International Women’s Day: MDS powering change in game design

At Media Design School, 57% of new, on campus students in the Game Art programme are women. It is an incredible achievement we're proud to celebrate, especially today on International Women’s Day.

MDS has made a concerted effort to drive change in the gaming industry with our notable initiatives like Girls in Games, led by Aslihan Tece Bayrak, Programme Coordinator, Gaming.

“Girls in Games is an exclusive event to create a space for girls to flourish, explore, and experiment. However, its purpose is to break the norms, disrupt borders, and create more diversity. It is about inspiring more diverse working spaces, workforces, and products,” says Tece Bayrak. 

The more diverse people who are making games, the more diverse the games are going to become.

It is no secret that around the world, women make up a large proportion of video game players – yet only a very small proportion develop and create games. It matters because this means females have little say in the video content, including character representation.

One of the challenges is making the gaming industry an attractive career option.

To help turn this around, MDS's games faculty has been running its free Girls and Games workshops for the past nine years, which gives budding young teens a chance to try their hand at game development, showcasing it as a viable career path.

The immersive art and programming workshop covers the basics of Game Art and Game Programming where young women learn to collaborate, design, create and programme their own video games. 

MDS and Billy Blue College of Design joined forces for a showcase event celebrating women working in the games industry as part of a line-up we curated for the international gaming convention, PAX in September 2020. This event set out to change expectations of who plays games, who can work in the field of technology, and who can be a programmer.

MDS is helping to power the gradual reversal of the global status quo where the percentage of female game designers now pushes 25%.

Correcting the gender balance in design matters hugely says MDS senior lecturer and research fellow Dr. Sarah Baker in Episode 9 of the Research That Matters podcast.

Aslihan Tece Bayrak, Programme Coordinator, Gaming

"Girls in about inspiring more diverse working spaces, workforces, and products."

Girls in Games Logo (Cartoon of two girls holding a banner surrounded by cute green dinosaurs)
Girls in Games 2021

Girls in Games is an event that assists those that identify as women to break into the industry through study and an event that MDS is very proud of.