While half of the mobile game players are women, they make up only 23 percent of the game industry workforce. Google Play’s Change the Game program is on a mission to close this gap and empower the next generation of game makers. Thousands of these future game makers showcased their creativity and imagination by submitting ideas for Google Play’s first ever Change The Game Design Challenge—a call for teens to design a game they’d like to play—in partnership with Girls Make Games and ESA Foundation.
Game ideas ranged from restoring and rebuilding abandoned planets to making your own symphony, but Google had to narrow it down to five finalists and one grand prize winner. At Google’s Change the Game celebration of women in gaming, they announced their grand prize winner: Christine, an 11th grader from Vancouver, Washington who will receive a USD 10,000 college scholarship and a USD 15,000 technology contribution to her school. All five finalists will share their game design at E3, tour the Google Los Angeles office, and receive a scholarship to Girls Make Games Summer Camp, as well as a Galaxy Tab S3.
Fresh off the press is Google’s new research study that shows supporting female game makers is more important than ever. Here are a few key takeaways:
While teen girls and boys love to play mobile games, girls are significantly less likely to make games. Boys in their senior year are three times as likely as girls to be interested in game-making as a career even though girls play at nearly the same rate as boys.
Google also found that game-making opportunities and understanding of the game-making process is low for teens. While 55 percent of teen girls who play say they’ve had an idea for a game, only 9 percent say they have made a game, or part of a game, before. This trend mirrors Google’s previous study that looked at how gender impacts the mobile gaming space.
To help make these ideas a reality, Google Play will support all five finalists to develop and produce their game ideas into a real mobile game to be released in the Google Play Store. We’re inspired by these talented teens whose vision and passion for gaming will help make mobile gaming more inclusive, more diverse and more engaging for everyone.
The grand prize winner was Christine, an 11th grader from Vancouver, Washington. Her game is “Mazu,” a side-scrolling platform puzzle game in which a young shapeshifting girl named Mazu solves her way through a journey that takes her into a danger-infested forest filled with peckish predators, unfriendly terrain, and coin-hungry hunters.