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Gals that Game to level up gender imbalance in computer gaming industry

PUBLISHED: 11:53 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:53 01 August 2019

Gals that Game will encourage more women to take up opportunities in the gaming industry. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Gals that Game will encourage more women to take up opportunities in the gaming industry. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

Computer games might all be about solving puzzles, conquering universes and beating the baddies. However one university is now trying to help the industry reach the next level - by encouraging more women to join its ranks.

Gals that Game will be held at the University of Suffolk. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYGals that Game will be held at the University of Suffolk. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

However one university is now trying to help the industry reach the next level - by encouraging more women to join its ranks.

The gaming industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, with smartphones and tablets fuelling a demand for a greater range of entertainment.

That means there are more opportunities for people get people playing their games than ever before.

Yet despite the fact playing shoot 'em ups, platform and racing games is just as popular with women as it is with men, the sector remains male-dominated - with 12% being female.

As such the University of Suffolk's games hub - which itself has only seen a handful of women in its programmes - has organised Gals that Game to show women the opportunities available.

The two-day at the university's Waterfront campus will include talks from industry leaders, before participants are challenged to work in teams to create a game of their own which they will present before they leave.

Their creations might catch on and capture the imaginations of gamers across the land - but even if they don't, University of Suffolk games hub manager Heidi Love hopes it will inspire more women to consider alternative career paths.

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"It's really about creating an environment where like-minded people can get together to have a bit of fun and have a go at something they might not have thought about doing before," said Ms Love.

"We don't really know what stops people from going into the industry - maybe it starts earlier from the STEM subjects at school, and therefore when they come out of school they don't think about doing it as an occupation.

"It's the fastest-growing industry and makes more than film and music combined.

"It's exciting and from what I've seen, there's lots going on and lots you can do.

"It doesn't have to be all about coding or development - it can be more about marketing, arts or project management."

The event, starting on Friday, August 2, also aims to promote the gaming industry within Suffolk and Ipswich.

While the sector is largely based London or technology hubs, Ms Love said there are growing opportunities in Suffolk - with former University of Suffolk students launching their own start-ups.

Ipswich also hosted the last Game Anglia conference, showcasing best of games development in the region.

Gals that Game is free to attend but people must click here to book.

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