Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Diversity
Last night I attended a local Meetup event in Stockholm about the games industry and entrepreneurship. Sweden has been renowned for bringing out top class games and some of the most successful games have originated here. Games such as Candy Crush, Minecraft, Battlefield are amongst the better known Swedish creations. Keynote speaker for the evening and the organiser of Dreamhack, Esports and other game related ventures, David Garpenstahl mentioned that in fact 1 in 10 games being played globally at the moment come from Sweden.
It was inspiring to hear his view on opportunities for entrepreneurs in this market, but also about the challenges when working in this industry. The fact that many games don’t make it to big bang success and having one successful game doesn’t mean you are guaranteed another one. His key success factors were research your idea well, look at trends and keep an eye on costs to ensure profitability.
The key note was followed with an all male panel, the debate about the state of the Swedish games market was interesting, also their view on the future being more how we will interact with games as opposed to device driven thinking the mobile might be replacing joysticks or other drivers. The panel was had great examples of success and how they would develop new ideas. I personally enjoyed the examples from the Ericcson lab because they applied game elements in ways most of us would never dream of. The panel consisted of Daivd Garpenstahl, Oskar Gabrielson (EA and DICE), Fredrik Wester (Paradox Interactive) and Cristian Norlin (Ericsson Research User Experience Lab).
The user design debate was excellent. When you design games the first consideration should be fun and then the next how can we make it work in terms of functionality and what will we track. Although in the case for Ericcson it is solving real life problems as designers who also understand engineers and vice versa, which we were told are not an easy to find combination in skills, namely both creative visionary and analytical implementer. I liked the suggestion that you should design games you would play yourself, start small and then build wider.
What was good to see is that a larger number of ladies attended than I have seen at events in other countries relating to the games industry. However I couldn’t help feeling it was a bit of an elephant left untouched especially in the absence of a social gaming representative on the panel, where ladies are a large player group. Maybe it is my cultural difference that would rather discuss what is there or maybe even for mostly metro-sexual men in Sweden it is such a non-issue that it isn’t worth looking in to.
Saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and took away that the opportunities for ladies in this market place is vast as long as you apply good business sense and design great things.