While it’s not close to a 1:1 ratio, the numbers released from the 2014 IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey indicate a promising upward trend of women working within the video games industry. As noted by Joystiq, 76% of those working in the video games industry are men, and just 22% are women (2% identify as transgender or androgynous, as noted for the first time in an IGDA survey). However, that 22% has increased greatly since the 11.5% of polled participants in the 2009 survey. This year’s polling reached more than 2,200 participants within the IGDA.
Among other interesting tidbits; 53% of those polled found “crunch time” to be unnecessary, versus 24% of respondents (whom, I’m guessing, are bosses that don’t participate in the heavy crunch time work). Furthermore, the main reasons that polled developers are working within the video game industry come down to two major camps split down the middle, with 41% doing it for the money and 40% doing it because games are their passion. Finally, the average number of employers within the past 5 years, for those who answered the survey; 4.
2,200 within the IGDA is as best of a sample size as you’re going to get within the gaming industry, so it’s safe to see the value of the results. That said, to see the amount of women working within the gaming industry almost double in the span of 5 years is an encouraging sign that the Boys Club that is this community of creators is closing up shop.
With that in mind, it’s hard to gauge whether or not we will ever see an equal amount of working men and women due to general interest across the board. While the “gamer” market is close to 55/45, skewing towards men, the core gamer split is 60/40 for men, and the hardcore gamer split is roughly 85 men/15 women. Plus, there are still problems and incidents that go on to this day that show that women still aren’t regarded as equals by some professional journalists within gaming. Perhaps being more accepting of female characters in the games developed by those within IGDA could be a positive next step?
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