LAS VEGAS — A big game industry group and Intel kicked off an effort today to promote gender diversity in the video game industry.
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (which puts on the DICE Summit game event) and Intel have launched WomenIn, a new initiative to promote gender diversity in the video game industry. The effort is one of many that Intel is undertaking to change the face of the game and tech industries, which white men dominate.
The group hopes to provide educational and career guidance to women so they can pursue careers in games. Right now, about 48 percent of game players are women, according to the Entertainment Software Association. But only 22 percent of those creating games are female. Last year, Intel and the International Game Developers Association announced an alliance to double the number of women working in gaming.
The AIAS will have a scholarship program for women, with a focus on technical skills. It will help with creating internships, working with companies that already have such programs. It will tap both male and female talent to serve as mentors for women.
“Money is going to go out to women in the game industry in the form of scholarships,” said Martin Rae, the head of the AIAS, at a breakfast at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. “We’re going to build a mentor database. I want your help, if it’s just to be an evangelist for your program.”
DICE has had a scholarship program for the past three years for women and under-represented minorities to attend the elite event. Most of the attendees at DICE are men, and men were the majority of the attendees at the breakfast. But that was OK from the view of the groups represented.
“The power of mentorship to give easy and free access, of having a 1-to-1 relationship, is important,” said Don Daglow, the president of the AIAS Foundation.
Daglow has been making games for 36 years, and he said half his projects had female leads or producers.
“We can build a link that can produce a tremendous array of people,” Daglow said.