Image: Michael Nugent, "iPad Gaming" Gaming

‘XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design’ highlights women in the gaming industry

Gaming is often regarded as a predominantly male pursuit, designed by men and for men. The reality is that women do play games and increasingly they also create games. According to a study by the Entertainment Software Association, women make up 45% of the entire gaming population. Sadly, the rate of women game designers is significantly lower. According to industry statistics, women account for just 11 % of game designers and a paltry 3 % of programmers. While the perceived “frat boy” culture of the game design industry certainly accounts for some of this disparity, the difficulty luring women to so-called “STEM” fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) also makes recruitment difficult.

A new exhibition opening at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) and co-sponsored by the Georgia Tech Digital Media Program aims to combat misconceptions of women in the gaming industry. The exhibition, XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design, will be the first ever to highlight the work of women as game designers and artists.

MODA describes the exhibition:

A response to the popular misconception that women neither play nor create video games, this interactive exhibition redefines viewers’ perceptions of what games are and can be. XYZ introduces guests to alternative games that are outside the mainstream and demonstrates their capacity to convey a diverse range of ideas, experiences and emotions.”

The exhibition runs July 14, 2013-September 1, 2013 at the Museum of Design Atlanta in midtown at 1315 Peachtree Street, across from the High Museum of Art. Members of MODA are invited to attend a special preview on Saturday, July 13th from 11am-2pm. Curators will be on hand to answer questions and offer information.