BAFTA-winning student Sophia George calls on more female developers to enter industry

Swallowtail: Industry stereotypes could drive women away

Swallowtail co-founder Sophia George has called on more women to enter the game industry and ignore old stereotypes about a male-dominated sector.

The BAFTA-winning student, whose new studio just released its first title Tick Tock Toys, said popular stereotypes of the industry couldn’t be more wrong, with as many women now playing games as men.

She added that such stereotypes of a male-dominated industry could then influence how consumers thought about games, and make some women think twice before opting for a career in the game industry.

“The popular stereotypes of gamers just being young men couldn’t be more wrong, but they still persist despite around half of all gamers being female – and women and girls of all ages playing and enjoying games every day," said George.

“What’s really worrying, though, is that this male-dominated idea is so pervasive – and it influences what families think about games, and what young women think as they grow up and make decisions about their careers.

“I just hope that the release of Tick Tock Toys will help show young women that they can get into the games industry – and that they too can create the games they love to play.”

Sophia George’s new studio Swallowtail received the BAFTA Ones to Watch accolade in March last year, and after completing postgraduate studies at Abertay University the team was awarded with £25,000 from the Abertay Prototype Fund to develop a full version of puzzle title Tick Tock Toys.

Abertay University’s professor Louis Natanson added that the educational institution had seen increased interest from female students in its courses, but more needed to be done to raise public awareness that the game industry was open to everyone.

“We’re very encouraged by the increasing interest in our game art, design and programming degrees from female students, but a greater public awareness is needed that everyone can enter this industry," he said.

“Through initiatives like our game design competition Dare to be Digital and the huge games festival we run in Dundee every year, we’re introducing thousands of school children to the idea of creating their own games.

“Strong female role models like Sophia are an important part of that, and everyone at Abertay University is delighted to see Tick Tock Toys develop from a Dare to be Digital entry to a finished commercial product.”

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