The computer game development programs at University of Skövde host around 500 students distributed over five different programs; game design, game writing, graphics, programming, and sound/music. The university collaborates with an incubator specialized in helping new game companies to start and grow.
The initiative “Donna”
DONNA was founded at the computer game development programs at University of Skövde in 2011 with the purpose of inspiring more women to become game developers.
DONNA is currently organized into three different sub-groups, a steering group, DONNAstudent, and DONNA NETWORK.
DONNA steering group
Our ambition is to bring the question of gender equality and diversity within the game industry to the political agenda. In 2013 we participated the panel “Creating Equal Cultures” at Gotland Game Conference in which we discussed gender equality and sexism within the games industry and how these issues are addressed within the game educations. DONNA was also an active part in the seminar “Tillväxtraket och exportsuccé – hur accelererar svensk dataspelsindustri?” during Almedalsveckan 2014.
DONNA has furthermore arranged workshops for the teaching staff at the Game Development Programmes in Skövde in order to increase their competence in norm criticism and gender equality. This is to ensure that norm criticism and gender equality are integrated into the courses the students partake.
Through our work we have gained attention from the minister of equality, Maria Arnholt, who visited DONNA in Skövde to talk about how we work with gender equality within our education. And in 2012 we received The Anna Lindh committee in Skövde’s award.
DONNA welcomes all game students to become members of DONNAstudent. DONNAstudent has two main responsibilities, to spread DONNA among their fellow students and offer workshops for high school students in order to recruit more female students to our programs. DONNAstudent represents DONNA at Game Expos, conferences and other types of events.
We have a LinkedIn group for women associated with the game industry. This is to present role models and to connect female game students with other women active in the industry.
DONNA has collaborated with Doris Film in order to create a game for children that was free of stereotypes and that was developed by a group of students, of which 80% were female. The game, named “Alex and the Museum Mysteries” has been presented at various conferences and the experiences of working under these particular circumstances and the collaboration with Doris Film have also been discussed at for example Nordic Gender Media Forum in Finland and Norway and at Nordiskt Forum in Malmö (the world’s largest conference on gender equality, 2014).
Jenny Brusk, firstname.lastname@example.org