05 December 2008

WIGI Vancouver Fundraiser

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
6 pm to 9 pm

Co-hosted by Wired Woman & Women in Games International
$25 members (visit www.wiredwoman.com > -
membership is free! so subscribe and then register) / $35 non-members

Special $10 student rate:
email mentorship.van@wiredwoman.com to obtain your student rate! (Please
show valid student ID at the door).

Secretly wanting to expose your inner Rock Band? Have a competitive edge in
you? Or just want to come out and have fun, network, and mingle? Join us for
a pre-Christmas mixer! This event is going to be a blast! Lots of door
prizes, games, contests, great people, food, drinks, engaging conversation
and a whole lotta fun!

We'll be rockin'. Battle of the Bands - ROCKBAND

This event is a fundraiser. Funds will enable our Vancouver chapter to
grow, and other directives to be determined at upcoming focus groups.

25 November 2008

Women in Games International Launches Online Auction

eBay Auction Raise Funds for National Games Non-Profit

Women in Games International (WIGI) presents their WIGI Celebrity Ebay Auction, a collection of over a hundred video games and game-related merchandise items -- much of it signed by industry leaders -- being auctioned to raise funds for Women in Games International.

If there's one thing gamers love more than games themselves, it's awesome game-related merchandise. That's why Women in Games International is happy to announce their 2008 celebrity auction, a collection of over 100 items generously donated by leaders in the video game industry -- including Bungie, Microsoft Game Studios, Electronic Arts, and many other game companies.

WIGI auction items include everything from signed blockbuster games to game design books to hard-to-find vintage paraphernalia. You can check out their website for a full list of items. A few items that may pique the interest of bidders include Halo 3 high-quality black messenger bag with Halo figurine, books, and posters, signed special edition Xbox 360 copy of Frontlines with signed Kaos shirt, signed Gears of War messenger bag, Gears of War bottle opener, and An Inside Look at Gears of War 2 book, and much, much more.

To find the WIGI auction items online and starting the bidding process, visit: http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/silvar1_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ, or just go to eBay.com and search for "2008 WIGI Auction." Bidding for the auction begins Saturday, 11/22, in conjunction with the Philadelphia event VGXPO. All proceeds go to support Women in Games International, a non-profit organization that has been working over the last four years to further the inclusion and advancement of women in the game industry.

Visit www.womeningamesinternational.org to see the complete auction item list. Just in time for the holidays, you can begin your bidding online for unique game gifts on Saturday, November 22.

14 November 2008

Recession dents image of macho management

"It has been suggested these women will be able to guide the banks through tough times without taking the kind of aggressive risks that brought the country's banking system to its knees. One government official said at the time: "The men make the mess and the women come in to clean it up."

Yet, according to analysis of British companies carried out by the Financial Times, troubled companies would be misguided to rely on female chief executives derisking their operations after male misadventures.

If anything, the research suggests that companies with female CEOs tend to be even more aggressive - with many pursuing ambitious expansion strategies and borrowing large amounts."

25 October 2008

Where Are the Video Games Women Really Want?

"The notion, however, that men alone rule the gaming realm is as outdated as the Atari 2600. Men, women and children alike have answered the call to play. While the gaming industry has long tailored its approach to gaming for young men and boys, women and girls have been largely left out."

23 October 2008

Female Representation In Games Across Genres, Consoles

Which Genres Provide Male-Only, Female-Only Protagonists?

Women left on sidelines in video game revolution

L.A. times article looks into glass ceilings and the gender gap in salaries.

"Those who do land game-related jobs make less money on average than their male counterparts. Women at all levels of the field earned an average of $64,643 last year, while men earned $74,459, according to the survey."

14 October 2008

Co-worker hobbies encourage synergy, productivity

Staff sing from one hymn sheet

Take a leaf out of these corporate bibliophiles' book, FT, Oct 14, 2008

"Reading, especially high quality reading, is the mental equivalent of losing weight, eating better or going to the gym and has similar benefits."

2 articles from the Financial Times highlight that corporate programs done for seemingly frivolous entertainment have led to synergy and increased productivity.

The Sony Philharmonic Orchestra, composed mostly of engineers in Sony's divisions, has had the positive side effect of collaborations between departments. Reading programs have led to reading groups and book clubs. Reading not only improves communication skills but also, research of brain scans indicate that people who read literature, such as Shakespeare, have dramatic spikes in positive brain activity.

09 October 2008

New Video Game Aimed At Teen Girls Made In MN

PopStar - a Guitar Hero clone for teenyboppers

06 October 2008

Meeting The Needs Of Hispanic Girls With Hip Chicas

"Hip Chicas recently launched a beta for its Latina-themed virtual world hoping to change that. It's a Latina-themed virtual world for tween girls with a strong theme of "helping improve the planet" -- instead of the "traditionally negative" themes Fuentes has noticed in products targeting Hispanic girls, like "bling-bling, shopping or lipstick."

05 October 2008

If Women Were More Like Men: Why Females Earn Less

Evidence of sex discrimination in the workplace?

The first ever transgender study of the wage gap shows that men who become women do not do as well financially as women who become men.

In addition, when musicians auditioned behind a screen, this increased the likelihood of a woman getting hired for the symphony.

"He told Schilt that after he transitioned from female to male, another lawyer mistakenly believed that Susan had been fired and replaced by Thomas. The other lawyer commended the firm's boss for the replacement. He said Susan had been incompetent; "the new guy," he added, was "just delightful.""

03 October 2008

Hand over the controller, girl gamers say

Females accounted for 21% of the total sales growth last year:

In the U.S. economic slowdown, much is riding on the female gamers said Edward Williams, managing director of equity research at BMO Capital Markets.

"Publishers and developers need to create the right content that appeals to more girls in order to maintain the health of the industry," Williams said.

Special Edition Pink Madden NFL

"EA is supporting charitable efforts by releasing a limited-edition version of Madden NFL 09 that displays a pink ribbon logo in support of breast cancer awareness. Proceeds from "Madden NFL Pink" will support the Deanna Favre HOPE Foundation."

27 September 2008

Study Reveals Women Choose Video Games Instead of Sleep

"According to the E for All / PoshMama survey, more than one-third of those surveyed say that they play video games when they should be sleeping. Women in the survey also say they play video games in other unusual circumstances, including: while on the phone (32%); while at work/in a meeting (20%); and, while preparing for work (12%). When it comes to spare time, nearly twice as many women say that, if given an extra hour of free time at home, they would rather play video games than catch up on sleep."

Commentary on NY Games Conference

I've just returned from the first annual NY Games Conference in NYC, which was held on September 25 - 26, 2008.

Reality Check! Q&A with our Panel of Gamers from the Millennial Generation

What struck me about the teenage girls' comments was that they mostly found out about games through their brothers... and did not have much of an idea of how their brothers found out about games. As for the purchasing of games, they said they bought games for their brothers.

This mirrors previous research that was presented at a past GDC. College-age women mostly found out about games through their husbands or boyfriends. This is why women are typically the "2nd user" of a game. If the game is in the household, they will play it. College-age women also typically bought games for boyfriends or husbands as gifts.

Games of Tomorrow and the Future of MMOGs
John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, revealed that the EverQuest demographic was 85% male, with an average age of 33. This is why with FreeRealms, SOE wants to appeal to girls and try to get the male-female ratio to 50:50. Smedley explained that since combat appeals to boys more, making combat optional is a way to appeal to girls. Smedley also pointed to the recent success of the movie Dark Knight in asserting that DC Universe Online, as a licensed property, will bring in younger and female players.

Fernando Paiz, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons Online at Turbine Entertainment said that because Turbine's MMOGs, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Asheron's Call, were fantasy games, the user base is predominately male, older, with significantly longer play sessions of 2-3 hours at a time.

A Bad Boss Can Send You to an Early Grave

Fear the seagull manager!

"Then—-instead of getting the facts straight and working alongside their staff to realize a viable solution-—seagull managers come swooping in at the last minute, they squawk orders at everybody, and deposit steaming piles of formulaic advice before abruptly taking off..."

23 September 2008

WIGI/GamerVixens Mixer at E for All

From 8 pm to 11 pm, the Angels & Vixens party will take place at the Broadway Bar. Please RSVP for the party at the following link. RSVPs are required.


20 September 2008

Games Women Play

Robert Norton, Managing Director, North America of King.com, reveals research on female casual game players.

07 September 2008

Is Lara Croft Sexist?

"The question of whether or not Lara is sexy or just plain sexist is not such a cut and dry issue. With Eidos' introduction of a new living, breathing (gymnast) Lara Croft model, we asked women of the games industry about Lara's evolving role as the iconic front-woman of the hit Tomb Raider franchise..."

WIGI Celebrity Ebay Auction

For those of you attending the Austin Game Developer¹s Conference, WIGI is
having a fabulous celebrity auction to raise money for the group. The WIGI
Celebrity Ebay Auction is a collection of over a hundred video games and
game-related merchandise much of it signed by industry leaders auctioned off
to raise money for the Women in Games International. Please watch out for
the items on display and bid on your favorites. All the items have been
donated to WIGI to support the organization.

Items include autographed Law and Order TV script + Law and Order game (Ed Zuckerman, Legacy Interactive), autographed Mass Effect poster + XBox Game + PC Game + Demiurge Studios T (Bioware, Demiurge), autographed Witcher UK version(CDProjekt RED, Writers Cabal), lots of Halo 3 swag (Microsoft), autographed Frontlines: Fuel of War special edition Australian tin + XBox Game + T (THQ/Kaos), autographed Bioshock strategy guide (2K) and lots more!

The auctions will run on Ebay so if you're not at the conference, you can still bid on the items.

05 September 2008

WIGI Community Mixer - Vancouver

Join us for the highly anticipated Women In Games International - Vancouver BC - YALETOWN FUSION MIXER!!!

Come fuse & mingle with current and future game pros,
in conjunction with the SIGGRAPH/SPARK Animation
event in Vancouver, British Columbia.


All genders welcome

Sponsored by Big Fish Games.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Goldfish Pacific Kitchen
1118 Mainland Street
West Vancouver, BC

Tecmo Settles Overtime Suit

"The suit, which was filed with the Tokyo District Court in June 2008, claimed that under Tecmo’s "flexible hours" work scheme, employees were not paid appropriately for their overtime hours, which often exceeded 100 hours per month. The suit also alleged that the company created false documents to cover up the accounting documents..."

26 August 2008

Maternity leave in the U.S.

from New York Times article "Give a Break to Americans Giving Birth," November 4, 2006

According to a 2004 study by Jody Heymann, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, more than 160 countries offer some sort of leave for new mothers, paid by the government. Those that don't include Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Lesotho - and the United States.

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for men and women. And even then it covers only people who have worked basically full-time for at least one year at companies with 50 or more employees. That means about 40% of working women don't qualify for leave under the FMLA.

Women in Games Conference

Women in Games Conference
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
10-12th September 2008

This year’s conference will be looking at such things as what the perception of the games industry is to outsiders and reasons why girls are turned off technology at a young age.

Sign up rates of students studying Computer Science have fallen in recent years and women are very much in the minority. This is why Jane Sinclair and Sara Kalvala, both Associate Professors in Computer Science at nearby Warwick University, wanted to get involved in the conference. Computing in games is one career choice available to Computer Science graduates, though not always obvious to all, but a very attractive and creative industry to be in.

There is plenty of research going on into why and how women play games, and the way they are portrayed, and this is another aspect of the Women In Games conference that makes it so fascinating. Bringing together academia and industry to discuss all these ideas, and explore ways in which more women can be encouraged to seek careers in games makes for a unique conference.

Although concerned with women this conference is also open to men! The industry needs a meaningful dialogue between the sexes as it moves forward.

Deadline for registration is Friday 5th September, sign up now to ensure your place. Conference-standard accommodation is available on campus - no need to drive during the conference, parking is free, and evening meals and entertainment all included! Just sign up for accommodation when registering –follow the registration link on the 2008 page at www.womeningames.com.

Why Women Must Self-Promote

Fiona Cherbak of Game Recruiter gives advice on the job search.

"Through social conditioning that has nothing to do with our industry, but simply our society, women are less inclined to be assertive in such situations because they’re afraid of being judged or told "no." Meanwhile, there are men who quite easily put themselves out there and say, “Here’s what I’ve done, here’s what I can do and here’s why it’s valuable to you.”...

14 August 2008

Woman to Woman, Online

"Heather Armstrong’s wickedly funny blog about motherhood, Dooce, is more than just an outlet for the creativity and frustrations of a modern mother. The site, chock full of advertising, is a moneymaking machine — so much so that Ms. Armstrong and her husband have both quit their regular jobs...."

This article isn't about the game industry, but it does show advertiser interest in reaching the online female segment.

08 August 2008

Women and Games: What We Know and Don't Know About the Casual Link

"A recurring topic of discussion among casual game developers is Women Game Players. When casual games are taken into consideration, adult women make up more than half of all video game players by some measures. And when looking at only casual games, most authorities say their audience is predominately female by a shot... "

07 August 2008

The Growing Role of Women in Gaming

This short article has quotes from Arkadium and Rebel Monkey about designing games for women and the growing presence of women in game companies.

24 July 2008

Researchers Study Software Gender Gap

"For more than a decade, academics and technology executives have been frowning at the widening gender gap in computer science....

Now, some computer science researchers say one solution may lie in the design of software...."

Girls Bridge Gender Divide in Math

"Researchers looked at standardized test scores of more than 7 million students, ranging from the second grade to high school junior. Whatever gender differences there once existed between girls and boys in terms of math performance are gone..."

17 July 2008

You’ve Played ‘Em, Now Make ‘Em: Careers In Game Development

Lance Powell, Electronic Arts
Tim Trzepacz, softegg.com
Bill Kroyer
Anne Toole, Writers Cabal

Women in Animation

Thursday, July 17, 2008, 7pm

DreamWorks campus

RSVP and for more info:
Women in Animation

Video game industry tries to broaden its appeal

"These video games don't sound like anything that would grab a teenage boy's attention, and that's the point. They are part of an important expansion of the video game industry as it works to pull in women, girls and other demographics and cement its place as mainstream entertainment..."

26 June 2008

Video Games It's a Girl Thing

"The two middle school girls had never had a lesson on video game creation before this week, but on Tuesday they were learning how to make their ideas appear on a computer screen at the free Tech Savvy Summer Girls Camp run by Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology...."

20 June 2008

WIGI Community Mixer - Seattle

Women in Games International and Big Fish Games invites casual games professionals and those wanting to break into the industry to their first annual social event at Casual Connect ‘08.

Casual Connect is an annual conference for the casual games industry with over 3,000 professionals attending. The Women in Games International (WIGI) mixer will be held Thursday, July 24, at 7 pm at Dragonfish Asian Café in Seattle, a few short blocks from the Casual Connect site (Benaroya Hall), in the heart of downtown Seattle.

Those attending the WIGI mixer can expect delicious food, cocktails, goodies and amazing chances to network. Meet e-mail buddies face-to-face and mix-n-mingle with industry insiders. All attendees are reminded to bring their business cards to make the most of the event and to qualify for door prizes and giveaways. The event is hosted by Big Fish Games and Women in Games International. Goodies and giveaways will be provided by Big Fish Games, a global leader, developer and distributor in the casual games market.

Women in Games International Community Mixer at Casual Connect 2008
Sponsored by Big Fish Games
Time: 7 pm – 10 pm
Location: Dragonfish Asian Cafe
722 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 467-7777

There is limited space at this venue, so please RSVP early!
RSVP HERE: http://www.evite.com/app/publicUrl/DVJMALYWVTLXMSZLSGVR/BFG/WIGIMixerCC08

About the Sponsors/Hosts

Big Fish Games
Big Fish Games is a global leader and innovator in the online games industry, producing and delivering the world's best games and game experiences. Big Fish Games Studios develops and publishes the industry's leading brands for computers, mobile devices and consoles. Its portfolio of hit games includes Mystery Case Files®, Hidden Expedition™, Azada™ and Fairway Solitaire™. Big Fish Games' portal at www.bigfishgames.com distributes more games worldwide than any other online site and offers visitors a rapidly expanding selection of content by launching A New Game Every Day!™

Women in Games International
Women in Games International was founded in 2005 in response to a growing demand around the world for the inclusion and advancement of women in the game industry. Women in Games International is managed by a steering committee comprised of like-minded individuals, is supported by corporate and media sponsors and directed by a global advisory board. www.womeningamesinternational.org

30 May 2008

More "Chick Flick" games on the way?

""Chick flick" games may become more prevalent as game makers begin to wake up to new opportunities, Rebel Monkey CEO Margaret Wallace tells Next-Gen...."

09 May 2008

Aspiring Women Game Artists Competition

Open for Entries
Deadline Friday, June 20th

Something is terribly wrong with the Game Development Industry and you can fix it… but only if you are a woman.

9% of game artists are women and they make on average over $10,000 less per year than their male counterparts. (Source: Game Career Guide, 2007.)

Notes on Game Dev invites all women aspiring game artists to submit an essay to the 2008 NoGD Aspiring Women Game Artists Competition for a chance at a full time scholarship to Sessions Online(SM) School of Game Art.

Sessions Online School of Game Art, an accredited online program that can be accessed anywhere, wants to provide education to women and diversify the industry. Students leave the program with a strong portfolio and reel reviewed by faculty and industry professionals before graduation.

Entries will be judged by female leaders in game art and education including Heather Kelley, Sheri Graner Ray, and Cristin McKee. Prizes to be provided by Sessions Online School of Game Art, IGDA, and Game Developer Magazine.


Two Grand Prize Winners will receive:
• A fully paid grant for the Accredited Game Art Certificate Program at Sessions Online School of Game Art. ($5355 value)
• The right to use the NoGD Grand Place Award Winner digital seal in their future portfolio / reel.
• A one year membership to the International Game Developers Association.
• A one year subscription to Game Developer Magazine.

Two Runners Up will receive:
• The right to use the NoGD Grand Place Award Winner digital seal in their future portfolio / reel.
• One year subscription to Game Developer magazine.


Friday, June 20th.

Write a 500 word essay that answers the following questions:

- Why do you want to be in the game industry?
- What is your past experience with art?
- What is your dream art job in the game industry?

Submit entries as an email or PDF to competitions@sessions.edu with your name, email, and phone. Deadline is Friday, June 20th.

The winner will be announced on July 1st.

07 April 2008

Women in Games Conference Call for Papers

Women in Games Conference
University of Warwick, UK
10-12th September 2008

Call for papers and participation

The Women In Games conference encourages research and seeks to promote careers for women within the games industry. If games are to become a true sibling medium to music and cinema, the industry needs greater balance in its audience and its workforce. The Women In Games conference welcomes participants from both industry and academia, providing a forum for presentation and discussion of issues relating to all aspects of women's involvement in games, including game development, game playing and women as portrayed within games.

Although this conference is concerned with women and games please note that men are also very welcome to participate! The industry needs a meaningful dialogue between the sexes as it moves forward.

Further details of the conference and this year's themes are available at the conference website: www.womeningames.com

Call for Girl Games

Synaptic Gaming & Simulation, LLC will soon launch an exciting new
website focusing on games specifically designed for girls between the
ages of 10 and 18. Independently developed games for tweens and teenage
girls are being sought. While all games will be considered, games which
contain some educational element in one or more of the following areas
are preferred. Of special interest is the objective to engage more
girls in virtual worlds to the extent that they have an opportunity to
learn lessons in:

Money management

Games must be rated E for Everyone.

Games must be playable on standard home computers (Windows 2000 or
later) and should not require the latest graphics, sound, or video

Selected games will be published with very favorable terms for the
developer. Details will be contained in confidential communications
with selected developers.

For immediate consideration, reply in confidence with the following to:
Elizabeth Hubbard
Synaptic Gaming & Simulation, L.L.C.
Managing Member

Name of the Game
A summary of the game (limit 500 words)
If the game contains an educational element, identify the learning
6 screen shots
Brief statement of what makes the game appealing to girls
System specs for the game's optimal play
Game credits (including writers and artists)
Contact information

We invite you to share this Call for Games with other independent game
developers. This is an open and on-going call. There are no deadlines.
All submissions will be evaluated as they are received. The target
launch date for the new website is June 1, 2008.

03 April 2008

How stereotyping affects testing and performance

The group is developing an online game called Trait Mate to measure and modify children's stereotypical beliefs. By the age of 5, stereotypes about gender have been indoctrinated.

“Stereotype threat can be induced by a variety of subtle cues in the
testing environment,” McGlone said, “such as the gender composition of a
class or being asked to indicate one’s ethnicity or gender on a test
demographics question. These cues heightened awareness of people’s
‘ascribed identities’—for example, identities based on things about
themselves that they can’t easily change.”

McGlone acknowledged that many aspects of personal identity are
achieved—membership in social categories based on individual
achievements—rather than ascribed. He contended that deficits in test
performance caused by stereotype threat could be mitigated by reminding
test takers of the achieved identities they possess for which there are
positive performance expectations.

“In other words, by putting women in a situation where they’re not
preoccupied with negative gender stereotypes, you can significantly reduce
the gender gap in standardized testing performance,” he said.

02 April 2008

Pair Programming and Women


Pair programming, when used as a form of collaborative learning, has been
shown to increase the number of women (and men) persisting in their
previously stated intent to pursue degrees in computer science. In
addition, paired teams have been found to significantly outperform
individual programmers in terms of program functionality and readability,
to report greater satisfaction with the problem-solving process, to have
greater confidence in their solutions, and to be more likely to complete a
programming assignment.

Surprise Surprise Video Game Study Discounts Girls

Surprise, Surprise...video game study discounts girls

by Suzanne Freyjadis-Chuberka

Two Harvard researchers have just released a book based on a study about
the nature of violent games and their effect on youth...

In an interview the lead researcher, Prof. Cheryl Olson says, "Since we bought into the myth that girls don't like violent games, we didn't recruit them for focus groups in this set of studies." ...

19 March 2008

Diary Girl

Konami sent out the following press release for well, it's not really a game, more of a social networking tool:


Make Friends Around the World With New Children's Title on Nintendo DS™

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - March 18, 2008 - Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Diary Girl™ has shipped to retail stores in North America. Developed for Nintendo DS™ system, this title provides girls of all ages the ability to interact with friends through their own customizable avatars, as well as organize a calendar and address book in their own password-protected electronic journal.

"The Diary Girl package gives young gamers an organizational tool, mini-games, and a social interactive component, all on their personal DS handheld system," said Rozita Tolouey, Director of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Kids increasingly crave games with a social networking aspect and Konami is dedicated to giving them that and more with this new title."

Diary Girl packs friends, fun and organization in a password-protected electronic journal for Nintendo DS. Featuring a daily calendar and an address book, Diary Girl is a lifestyle accessory for the busiest girl around. Players are given their own avatar to customize with various clothes and accessories, as well as make-up and hair. For the girl on-the-go, advanced DS capabilities allow young gamers to talk to their friends in real time without a cell phone using the WiFi voice chat function of the game, and instant message with the Picto-chat style text messaging service. To complete the Diary Girl package, players can also participate in mini-games including mazes, jig saw puzzles, card matching, and personality quizzes. No girl's DS collection can be complete without Diary Girl.

02 March 2008

Little Girl Games

This article from the Escapist, while titled "Little Girl Games," seems to be more about working with licensed IP.

An excerpt
"It's easy to see how these kinds of elements might get overlooked by a development team comprised primarily of young men. But as Corbetta explained, one of the first things he learned in working on licensed titles is you're not making a game for yourself."

29 February 2008

Interview with Per Rosendal of Guppyworks

Interview with Per Rosendal, CEO, Guppyworks. Guppyworks is working on Guppylife, a MMO for girls. This interview was conducted in behalf of GameDev.Net

24 February 2008

Sony Scholarship

Wed Feb 20, 7:37 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) said Wednesday it is luring women into video game design with a 10,000-dollar scholarship and paid internships.

"We are under-represented," Devra Pransky of SOE told AFP after the announcement of the scholarship at a major Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

"Video game making is male dominated and we need to change that."

A Sony-sponsored survey in January of female students enrolled in game design and programming at The Art Institutes showed that about half of those surveyed think more women would play video games designed by women.

The perception of the video game industry being a male bastion deters women from getting into the field, those surveyed agreed.

"It is a misdirection that women don't like video games," said SOE publicist Taina Rodriguez, who sported a lime green t-shirt with the acronym G.I.R.L. -- Gamers In Real Life.

"If more women make games, then more women will play games and get excited about making games. We want to strengthen that cycle."

Students enrolled in The Art Institutes schools can begin applying for the SOE scholarship in April. The winner will get 10,000 dollars for tuition and a paid internship at an SOE studio.

The Art Institutes has 35 campuses in the United States and offers online education.

"I love games, but I'm a bit old school," said Niki Dominguez of The Art Institute of California in San Diego. "I'm an Atari fan."

She also boasts a nine handicap playing golf on Nintendo's Wii video game console.

Students enrolled in accredited universities or trade schools can also apply for SOE internships.

NYT article: Vital Signs (Men and Video Games)

Vital Signs
Patterns: A Video Game, an M.R.I. and What Men's Brains Do
Published: February 19, 2008

Why does it often seem that men enjoy playing video games more than
women? Perhaps because they do.

A new study finds that when men play the games, a part of the brain
involved in feelings of reward and addiction becomes much more
activated than it does in women.

This may explain why men are more likely to report feeling addicted to
video games than women are, the researchers say in an online article
in The Journal of Psychiatric Research. The lead author is Fumiko
Hoeft of the Stanford University School of Medicine.

For the study, the researchers took a group of 22 young volunteers —
half men, half women — and had them play a game as an M.R.I. machine
looked at what was happening in their brains. The study found that in
the men, there was much more activity in the mesocorticolimbic system.

Given the abundance in video games of violence and other themes near
and dear to many men, there may be a natural explanation for why their
brains light up more. But the senior author of the study, Dr. Allan L.
Reiss, said the researchers made a point of steering the game they
used in a more neutral direction.

The volunteers played a simple game in which they were told only to
click the images of balls they saw, with no mention of a goal.

The players soon figured out that if they kept the balls from
advancing too close to a wall, they gained ground. Both the men and
the women did well — but the men did a lot better and appeared more
motivated to acquire terrain.

Link to article: