'Girls Make Games' Program Heads To Australia

Girls Make Games is a series of one-off, girls-only workshops that aims to teach the basics of all creative game-making disciplines, and get more future women in the industry — and it's coming to Sydney and Melbourne this January.

A lot of people talk about the "chicken & egg" problem the West has with the lack of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, but not enough are trying to do something about it. Girls Make Games aims to fix that at a grassroots level, with a goal of getting 1 million women into game-making by 2020.

Everything you'd expect is in the program, with a little bit of coding and art, and I'm happy to see some focus on design theory as well. But there's also some time spent on Sound Engineering, QA, and pitching. Quite a lot for a few days, but the most important thing is the fun & inspiration to keep up the craft.

The program, for ages 7-16, will set you back $500 per week and will run from 10am to 4pm each day.

It's heading to Sydney from the 5-9th of January, and Melbourne from the 12th-23rd. Spots are limited, so you can try your luck and apply here.

Ongoing mentorship is also available after the camps. Good luck if you apply!


    It's good to see this sort of thing, but I can't wait for the day none of this sort of thing even occurs, when it's not even a factor. Hope that comes across properly.

      I know exactly what you mean and 100% agree. The greatest goal of any movement should be to no longer be needed.

    "There arent enough women in the gaming industry!".

    And whose fault is that? Mens? How? Are there men going around lobotomising women who show an interest in the gaming industry?

      i did a games graphics design uni course 2 years back and there was more girls than boys in my class. I don't know where these apparent low numbers are coming from but i guess i'm too cis white scum to understand their oppression

      It's definitely some men's fault. Plus it's partly institutionalised. Hence the need for special programs. Still sticks though.

      Think of it this way. Why are there woman only gyms? Because some guys (not you or I) make some women feels so uncomfortable that they'd rather not go to a uni sex gym at all.

        But i still fail to see how its mens fault. Are we talking cat-calling level here? Because sure, there are the odd people who do that, but in those situations its a bit different from a career choice.

        I can tell you now, as I work in the industry, the majority of womens gym members are muslims. Not women scared of men.

        Similarly to Fox, when I did my games course at uni it was 50/50 girls and guys. The girls just wanted to be the same as everyone else in the class. Not a "girl making games".

          I've been in the health industry for 10 years and manage a snap fitness. This is not my experience and I have never heard of fernwood or other women's only gym members being predominantly Muslim. However I live in Brisbane and there's not a big Muslim population here.

          So if it's 50/50 at uni, why is the ratio in employment so skewed? And remember that this class is aimed at school aged women to interest them in the industry. School leavers are a very different kettle of fish.

        How is it intitutionalised if there are a larger number of women in tertiary education than men?

          Because of the difference in numbers between the courses and employment. It's not just a few companies, it's across the whole industry. Maybe institutionalised is the wrong word to use though.

            Okay, so - and don't think I'm trying to attack you or anything cause I'm not; your statement infers that on a private level that companies are actively turning away women - qualified, hard working women. As an employee and as a manager of a company, that just doesn't make sense and I honestly don't think that's what's happening, especially when you consider the fact that, statistically, the computer sciences are mostly white dudes. Not only that, though, but a more interesting observation is that the number of females going into the computer sciences in general is plummeting.

            I don't think companies, or indeed the "system" is actively seeking to undermine the women. My finger would be pointed squarely at the fedorable dudes in the classes just for looking like the 'ermagerd i'm totally friendzoned/you in class? why you not in kitchen?' type.

            On the flipside, though, I can totally understand how that would be intimidating. Like that one time in high school I was late to pick electives and got stuck in sewing.

            Last edited 05/01/15 7:00 pm

              Actually I completely agree with you. That's what I was thinking too. I don't think it's the companies, they would want diversity right? I really didn't mean to infer that companies would be actively turning away qualified women.

              I work in a gym and we're totally male dominated and we work very hard not to scare female employees away because to be honest, we are desperate to get some balance. It sucks have 17 male trainers and 3 female trainers. Just like at a party, when the ratio is skewed it just gets weird. :/

      I'm going to assume you haven't been paying attention rather than you being an obvious troll. It is predominantly men's fault because while they haven't "lobotomised" (Whatever you actually meant by that) women, they certainly have done a lot to make the few women who do show an interest feel incredibly unwelcome. Add to that the common online attitude of males where they immediately attempt to either hit on, criticise, make numerous death threats, denigrate or just plain act like verminous cretins towards females in gaming and you start to realise why women haven't exactly been lining up to do anything related to games.

      Last edited 29/12/14 8:37 pm

        By "Lobotomise" i was exaggerating the reason as to why women aren't joining the industry. I was literally saying "Are there men cutting womens brains open so they dont join the industry."

        And for the rest, i dont see how a week long course will change the atmosphere of the internet - especially considering that it does not include men. If internet trolls really prevent women from joining the gaming industry, then there isnt much a gaming creation course is going to do.

          So... You think no-one should try anything to change it?

      Didn't know this was a blame game about why there aren't enough women in the game development biz. I thought it was about the opposite, about finding a solution to help encourage more girls to take up the call.

      As far as why, discrimination and harassment aside, you have to admit that games 'look' like a boys hobby. Ever gone to a women's magazine section? Y'know, with home making, cooking, decorating and sewing? Y'know how 90% of the covers feature smiling women? As a guy, you stand there and can't thinking "this is not where I belong". Well I imagine that's how a girl must feel walking into an EB games where a majority of games feature scowling men. I imagine there's a nagging feeling that, while girls are welcome, gaming is a boy's hobby.

      Last edited 30/12/14 9:03 am

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