Portal dev Kim Swift calls on females in the industry to help bridge gender gap

Thursday, 3rd January 2013 11:02 GMT By Dave Cook

Portal developer Kim Swift has called on woman in the games industry make themselves more visible in an attempt to bridge the gap between genders, and has discussed why it would set a positive example to future generations of game-makes.

In response to the 1ReasonWhy campaign on Twitter, Swift said on her blog, “I have a secret wish. Whenever I’m in the public eye, whether it’s doing PR or giving a talk – and this is going to sound amazingly corny — I hope that there’s a little girl out there that sees me and thinks to herself, “Oh look! Girls make games too.”

“I say this because this problem isn’t going to change on a dime. A grown adult isn’t going to change their mind about their inherent beliefs or their personality because someone gave them the stink eye (or an Internet reaming).

“Kids however are impressionable and full of those innocent hopes and dreams that may one day turn into reality. I was one of those kids that dreamed of making video games one day. When I looked at the gaming landscape and browsed through Nintendo Power, I didn’t see a person with two X chromosomes that I could point and go ‘Yes, if she did it, so can I!’

“Thankfully, I lucked out with some insanely supportive parents, but without that I doubt that I would be making games right now. And so when I blather endlessly about a game I’m working on until my eyes bleed, in the back of my head, I hope that there’s a little girl out there that realizes her dreams are achievable.”

To get to this stage however, Swift fees that much still needs to be done to address the gap between genders, but that action should be taken now in order for the next wave of coders and industry employees to thrive equally.

Said Swift, “We need to change the make up of our industry, because games are a reflection of their creators. I see the solution to this problem coming not a year from now, not five years from now, but twenty.

“When this current generation of kids sees the good example that we should be setting now. And though we may not be able to tell it completely like it is just yet, there’s still plenty we can do to help future generations of game developers.”

What’s your take on the issue at hand? How can the industry convince young females to approach a career in the industry with optimism, rather than reluctance? Let us know below.

thanks GI.Biz.



  1. roadkill

    I’m not sure what’s the point of this.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    Just fucking do your work, the rest will happen on its own. No bullshit campaign is going to help you. It only makes you look like a crybaby.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. OrbitMonkey

    Well if female game devs want more exposure from the games media… They should work topless ;-)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. HollyGreen

    Ah, the VG247 commenting community, rivaling only IGN and YouTube for sheer idiocy.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Kabby

    You missed out fucking Eurogamer.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. FeaturePreacher

    The industry can’t do a thing to change this. Parents can, just like Miss Swift’s did. In the states there’s a women’s charity program called title ix. Here’s a link to the article showing the limits of overreaching social programs.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. HollyGreen

    Yes, the industry CAN “do a thing to change this”.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. OrbitMonkey

    ^ lol, yeah videogame industry! It’s your outdated sexist views that are stopping women wanting to become programmers!!

    Make yourselves more accessible, pronto! *wags finger, swigs soya milk*

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    Can’t help but agree with Holly here. The replies to this thread are pretty damn crash and tasteless.

    All Kim did was air a positive sentiment about supporting women in the industry and giving kids a good role model… and people are responding with annoyance, criticism and juvenile “git ur clothes off” jokes?


    Kim’s words are a wonderful, heartwarming message, beautifully put, and the industry could certainly do well to promote it.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    At the end of the day it’s up to women to make themselves games developers. Of course the industry can court them, but I don’t see how that would somehow be a genuine expectation.

    There are talented women in the industry, but they generally don’t have very public roles. The same can be said for black people. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dragon246

    I just want good devs, male or female it doesn’t matter to me. Although industry should insure level playing field for both sexes.
    Btw, the image is awesome!

    #11 2 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    @7: Go on, tell us what the industry can do to change this (What exactly?)?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OrbitMonkey

    @9, medic quick, a bleeding heart needs a band-aid, stat!

    The industry is more than open to female programmers, it’s females not wanting to be programmers that’s the problem…

    Though their doesn’t seem to be the sane reluctance to dress in skimpy knickers & prance about gaming booths, during an expo.

    Funny that.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @13 Grow up.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. roadkill

    “It’s your outdated sexist views that are stopping women wanting to become programmers!!” :D and “medic quick, a bleeding heart needs a band-aid, stat!”. Thank you sir! You’ve made my day. :))

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    “Of course the industry can court them, but I don’t see how that would somehow be a genuine expectation.”

    Because it would be beneficial to the industry and to gamers. From the article … “games are a reflection of their creators.” … more female representation in game making would be a good thing. More variety, wider appeal, more rounded output.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Da Man

    Ah, blog comment section tryhards who are yet to discover how to write a Turbo Pascal function commenting on sexism in the industry they have nothing to do with.

    Classic that.

    Internet. The place where anything is possible and you create reality. Female programmers, male receptionists and kids astronauts.

    #17 2 years ago

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