As the Australian games development industry goes from strength to strength – with little government support – Girl Geek Academy has announced the launch of an all-woman game making hackathon, #SheHacksGames.
To be held at Melbourne games hub The Arcade in April, the event aims to increase the number of women working in game development; only 18 percent of employees within the sector currently identify as women.
Lisy Kane, cofounder of Girl Geek Academy, said this statistic, combined with the fact that Australia’s video game development industry is worth $2.96 billion annually, suggests there is significant untapped growth potential.
“We know that almost half of video game consumers are women, and many want to play diverse games developed by diverse teams. The problem is that there is a lack of opportunities for women to develop their skills in the industry, and that’s exactly what we hope to address with our inaugural #SheHacksGames event,” she said.
The event will look to bring together teams with three core roles: a programmer, to be responsible for game mechanics, tech, and coding; a designer, to take the lead on creativity and the look and feel of the game; and a producer, who will be tasked with keeping the project on track and ensuring all the elements have been thought through.
Girl Geek Academy cofounder and CEO Sarah Moran said, “We’ve created the event using the structure of our successful annual #SheHacks event, however with a pure focus on games so we can attract the right mentors and help get ideas off the ground.”
The event is a spinoff of the organisation’s #SheMakesGames program, a one-day event running as part of Melbourne International Games Week providing networking and industry education for women thinking about joining or just starting out in the games industry.
It’s just the latest initiative for Girl Geek Academy, which has been steadily broadening the scope of its work over the last few years.
The organisation last year received $1.3 million in funding from the Victorian Government’s independent startup body LaunchVic and partners including edutech startup GO1 to roll out its #SheHacks hackathons across Victoria.
Girl Geek Academy also last year partnered with NAB to create the ‘Girl Geek in Residence’ program, which saw Moran join NAB’s tech team throughout 2017 to help them apply their skills to innovate for customers, and help NAB build its Connecting Women in Technology program.
Image: the Girl Geek Academy. Source: Supplied.