BA (Hons) Games Design alumni Caoimhe Roddy is part of a new organisation which is creating a series of coding workshops around the UK to encourage more girls to follow a career in the games industry.
Girls’ Game Lab has been created by Caoimhe, along with PlayStation producer Rachael Gregg-Smythe and Women Making Games North East co-founder Lucy Smith.
They each have experience of running their own individual events but have now joined forces as part of a concentrated effort to get more girls into games development.
Girls’ Game Lab shows girls aged 8-12 how to make their own games in an afternoon with a series of free tools and supplied assets. The workshops are run by local volunteers who work in every corner of the games industry.
The first workshop was organised with the help of Playground Games and was hosted in the Forza Horizon team’s Leamington Spa studio at the beginning of August.
Girls’ Game Lab will be focusing on bringing these workshops to prime locations nationwide, but eventually they hope to create online resources and tutorials for girls who are unable to attend events, and to expand the age range by introducing more intermediate and advanced workshops.
The workshops also help educate parents about the validity of a games industry career and girls are welcome to bring their parents along to the event.
The goal is to break the stereotypes that women face when it comes to aspirations of a career in games by providing encouragement, expert guidance and support to girls with an interest in games. The founders also believe that it is important to give girls some realistic role models that they can identify with. That’s why they are also encouraging more women in the industry to get involved with Girls’ Games Lab.
And Caoimhe is the perfect person to take on this new role as she has just won the Production Hero award at the Game Dev Heroes Awards where she was nominated alongside other top industry professionals. The event saw hundreds of people coming together to recognise and celebrate the work of their peers and colleagues across the games industry. As the organisers commented: “These are some of the greatest people working in games right now.”