Anna Kipnis, senior gameplay programmer at Double Fine, shared her childhood growing up in Kiev.
Playing cards with her
father piqued her
curiosity for game design and the power of games to enrapture and unite players with their systems.
was inspired when her
childhood friends, playing a simple game she'd made up, started coming up with their own variants and new ways to play.
To hear her
tell it, playing and collaborating on games together made her
feel as though she
could lead her
friends to explore new worlds together.
Now, more than ever, women need to promote themselves as leaders.
"We need to show the industry that women are capable game creators known for masterworks in the games medium," said Kipnis
admitted that she
hadn't actually tried to create her
own game until very recently, when she
challenged herself to pitch a game, Dear Leader, as part of Double Fine
's most recent Amnesia Fortnight game jam.
Kipnis took pains to point out that female developers avoid leading games for the same reason male developers do - they aren't interested in taking on the responsibility of leading a project.
But we need more female developers to be recognized for their work, and that means more women need to be proactive about pitching and leading game projects.
An easy way to encourage this, suggests Kipnis
, is to foster a studio culture of collaboration, creativity and acceptance where everyone -- from the programmers to the administrative staff -- feels comfortable playing games and sharing their ideas with the team.
Doing so encourages everyone -- but especially women or anyone who might feel themselves unwelcome -- to do what matters most in this industry: make games.
"To my fellow female developers, I say let's continue the tradition of women game creators, and give young girls more names to think of as they grow into game developers," said Kipnis