowledge that obstacles exist.
Fullerton observed that when young women come to her game design class, they often sit in the back and think that they don't belong. She has to convince them that they do in fact play games, even if the games they like are not Halo 3 but some Facebook app. These young women could not imagine themselves as game designers.
Falstein relayed a similar story: "I talked to a young woman on Monday and she said, 'I was a psychology major in college and I design games on my own, but I'm not sure if I would be a good game designer." The punchline was that the young woman was Erin Robinson, who two days later was one of the winners of the Game Design Challenge at GDC.
It's a familiar sentiment spoken by women, who have been beaten down by the prevailing judgment, that women aren't gamers and women shouldn't be in game design.
"The game industry has created a box around itself that says GET OUT," Fullerton said. "If you're not dedicated to hardcore games, then you're not a gamer." Instead, Fullerton felt that it was up to the industry to invite women into the fold. Research has shown that this could have a beneficial effect for games.
For instance, when boys and girls are asked to develop games, it's the girls' games that are enjoyed by everyone whereas only boys seemed to like the games they developed. Women developers tend to add more play patterns, enabling more people to enjoy the game.
Falstein remarked after telling the story of his daughter's playtime with Diablo 2: "Watching a bunch of 10-year-old girls play Diablo 2 was eye-opening. It was completely different from boys." The girls tended to play collaboratively whereas boys would compete for control of the avatar.
The panelists agreed that more mainstream games, such as Wii Sports, are a positive trend for the industry. If more women play games and more women develop games, then they can be part of this growing trend.
"Hopefully, we won't have stereotypical games that young male designers think little girls want, but about what people want," said Falstein.
09 April 2009
31 March 2009
Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 G.I.R.L. Scholarship to help educate and recruit more women into the field of video game production and design. Sponsored by Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) a global leader in online gaming, and administered by Scholarship America®, a leading non-profit educational support program, applications are available at https://www.
For 2009, the scholarship winner has the option of working at SOE San Diego on our forthcoming MMO Free Realms.
Applications are due by April 29, 2009.
The scholarship fund honors Dr. Randy Pausch, professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Dr. Pausch, a co-founder of CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), has had great influence within the industry through his teachings, sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts and consultation with Google on user interface design.
Information on the Dr. Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund and the application process will be available beginning March 31, 2009 at www.interactive.org.
18 March 2009
(Pssst...this event is co-ed. Gents are welcome too!)
We'll be raffling off a hot KaraB laptop bag courtesy of eBags. Your ticket for the door gets you a ticket for the raffle!
Juliette Powell is a media entrepreneur, a community catalyst and author of '33 Million People in the Room: How to create, influence and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking' http://www.juliettepowell.com/book.php
Drawing on first hand experience as a social media expert and co-founder of The Gathering Think Tank, an innovation forum that connects technology, media, entertainment, and business communities, Powell writes about the patterns and practices of successful business leaders who bank on social networking to win. Powell’s background includes a decade of experience in broadcast television as well as in interactive/new media content and formats, and a lifelong interest in people and community-building. With her deep knowledge of the people and technologies at the forefront of social media, Powell has gained a solid reputation for discovering the latest developments and distilling their social and business implications. Her consulting services have been employed by corporate,government and new media organizations, including Red Bull, Mozilla,Microsoft, Compaq, Trump International, the United Nations, the Departmentof Justice, Paltalk, Rocketboom and Nokia.
Joanne Colan has 7 years experience hosting, writing, co-producing and creating broadcast television and radio for major networks and cable channels across international markets.
A recognized name in New Media, Joanne currently hosts daily the video blog Rocketboom <http://www.rocketboom.com/>. With over 100,000 downloads per episode, Rocketboom has been awarded Vloggies Best News Vlog and was an honorary Webby Award 2007 winner.
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Where: M1-5 Lounge
Cost: $10 advance, $15 at the door
17 March 2009
Before blind auditions became common in the 70s, just 10% of new hires at major U.S. orchestras were women. The theory was that women weren't very good musicians. But labor unions protested the hiring process and pushed for blind auditions where musicians would try out behind a curtain so appearance and gender were concealed. In studying personnel from 11 major orchestras, Harvard economist Claudia Goldin and Princeton’s Cecelia Rouse found that 29% of females and 20% of males advanced to the final round in blind auditions. When auditions were not blind, only 19% of women advanced compared to 23% of men. Even though sex discrimination is hard to measure, those stats speak volumes. Fortunately, since the 80s, about half the new hires at the New York Philharmonic, 40% at the San Francisco Symphony and more than a third in Boston and Chicago have been women.
04 March 2009
There are not many countries in the world with no paid maternity leave. The International Labour Organisation lists only four others: Lesotho, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the US. To anyone living in a country where paid maternity leave is well-established, the consequences of not having it are arresting. In the US, the law requires companies with more than 50 employees to offer at least 12 weeks' unpaid leave after childbirth. What do US mothers do after that?
02 March 2009
In conditions of high uncertainty, financial markets value companies that take fewer risks and are more stable. Several gender studies have pointed out that women behave and manage differently from men. They tend to be more risk-averse and to focus more on a long-term perspective. A larger proportion of female managers appears to balance the risk-taking behaviour of their male colleagues.
21 February 2009
The Art Institute of California - San Francisco
1170 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(Just a few short blocks from Moscone center at 7th & Market Streets)
Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Time: 6:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
RSVP through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Evite
24 January 2009
They also found the stereotype affects women's upward mobility, said Jenny Hoobler, an assistant professor of management who led the study.
"We found that rather than women's actual family-work conflict, bosses' biased perceptions" of it account for why women are given fewer promotions, she said."
07 January 2009
Last year, the Senate failed to get the 60 votes necessary to force an up-or-down vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would mandate that women receive equal pay for equal work. Now, with a new session of Congress in place, the House is ready to take up the fight again.
With President-elect Obama soon to take office, we now have a real chance to pass this legislation that could do so much for so many American women. There will be a battle in the Senate, and the best way to come out of the gate strong is for the bill to pass by an overwhelming majority in the House.
Women across America are counting on Congress - I just took action to tell my member of Congress to support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I hope you will, too.
Please have a look and take action.
06 January 2009
Time: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Hosted by: Animation Army & WIGI
This month's PRESENTER: Richard Taylor - EA Games
Richard has been working on the cutting edge of visual CG production for decades. From directing effects on Disney's TRON to winning CLIOs and HUGOs for directing huge commercial campaigns like the 7 Up "Spot." Richard is now the Cinematic Director at Electronic Arts L.A. Studio where he designs and directs cinematic sequences for games such as: Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth, I & II, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.
THANKS TO RICHARD & EA GAMES SOME LUCKY ATTENDEES WILL WIN SOME NEW EA GAMES FOR
XBOX AND Wii...DON'T MISS IT!!
We are also giving away a "resume overhaul" ($600 value) from the Mary-Margaret Network and a career coaching session from Pamela Thompson recruiting, fully rigged 3D character design from Evolver and games from Electronic Arts.
Our generous sponsors include: Mary-Margaret Network, Evolver, Pamela Thompson Recruiting, Electronic Arts and Sheppard Mullin.