Aspiring female gaming gurus can now learn from the best in Victoria, following the announcement of an industry placement scheme.
The Andrews Labor Government has announced $140,000 will go towards Film Victoria’s Games Professional Placements program.
Seven Victorian gaming companies will offer positions in the areas of game design, animation, programming and marketing.
Victoria's Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, said the initiative is designed to improve the quality of gaming in Victoria while bridging the industry gap.
“We’re working hard to ensure that our creative industries are inclusive and that our creative projects and products better reflect our broader society,” he said.
“I hope these placements inspire more Victorian women to come forward and use their talents in all aspects of the screen industry – and I look forward to seeing their bright ideas coming to life.”
The move comes as another initiative from Film Victoria to attract women into the gaming industry, following the Women in Games Fellowships, and Women’s Professional and Leadership Development programs.
“These seven companies share our commitment to improving inclusiveness and gender balance within the games industry,” said Film Victoria CEO, Jenni Tosi.
“We’ve seen a genuine increase in the number of women moving into and across the games sector in Victoria in recent years as a direct result of the programs Film Victoria provides, which is enormously encouraging.
“These additional opportunities will further strengthen this dynamic sector and continue to boost Victoria’s reputation as a great place to make games.”
One gaming company that has put its hand up to get involved in the program is adventure game specialists, Tin Man Games.
It has opened a Production and Marketing Assistant position as part of the program, a role that Creative Director, Neil Rennison, is hoping can be filled by an enthusiastic new hire.
“We have a role to fill and we need somebody who is awesome at fulfilling the duties of that role…we’re just looking for an amazing new employee to join the team,” he told Information Age.
And while strengthening his team is obviously Rennison’s priority, he is also committed to reducing the gender gap in the gaming industry.
From 2012 to 2016, the percentage of female game developers almost doubled from 8.7% to 15%.
While this is a substantial increase, it still highlights a significant industry gender gap.
“I don’t know a games company at the minute that isn’t interested in dealing with this issue, because the gap has been pretty wide for a number of years,” Rennison said.
“It’s not just a boys' club, which is probably how it’s historically been seen… I think the message is that it’s a very welcoming and open industry for anybody.”
Rennison also praised Film Victoria for its role in helping to create a stronger and more diverse industry.
“I’m a huge fan of Film Victoria, they’ve worked with us over the years on a number of things and they’re very pro supporting the local industry here in Victoria,” he said.
“They’re constantly looking to push and support various initiatives which increases the diversity of not only the people who are making the games but of the games themselves.”