Marked by violent action titles and sports-related time-killers, the world of video games has long been dominated by young men, both in front of the TV and behind the scenes. Today, more and more women are picking up game controllers and taking control of the development tools.
A recent poll released by the Entertainment Software Association found that 26 percent of game players are women 18 or older, whereas boys 6 to 17 only make up 21 percent of the demographic. While the reasons for this shift have not been fully studied, it can be speculated that the incorporation of more female lead characters in games has something to do with it. As a fondness for electronic gadgetry sweeps most cultures, it’s also cool for women to be more tech-savvy these days. Video games have also become more social in recent years with more multi-player options and the advent of the massively multi-player online game (MMOG).
But women aren’t just playing games, they’re making them, too. There is a growing number of women responsible for designing new titles. Sony PlayStation recently hooked us up with a profile of one such diva of development, Lesley Mathieson.
Since January 2002, Mathieson has applied her passion and experience as a designer at Insomniac Games, one of the most respected and successful PlayStation developers. She spends her days designing game levels and overseeing the implementation for Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, a highly anticipated holiday release coming exclusively to PlayStation 2. Mathieson designs vehicles, including their controls, their basic gameplay and any race courses or environments necessary for them. In addition, she writes game missions and decides how they are completed.