Feminine gamification viewpoint: Connotations
I was reading a survey about gender balance in tech that came out this week by Mortimer Spinks and Computer Weekly. They had asked an interesting question, what does the statement “I work in tech” mean to you or evoke? It’s interesting because immediately for me it kind of stirred another question, do I work in tech or not? When I explain what I do at networking events or to clients I often explain about applying game design to non-game situations. I guess in it there is implied technology of computer and video gaming, which obviously is technical. I often believe I work in a translation business where business objectives turn into game-like experiences, which I guess then isn’t technical.
The survey explored how people who don’t work in the technology industry perceive working in technology and the connotations it brings. The way of testing it was by making the statement of “I work in tech” and following the perceived reactions that brought. Out of over 4000 survey participants about a fifth of people (21%) believe that people know what working in technology is like. Just under half of participants (49%) think that people are yet to realise the true potential of working in this industry. At the same time 30% believe that the perception of working in the technology industry is inaccurate, there is an image problem and work needs to be done to market the industry.
I often wonder what people think when you say I work in gamification or game design. In my experience the younger generations tend to think it is major cool, the older generations occasionally question why and then there is a silent group who I often wonder about whether I said a dirty word. Explaining what I do can be hard work at times and seeing what fellow industry people are doing to keep defining the word ‘gamification’ I am not the only one and it sure isn’t gender based.
I guess the gender based question I have though is the connotations we have about game design, gamification and technology leading to further exclusion or in a milder sense is it stopping girls from pursuing a career in this field. Does it need better marketing, an image improvement?
My reason for entering the industry was to give a feminine perspective, because I felt it was lacking. By doing so I have had some criticism but by and large entry into the industry to me seemed relatively easy.
What do you think does the industry need better marketing and an image improvement?