The Game Assembly is a Advanced Vocational Education in Malmö and we have a very close relationship with the gaming industry. We train game programmers (2,5 years), game graphics (2,5 years), level designers (2,5 years) and technical designers (1,5 year, supplementary course). 1/3 of the education is internship and our students do 8 game projects during the education based on the student’s own game engines and tools.
We strive to have as large diversity as possible in our organization. We want everyone at The Game Assembly to feel that they are here on the same conditions, have the same rights and responsibilities and it does not depend on their religion, color, sex or origin.
“Everyone here is feminists. Some of you are a little misguided, but stay calm, we’ll help you over the good side. For all we want is equality, right, and by that we mean that everybody should have the same rights and obligations. ”
So I start my welcoming speech to the new students at The Game Assembly. I get some reactions, a little giggles and big eyes but but as long as they know what I mean it continues in a calm mode. Based on that first sentence we begin our journey together at The Game Assembly. Women, men, transgenders, with different origins, religions and opinions. What we have in common is that we want to become game developers. We want to make games.
So we make everybody work together in different constellations. This enhances the cooperation and prevents stagnation. Everybody has to learn how to give and receive feedback. We build our education on teaching people to respect each other.
We hold various lectures and mix in gender equality in everything – in our lecture about expectations, in our lectures on feedback, communication, and group dynamics. In our lectures on female representation in pictures. We also try to find female speakers from the gaming industry.
We have digital forums where we as a school follow the debates and take the liberty to delete comments but we also send the one who said the remark a message and give feedback on it. Everybody knows about this. Our online community is also open to alumni so we have a seniority build in to the discussions. On a few occasions we stopped a discussions and met IRL to figure out what happened and what was said. This is a unique opportunity for us because we work so tight with our students.
We work deliberate with our marketing so that it speaks diversity. We have been around since 2008 and by now people know we only work with the best students. And by that we mean with people who really wants to work with games and are willing to cooperate. Today we have 17% women in the classroom with our new game programmers. We had a game art classroom with 60% women last year. What we really need is for the gaming industry to speak up about how fun it is to make games.
We try, in other words common to create an atmosphere at school where we have total transparency, both digital and analogue. We are not stupid enough to believe that we have the perfect world, but we assume the journey together. We also know that we are not exempt from misguided people but we help them over on the good side, and we are always prepared to talk about why it is important to have a society where everyone has equal value.