Although I have a very positive experience working in games, the research done by UKIE suggests that currently 28% of the UK’s game industry work power is female, which I feel could go up.
I think seeing an increase in women actively contributing to the gaming industry may encourage more to pursue similar roles. Personally, seeing women succeed in games has made a positive impact on my aspirations and encouraged me to work hard in a field which I thoroughly enjoy.
My interest in pursuing games as a career originated from researching games with innovative content, and focusing on how new forms of play and interaction could help drive innovative gameplay. I was specifically drawn to games which educate and inform players about real-world issues.
During my Masters in Computer Games Development (Art) at ARU, I used this interest to integrate rhetoric into a game idea concerning reptile welfare and snake care, using games and their procedural generation as a learning tool for players. My goal was to develop a virtual world where players can interact with reptiles and learn about their requirements for care and handling without causing unnecessary stress to the animal. I also began developing 3D software skills, helping me to create my very first 3D practical game outcome.
I set up my own business, Amoral Compass, shortly after graduating from my Masters. I have been creating digital artwork with Issam Kourbaj for REVEAL King's Lynn, an augmented reality game using large-scale projections to publicly showcase the unique geography and history of King’s Lynn’s architecture. I have also been delivering teaching and learning tools for Better Business for All, including animations which help teach younger audiences how to manage their own companies, based on guidance from Huntingdonshire Council.
A high volume of networking opportunities led me to set up my own business. Among them have been regular social meetups from The Cambridge Game Dev group, and Game Jams in Cambridge. I believe that it is important to encourage game developers to interact with other artists, programmers, musicians and writers, and learn from industry feedback and shared experiences in relevant communities. This strong networking platform enables game dev communities to organise high-level professional events and opportunities for female inclusivity.
At ARU I get to deliver research and practice skills relevant to what lured me into this field initially, and it is encouraging to hear similar interests and the positive experience from students. I have also worked with the Computer Games Art team at ARU to perform demonstrations such as the use of motion capture equipment in games to promote external cross-disciplinary networks and collaboration in local art communities. I often suggest students connect and collaborate with other artists to benefit from the opportunities Cambridge game development communities offer, as I have.
Reading research outputs from researchers of all backgrounds regarding my interest, and engaging with the discussion of how games can use emotion and agency to create thought-provoking and innovative gameplay, is something which has even further validated the medium for me.
By Sabrina Minter
Sabrina studied Computer Games Development (Art) at ARU. Find out more at one of our open days.