The gaming industry might be dominated by male designers, but Cecily Carver hopes to change that through Dames Making Games, a community for women interested in developing video games. The 29-year-old, who is also a social and interactive media co-ordinator at the Canadian Opera Company, co-founded the Toronto-based group in 2011. It offers skills training, online support and networking opportunities.
Cecily herself is a designer committed to creating games that look outside the game world for their inspiration. (One game she created involves a Victorian girl trying to elope with someone her family disapproves of. She must navigate through her maze of a house without being seen.) She tells us about Dames Making Games and shares her thoughts on the gaming industry in general.
What is the purpose of Dames Making Games? Is one of your goals getting more women interested in video games?
Women are interested in video games, but there’s sort of a split in gaming culture where there’s casual games and hardcore games. A lot of women play games that a lot of people would say don’t count as games. But of course they’re games. The proportion of women playing games has actually increased and in some genres women make up the majority of players.
Games like Bejeweled or Farmville. A lot of women play those. They don’t call themselves gamers and they don’t necessarily get interested in the whole idea of video games, but the idea that games are mostly a male pursuit is wrong.