Code Breakers is a new exhibition from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne’s Federation Square, focusing on the achievements made by women in the Australian and New Zealand games industry.
The first of its kind in the country, the interactive hands-on event opens late July.
There will be a whole bunch of games to play from a variety of established and emerging women in the Australian and New Zealand games industry. We’re talking lesser-known indie titles and yet-to-be released games to big-name classics, platformers and role-playing strategy digital board to graphical adventure and racing games – directors, programmers, developers, digital artists, writers, producers and designers will have their work featured.
The games on show include Ninja Pizza Girl, Armello and Need For Speed: No Limits.
But why does this even need to exist?
“Despite women making up almost 50 per cent of game players, they account for less than 10 per of the games industry,” says Katrina Sedgwick, Director and CEO of ACMI. “Code Breakers seeks to shatter stereotypes and celebrate the women who are breaking down barriers and building vibrant, creative careers within a global industry that is increasingly diverse. Our hope is that the industry will soon reflect the diversity of the gaming community it seeks to serve.”
Code Breakers asks a few questions, as well: What does a more inclusive games industry look like? How do we encourage this diversity?
Each creator in the exhibition reflects on the (sometimes challenging) journey they’ve made into this male-dominated industry, revealing the human stories behind their games through a custom built exhibition audio tour.
“I think this exhibition is an excellent way to give Australians a peek behind the curtain of game development, and highlight that women are playing an integral role within the industry. I really hope it helps to inspire girls and women to begin making their own games,” says Rebecca Fernandez, a games programmer who worked on recently released PS4/Steam titles Tricky Towers and Armello.
Some of the women featured in the exhibition include Lisy Kane (Producer at League of Geeks, co-founder of Girl Geek Academy and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in the games category), Katharine Neil (independent Game Developer and director of Escape From Woomera), Maru Nihoniho (Founder and Managing Director of Metia Interactive and recipient of a New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to the gaming industry) and Siobhan Reddy (Co-Founder and Studio Director of Media Molecule, named in Fortune’s 10 most powerful women in gaming).
ACMI says Code Breakers has been curated in collaboration with an advisory committee made up of key industry figures Kate Inabinet (Animation and Games Industry lecturer at RMIT and creator of education based games for children), Helen Stuckey (media arts curator, researcher and Program Manager of Games at RMIT) and Leena van Deventer (Co-Director of Women in Development, Games and Everything Tech (WIDGET), game developer, writer and educator).
The exhibition is free, and runs from 25 July to 5 November 2017. You can get more info here.