My youngest daughter has always been a video game fanatic, much like her father who she would play with endlessly as a child. When she was in 6th grade, I started homeschooling her, asking her if there was one thing she could do all day what it would be. She, like me, had many aspects of herself she wanted to explore. However, the first was, play and develop video games.
Since she was a teen, we allowed her to create her game persona with and name that could either represent a male or a female. Since I was an engineer, in a male dominated world, I knew the implied bias towards females and didn’t want her to deal with that as a teen. She was never to talk to anyone online, and we had her set up where we could watch her play. She loved that. Everyone loves an audience, especially a gamer. In addition to playing games, she started watching others play them, researching game development companies, absorbing information on the industry and growing in her knowledge of the field she desired to pursue.
In an industry that is known for bullying female game players and developers, we wanted her to be able to feed her interest, improve her skills, in a safe and fun way. Then find her path to changing the tides.
Turning your passion into a business
Starting out as a female game developer seemed a fun idea and career path for my daughter. We decided to take her to some game developer conferences to talk to other females about the field. We were surprised to learn that the video game industry is one of the most vicious industries for women in engineering and programming fields do to the bullying and bias of the field towards women. It’s a surprising fact, considering that women initially led up key components in the software engineering and game development industry in its infancy.
My daughter, nor I, would give up. Instead she decided to one day work towards creating her own games, designing her artwork for them and writing the scripts. Then she would hire out the other aspects. Changing the industry by creating their own opportunities is the way in which women can impact the bias and bullying in the field.
Instead of depending on an industry to give you a way in, creating your own way, with your own rules is the best solution to turn the tides.
Tides are changing
With the conference bringing to light the bias in the industry, and more women taking the hits, and paving the way, there is a slow wave of change that is allowing more women to be integrated. It is also causing more males that had the ‘boys only’ philosophy and unconscious bias against female co-workers to respect the fact that the landscape is changing.
Content courtesy of LM Preston, author of Building Your Empowered Steps and Homeschooling While Working To Shape Amazing Learners, www.empoweredsteps.com
Contributing Author, LM Preston
LM Preston, is an author, business owner, wife and mother who has written both fiction and non-fiction books that have reached best-seller status. Her passion for writing and helping others to see their potential through her stories and encouragement has been her life’s greatest adventures. She also is a personal coach who supports clients in writing, publishing, goal realization, career imagination, parenting, homeschooling while working and much more.