Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard on raising our
game as a studio and constantly striving to do better, both for our games and
for our team.
However, when it comes to diversity within our studio, we need to do much better. The people that play video games are increasingly diverse, so we believe the people making them should be representative of this. We’re actively committed to making this change within our studio.
We recently ran unconscious bias training at the studio, and it has been an eye opening experience for many of us. We have learnt ways to ensure we’re making more objective and informed decisions. We’ve also opened up our doors to a group of 12-13 year old girls, as part of InnovateHer’s programme. Moving forward we encourage our team to work closer with universities, build out an internship programme as well as giving talks at our old schools. Diverse teams make better decisions, and our different perspectives fuel our creativity.
We’ve been speaking to people across the studio on why this important to them:
Darshita Bajpai, Animator
“A popular perception of the games industry is that the work is technically challenging, which might seem very intimidating to people looking at this as a career option. We have a high requirement for very good developers to write high performance game algorithms, as well as a huge requirement for good artists who bring their aesthetics to the table in multitude of fields such as story development, art work, animation/acting, lighting and environments etc. We need to encourage people from diverse backgrounds – but also help them with the skill sets required to break into our industry”.
Mark Lintott, Technical Director
“I certainly think one of the biggest problems is a lack of role models, which we need a lot more of. Campaigns like International Women’s Day and the like are still relevant because the problem is not fixed. We need to do better, and I’m sure that we will.”
Alexia Christofi, Producer
“I get a bit frustrated when I think about the fact there’s not as many women working in games. I have a young daughter and I don’t know if she would have thought about a career in games if I wasn’t doing it, because she might not have realised that it was a thing she could do! So I guess we get them young and teach them that a career in games is totally something anyone can do.”
Colin Harvey, Lead Writer
“It must be exhausting to be the ones that have to champion your way through issues like this. To be the pioneers. My 13 year daughter Aphra really wants to be an animator and I wanted her to meet a colleague of mine who I thought was a really good role model for her to make a connection with. In my daughters own words, “even though we’ve come a long way in terms of gender equality there’s still so much to do to get it completely equal.” I agree!”
Annem Hobson, Communications Manager
“It can be quite intimidating to go into an industry that you might not see lots of examples of yourself portrayed, but there are more women, more people from ethnic minorities and more people that are LGBTQ+ in the industry now. That’s fantastic as the people making the games have to be representative of the world around us. My mum is a huge inspiration in my life as she came from Pakistan when she was very young, and has broken many gender stereotypes. Her approach to life has definitely influenced the decisions I make, and my hopes for the future is that we continue to get better at levelling the playing field.”
Ary Shirazi, Level Designer
“Imagine everyone on your team was from your neighbourhood. You all grew up the same, you all think the same. Does that actually sound that great? A lot of people tend to leave the area they grew up in to more diverse and exciting places, right? Now think back to what it was like at school or college. Sure it’s filled with people from close to where you live, but look closer and you’ll find each person has a link to somewhere far away. When I went to school, my close group of friends and myself was built up of people whose families originally came from China, Iran, Egypt & England. We all spoke a second language and we all thought about things completely differently. Each of us had our own skills and talents, and given that there was such a mixed culture within the group, ideas came from all walks of life. Not only are you learning more about a whole host of things you’ve never even heard of, but you’re utilising that shared knowledge to create stronger, more varied ideas as a team. Your collective thinking is stronger, and ultimately this will always give your work more depth.”
Gareth Mills, Producer
“It’s important for the games industry to become more
diverse, for the same reason that having a diverse society is important; we get
to learn about other cultures, understand different life experiences and are
richer for it. From a game team perspective this means we can create exciting,
inclusive experiences that can appeal to core demographics and those who feel
unrepresented in video games.”