Media Design School celebrates 10 Years of Girls in Games

This year, Media Design School celebrates 10 years of Girls in Games, an initiative created to help grow the number of women working in the games industry by nurturing their talents and passion in gaming from high school and highlighting the career paths that exist within the industry.

Gaming has historically been a very male-dominated sphere, with only 19% of game developers identifying as female according to the 2021 NZGDA survey. With initiatives as Girls in Games, we hope to continue closing that gap.

Aslihan Tece Bayrak, lecturer for Media Design School’s Bachelor of Creative Technologies programme, has been involved with the Girls in Games workshops since it's inception.

Girls in Games was launched in 2013, as a way of encouraging the pursuit of STEAM subjects and the video game industry as potential career paths, especially with the year-on-year growth of job opportunities in the industry. One of the ways we do this is by inviting women who have already broken into the industry to speak to the workshop attendees, to act as a role model and show that the path is not out of reach.

This year, we were grateful to have Dr. Hazel Bradshaw, Emerging Technology Practice Lead (NZ) for Datacom Foundry as our keynote speaker for the senior girls event.

Through her role, Dr. Hazel Bradshaw supports business leaders in exploring the growth opportunities of an Industry 4.0 world. She specialises in the exploration, development, and adoption of new technologies.

Hazel has a doctorate in Human Interface Technology, specialising in the design psychology of computer game interactions. She now applies her knowledge to a range of topics from the trends, applications and impacts of spatial computing and artificial intelligence, to product development, innovation, and design.

Our junior event, that focuses on younger minds, was proud to welcome Sam Ramlu, Founder - Method, Mad Carnival, Wanderer.

Sam is a proven thought leader, storyteller and creative technology innovator. She has spent over 20 years finding awe-inspiring ways to bring stories and experiences to life, starting with digital and extending into exhibitions, games and emerging technologies.

She is passionate about authenticity, creating and producing experiences and stories that truly connect with audiences. Sam sees technology as a driver and enabler that allows storytellers to create experiences that are engaging, fun, awe-inspiring and immersive.

A vocal advocate for New Zealand’s digital talent, Sam is on a mission to foster greater collaboration within the tech and creative industries, to showcase local skills and creativity, connect innovators and storytellers of all kinds, and attract more international projects to New Zealand. She also cares deeply about creating pathways for new generations to enter the creative and tech industries.

All this knowledge that was shared by our keynotes this year can be hard to find, especially if you’re not looking for it or not aware, which is why Girls in Games is so important to allow these high schoolers to discover these options before they miss the window for such a crucial decision-making period.

Girls in Games is a safe-space where women are able to explore the technical aspects of creativity without worrying about being judged by their peers and allows them to network with other like-minded women from different schools, sharing ideas, plans and art.

Gaining these skills will allow these women to take this knowledge and continue building it in their own time so they can prepare for the challenging but rewarding path toward game development.

So, what’s on the horizon for Girls in Games?

The end goal of the Girls in Games development workshops is to inspire and build the foundation of our young female game developers to eventually bring more diversity and balance into the industry.


Girls in Games is a workshop created by faculty at Media Design School to help inspire young high school girls into a career in Game Development
Girls in Games is a workshop created by faculty at Media Design School to help inspire young high school girls into a career in Game Development
Girls in Games was founded in 2013

The workshop aims to inspire young women into a career in tech. We expect it only to get bigger and better the longer it goes on.