The University of Northampton is taking action to level up diversity in the video games industry.
Data from a Sheffield University 2020 study found 70% of game workers in the UK are male, which is considerably higher than the national average male-female split of roughly 50/50.
Researchers also found that two-thirds of the UK’s game development workforce is under 35; 28% are women and 2% non-binary; 10% come from BAME backgrounds; 28% come from overseas; and 21% identify as LGBTQ+.
So, while the gender gap is wide, BAME representation and LGBTQ+ representation in the games industry is average for the UK’s creative industries.
“Things are improving, but there’s still a lot of work to do,” said Iain Douglas, Senior Lecturer in Games Design at Northampton.
“As educators, we are training up tomorrow’s workforce, and so universities can play a massive role in bringing more diversity to the sector.
“To do that successfully, we need to make sure we are able to attract everybody who wants to work in games, whatever their gender, race, sexuality or disability. They need to know there are no barriers to them.
“The Games team is striving to make events more diverse and equitable, celebrating the growing number of voices in both society, and the games industry.
“Because of this, we decided to put a heavy focus on diversity for our annual Changing Futures Week event, which sees us invite industry professionals to speak to our students.”
Changing Futures Week kicks off on Monday 8 February, and this year’s roster of games industry speakers include the creative director of an agency specialising in getting people living with disabilities into the industry; a host of women with a variety of roles in the industry and two professionals of colour who will talk about their experiences.
The event, which is being held online, is not just for UON undergraduates, but has been opened up to local college students who are considering studying Games.
Some real industry giants are represented at the week-long event, with speakers from Ubisoft and Huawei, plus a raft of medium-sized and indie games companies.
University of Northampton Games Art graduate, Tom Craddock, will also talk about his career as a junior artist with Sumo Digital, an international indie games developer.
Find out more about the Games courses at the University of Northampton.
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