Women in gaming

This article was originally published on International Women’s Day 2017.

Although great progress has been made over the years in making women’s voices louder in the games industry, it’s clear that in other ways things are worse than ever.

Hashtag-citing hate groups and angry young men – terrified that their narrow-minded definition of gaming is being challenged – are ensuring that being a woman in the games industry is tough, frustrating and sometimes downright scary.

Obviously, these people are idiots. Ovaries can do a lot of things, but preventing insecure men from playing their precious video games isn’t one of them.

Anyone with a shred of sense in their brain will know that women are just as crucial to the games industry as men are. By trying to drive them out or reducing them to eye candy, you’re quite literally cutting the industry’s potential in half.

That shit doesn’t fly on Tired Old Hack, which is why I’ve put this page together.

“Keep talking, we’re listening”

As the name suggests, it’s a page dedicated to the women that make up the games industry: those who help make them, those who help promote them, those who write about them and those who may not be involved any more but helped blaze the trail in the earlier days of their careers.

There are so many brilliant women in the games industry past and present that this list is only scratching the surface. I have definitely missed out people who should be on here, even people I know, mainly due to my puny forgetful brain.

Since I’m a Brit, it’s also a fairly Brit-heavy list, since these are the women I regularly deal with or follow on Twitter.

It is not an exhaustive, definitive list, then. Far from it. What it is, however, is an evolving list.

Sadly, Penny from Inspector Gadget isn’t in this list because while she deals with tech, she doesn’t cover gaming. Also, she isn’t real

At regular intervals I will continue to add to it, both with my own contributions and those made by you.

If you know (or are!) someone who should be on this list, let me know. Comment on this article, send me an email or chuck me a Twitter DM (they’re always open).

I can’t pretend to know about every woman (or man) working in the games industry today. But with your help, we can both discover new names together.

In time, this page will become an enormous list that shows the breadth and depth of female representation in the games industry, as well as a directory of bad-ass women you should be following on Twitter.

It will also be a permanent part of the site, not something that slowly drifts towards the bottom, out of sight and out of mind. Scroll back to the top of the site and look at the header menu. See it? That’s where it’ll stay.

On with the list!


Alex Moyet

After working on campaigns for both Xbox and PlayStation, Alex founded Amcade, a marketing consultancy dedicated to the video game industry. She’s now a Senior Marketing Manager at Activision.

Follow Alex on Twitter – https://twitter.com/AlexMoyet

Alice Bell

After having been at VideoGamer for just over year, Alice quickly found herself in the editor’s role. She took on these extra responsibilities with gusto and did a great job continuing the momentum VideoGamer had built over the previous few years. She’s now Deputy Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun.

Visit the Rock Paper Shotgun website – https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/

Amy Graves

Amy’s been an enthusiastic member of the Square Enix Europe community team since January 2016. She’s currently a Communications Manager and has been working on the Square Enix Collective initiative, where indie developers are given support to promote and release their games.

Follow Amy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ObvItsAmy
Visit the Square Enix Europe blog – http://eu.square-enix.com/en/blog
Visit the Square Enix Collective blog – https://collective.square-enix.com/blog/

Amy Hennig

A veteran game designer and script writer, Amy started off as an artist and animator on NES games and over the years has worked for Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog (where she was the head writer and creative director on the Uncharted series). Until recently she was Creative Director at Visceral Games, working on their now cancelled Star Wars title. She now runs her own independent studio, exploring the future of VR.

Follow Amy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/amy_hennig

Anna Turner

Anna is a freelance writer who’s written for the likes of Kotaku and The Guardian. Having graduated from Leeds University in December she’s now trying to get PhD funding while planning to work on projects aimed at getting children and teenagers interested in the games industry.

Follow Anna on Twitter – https://twitter.com/OwlsEatMice
Visit Anna’s blog – https://glasscaseinpoint.wordpress.com/

Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda

Annie is a game designer and writer best known for her work on the likes of Neverwinter Nights 2, Guild Wars 2 and Dead State. More recently, she worked as a designer on Destiny, where she helped with dialogue and development on lore and public events. She’s now a content designer at System Era Softwares, working on design for early access sci-fi exploration game Astroneer.

Follow Annie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Murderblonde

Antonela Pounder

The Senior Brand Community Manager for 505 Games, Antonela is in charge of the company’s Twitter account and ensuring its blog continues to keep the studio’s fans informed of the latest news and information. Her enthusiasm for gaming is clear to see from her regular tweets.

Follow Antonela on Twitter – https://twitter.com/AnimatedAnt
Visit the 505 Games blog – http://www.505games.com/blog

Aoife Wilson

Aoife’s been all over the shop and she’s exceptional wherever she goes. Currently a video producer at Eurogamer, she also presented Challenge TV’s Videogame Nation. Her work’s also appeared in the likes of Sky News, the BFI, the BBC, VICE, CBBC… mate, I could be here all day. She also takes very little shit from people who don’t know it’s pronounced ‘eefa’.

Follow Aoife on Twitter – https://twitter.com/AoifeLockhart
Visit Aoife’s website – http://aoifewilson.com/

Bethany Aston

The PR and Events Manager for Team17, Bethany helps promote the games from the company that brought us the likes of Worms, Overcooked, The Escapists and Yooka-Laylee. She’s also a massive pinball fan.

Follow Bethany on Twitter – https://twitter.com/bethamari

Bonnie Ross

After starting in the video game industry in 1994 working on PC sports games, Bonnie has worked on a wealth of critically acclaimed games including Mass Effect, Gears Of War and Psychonauts. She went on to establish 343 Industries, the studio formed to oversee Halo after Bungie split from Microsoft. She’s currently the head of 343, as well as the Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Studios.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/PlutonForEver

Cara Ellison

A fellow Scot, Cara has written for the likes of The Guardian, Kotaku, VICE and The New Statesman. She was part of the writing team for Dishonored 2 and wrote Embed With Games, a book of travelogues about her visiting indie developers around the world. She’s now a narrative designer at Media Molecule.

Visit Cara’s website – http://caraellison.co.uk/

Carli Velocci

Carli is currently a staff editor working for Mobile Nations but her work can also be found at the likes of Waypoint, Polygon, PCMag, Gizmodo, io9 and Bitch Magazine. She specialises in all types of pop culture but specifically focuses on gaming, with her aim being to “bring to light the stories that nobody knows about”.

Follow Carli on Twitter – https://twitter.com/velocciraptor
Visit Carli’s website – https://carlivelocci.com/

Carol Shaw

Carol is widely believed to be the first ever female video game developer. She joined Atari in 1978 and worked on her first game, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, before working on a selection of other Atari 2600 titles. Her biggest success was the much loved River Raid, which sold over a million copies. Carol retired in 1990 – saying the success of River Raid was a significant factor in letting her retire early – but her influence can’t be overstated.

Cassidee Moser

Based in San Francisco, Cassidee is a freelance writer whose work has featured in the likes of IGN, GameSpot, Shacknews and USGamer. She’s currently a social editor for IGN.

Follow Cassidee on Twitter – https://twitter.com/CassideeMoser

Charleyy Hodson

While she worked as a sales assistant at GAME, Charleyy started her own blog, Confessions Of A Gamer Girl. She’s since worked for Bleeding Cool as a games reviewer and Ginx.tv as a host, but currently runs the Xbox UK social channels, livestreaming for the company and working alongside the folks at Xbox On.

Follow Charleyy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/CharleyyRachael
Visit Confessions Of A Gamer Girl – https://confessionsofagamergirl.com/

Clare Siobhán

Formerly the Social and Community Manager for Xbox EMEA, Clare left to become a full-time YouTuber. Her channel has surpassed 1.3 million subscribers and her dedication to The Sims and Pokemon Go cannot be questioned.

Follow Clare on Twitter – https://twitter.com/claresiobhan
Visit Clare’s YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/claresiobhan

Corrinne Yu

One of the most influential female coders in the industry, Corrinne started as a programmer on the King’s Quest games on the Apple II back in the ’80s. Over the years she’s been involved in all number of projects: most notably she programmed Brothers In Arms, Borderlands and Halo 4 before moving on to Naughty Dog where she worked as a graphics programmer for two years. After taking a break from gaming to work as Principal Development Manager on Amazon Prime Air’s drone-based delivery project, as well as a stint as Vice President of Engineering at General Motors, she’s now a Software Engineering Manager at Facebook, looking to hire managers experienced in gaming.

Follow Corrinne on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Corrinne

Ellen Rose

Ellen started her own YouTube channel in 2010 and eventually joined Microsoft UK as one of the hosts of its official Xbox On channel. She later left to co-host Outside Xbox’s new YouTube channel Outside Xtra, which she continues to do today. Ellen’s brilliant sense of humour and clear passion for what she does has led to Outside Xtra amassing nearly 600,000 subscribers on YouTube, while her own account recently passed the 96,000 mark. She’s ace, basically.

Follow Ellen on Twitter – https://twitter.com/icklenellierose
Visit Ellen’s YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/icklenellierose
Visit Outside Xtra – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjf6YzmyaKi8880IXMJ5kGA

Ellie Rhodes

Formerly a Community Manager at Team17, Ellie is now a Product Manager at Ubisoft Quebec. Most recently, she helped with the production of assets and campaign messaging for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Follow Ellie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/elliejoypanic
Visit Ellie’s blog – https://elliespanovic.wordpress.com/

Emily Gera

Emily has been a games journalist for over a decade. Starting back in March 2005 the list of publications she’s written for is longer than Dhalsim’s arms. As well as her copious freelance portfolio she was also a Section Editor on VideoGamer for two years and Senior UK Reporter for Polygon for three years.

Follow Emily on Twitter – https://twitter.com/twitgera

Emily Rogers

An investigative games journalist, Emily is something of an enigma among some because of her insistence on keeping a low profile. Her work speaks for itself, though: as a specialist in all things Nintendo she has a reputation for uncovering information and leaks with a success rate that many journalists would kill for. Not literally, mind.

Follow Emily on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ArcadeGirl64
Visit Emily’s blog – https://arcadegirl64.wordpress.com/

Holly Brockwell

Holly’s a brilliant tech journalist who’s written for the likes of TechRadar, the BBC, the Guardian and GIzmodo. She founded the female-oriented tech website Gadgette, and was named Woman Of The Year at the 2015 SheSay Awards. She also somehow managed to get the Twitter account @holly, which is pretty bloody cool in and of itself.

Follow Holly on Twitter – https://twitter.com/holly
Visit Gadgette – http://www.gadgette.com/

Holly Gramazio

Holly is one half of Matheson Marcault, a company that uses game design to work with culture, history and physical space in an attempt to engage with and inspire ideas in people. She’s also the director of Now Play This, an annual festival of experimental game design.

Follow Holly on Twitter – https://twitter.com/hollygramazio
Visit the Matheson Marcault website – http://mathesonmarcault.com/
Visit the Now Play This website – http://nowplaythis.net/

Holly Nielsen

Holly’s a freelance journalist who regularly pops up in The Guardian and Sky News. She’s also a historical researcher and regularly gives fascinating lectures relating video games to historical events and philosophies. She’s well smart, is what I’m saying.

Follow Holly on Twitter – https://twitter.com/nielsen_holly

Jade Raymond

After starting with Sony as a programmer, Jade moved to Ubisoft where she helped with the creation of the Assassin’s Creed series. She went on to found Ubisoft Toronto before moving to EA to form Motive Studios, a new team that was working with Visceral Games on a now cancelled Star Wars game. She’s also a board member of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

Follow Jade on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ibjade

Jane Douglas

A writer, presenter and producer, Jane has worked for the BAFTA Games Awards, Sky News, Ginx TV and GameSpot. In 2012 she became one of the three founders of Outside Xbox, a gaming YouTube channel which has reached over 2.3 million subscribers.

Follow Jane on Twitter – https://twitter.com/janedouglas
Visit the Outside Xbox YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/outsidexbox

Jen Simpkins

Having previously been the Games Editor of the UK Official PlayStation Magazine, Jen quickly established herself as one of the finest writers in the UK industry, winning the Rising Star award at the 2016 Games Media Awards. She’s now the Deputy Editor of Edge, and she shares my love for atrocious puns.

Follow Jen on Twitter – https://twitter.com/itsJenSim

Julia Hardy

Julia is a writer and presenter who’s been a part of the UK gaming scene for as long as I can remember. At the moment she’s working for the BBC, where she hosts BBC Radio 1’s Gaming Show and presents other monthly gaming content for the BBC iPlayer. She also has a blog called Misogyny Monday, where she exposes and criticises the abuse women in the games and tech industries receive online.

Follow Julia on Twitter – https://twitter.com/itsJuliaHardy
Visit Julia’s website – http://www.juliahardy.co.uk/

Kallie Plagge

Kallie is a Reviews Editor at GameSpot, and was previously the Social Media Manager at IGN. As well as writing about games for a living, she also writes and talks about mental health, disability and feminist issues in media.

Follow Kallie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/inkydojikko

Kat Bailey

Kat is the Editor In Chief of USgamer. In the past she’s written for the likes of IGN, Wired, GameSpot, 1UP, GamesTM and Joystiq.

Follow Kat on Twitter – https://twitter.com/The_Katbot

Kate Gray

Kate is a fellow Official Nintendo Magazine alumni, having started her career as the magazine’s final Staff Writer. She’s since worked for Official Xbox Magazine, the official Xbox On YouTube channel and GameSpot. After a period as a freelancer (regularly contributing to The Guardian and Waypoint) she got a gig writing for Kotaku and is also a Narrative Designer at Montreal-based studio KO_OP.

Follow Kate on Twitter – https://twitter.com/hownottodraw
Listen to Tired Old Hack podcast episode 2, where Kate was a guest co-host

Kellee Santiago

Kellee was the president and a co-founder of thatgamecompany, the studio behind such classics as Journey and Flower. She became a TED Fellow in 2010, and was nominated for the Microsoft Women In Games Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, she’s been working at Google, working as both a producer and product development lead of games and apps at Google VR.

Visit Kellee’s website – http://kelleesantiago.com/

Keza MacDonald

Keza is a veteran games journalist who’s currently the Games Editor at The Guardian. Keza’s client list reads like a who’s-who of the UK games media industry, having previously worked or written for the likes of Kotaku, IGN, The Guardian, VG247, Eurogamer, BBC, Channel 4 News and the Observer. Her book about Dark Souls, entitled You Died, is available now.

Follow Keza on Twitter – https://twitter.com/kezamacdonald
Buy You Died – http://amzn.to/2n7jH9Z

Kim Richards

Originally a writer on Future Publishing’s Bath-based magazines, Kim moved to YouTube channel Yogscast where she became something of a YouTube star. She’s currently got around 128,000 followers on Twitter.

Follow Kim on Twitter – https://twitter.com/nanosounds

Korina Abbott

Korina has been involved in marketing in the UK games industry for over a decade. In the past she’s worked for Ubisoft, Square Enix and Bethesda (where, most recently, she helped launch Fallout 4 in the UK). A couple of years ago she moved to Edinburgh and founded KA Games, her own gaming PR agency. Korina is cool as shit and I’m going to try to get her on the Tired Old Hack podcast at some point.

Follow Korina on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Shikaboom

Laura Kate Dale

With experience writing for Destructoid, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku, The Guardian and Vice, Laura is currently the News Editor at Kotaku UK and the co-host of Podquisition. She previously gained notoriety for her numerous leaks regarding the Nintendo Switch, which have helped solidify her reputation as an investigative journalist worth keeping an eye on.

Follow Laura on Twitter – https://twitter.com/LaurakBuzz

Louise Blain

Louise got her start in 2011 when she joined Future Publishing to be the Staff Writer on the UK Official PlayStation Magazine. Since then she’s contributed to the writing of the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition and written articles for a shitload of publications including GamesMaster, ONM and GamesRadar. She also appears on the weekly Tech Talk segment of Kaye Adams’ morning show on BBC Radio Scotland.

Follow Louise on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Shiny_Demon

Lucy James

In her first year as a freelance writer in 2012, Lucy was nominated for the Rising Star award at the Games Media Awards. Her work’s appeared on the likes of VideoGamer, GameReactor, Sky News, BBC World News and The Guardian, but at the moment she’s a Senior Video Producer at GameSpot.

Follow Lucy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/lucyjamesgames

Manaka Kataoka

Manaka is a composer at Nintendo who has been responsible for some of the company’s most critically acclaimed recent music. She composed the music for the Wii and 3DS versions of Animal Crossing, and most recently she was the composer of The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

Marti Bennett

Formerly a blogger on the Official Nintendo Magazine website, Marti was a key member of the British 3DS StreetPass community, helping organise meet-ups to bring gamers together. She’s now a recognisable face in the UK Pokemon community, with her Twitch and YouTube channel Virtual Accomplishment.

Follow Marti on Twitter – https://twitter.com/MartiBennett
Visit Marti’s YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/VirtualAccomplishment

Meg Bethany Koepp

Still a relative young buck in the world of games journalism, Meg has already made an impact as a freelancer. She’s written games coverage for the Daily Star, Daily Express, Eurogamer, God Is A Geek, Red Bull UK and Switch Player magazine.

Follow Meg on Twitter – https://twitter.com/triforcemeg
Visit Meg’s website – http://www.megbethanyread.co.uk/
Listen to Tired Old Hack podcast episode 3, where Meg was a guest co-host

Mim McDonald

Mim has been a magazine writer and production editor for 20 years. Starting as a Production Assistant on MacFormat magazine back in 1997, she’s since worked on a bunch of other UK gaming titles including NGC, PlayStation Max, PSM2, GamesMaster, Arcade and SFX. She’s currently the Operations Manager on Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge.

Follow Mim on Twitter – https://twitter.com/crinolinerobot

Rhianna Pratchett

A writer of many a hit video game, Rhianna’s lent her storytelling skills to such loved titles as the Tomb Raider reboot, Rise Of The Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Heavenly Sword, Mirror’s Edge and Overlord 1 and 2.

Follow Rhianna on Twitter – https://twitter.com/rhipratchett
Visit Rhianna’s website – http://www.rhiannapratchett.com/

Roberta Williams

A pioneer among female game designers, Roberta co-founded Sierra and created Mystery House, a 1980 game which has been credited as the first graphical adventure game (all adventures before this were text-based). In the two decades that followed, Robert and her husband Ken created a number of critically acclaimed adventure games, including the King’s Quest series and Phantasmagoria. Roberta retired in 1999 and was given an Industry Icon award at The Game Awards in 2014.

Samantha Robertson

After working at Dark Horse Comics for six years, Samantha joined Nintendo of America’s ‘Treehouse’ team, where she spent five and a half years working on game localisation. During this time Nintendo’s been praised for its outstanding localisation work, of which Samantha has played a key role. In August 2016, she was promoted to Assistant Manager of Product Marketing for Nintendo of America, a role she still currently fills.

Follow Samantha on Twitter – https://twitter.com/EditingEntropy

Violet Berlin

A gaming icon for British gamers of a certain vintage (i.e. my age), Violet was the co-host of Children’s ITV video games show Bad Influence!, a role that helped weaken the common stereotype at the time that only boys played video games. In later years she hosted Gamepad, a video games show on UK TV channel Bravo. These days she continues to be a keen gamer, and is a writer for films, games and narrative environments.

Follow Violet on Twitter – https://twitter.com/VioletBerlin

Yoko Shimomura

Yoko is a Japanese video game composer and pianist who’s been composing music for video games since the late 1980s. She’s been responsible for some of the most iconic music in gaming, having contributed to (or fully composed) the soundtracks for Final Fight, Street Fighter II, the Kingdom Hearts series, the Mario & Luigi series, Xenoblade Chronicles and countless others.

Follow Yoko (if you can speak Japanese) on Twitter – https://twitter.com/midiplex


If you know of any woman in the games industry (or you are a woman in the games industry) who should be on this list, let me know by commenting below, emailing me or sending me a DM on Twitter. I’ll be adding to this list on a regular basis.

This article is dedicated to my wife Louise, who doesn’t care about gaming in the slightest but loves my passion for it and gives me all the freedom to enjoy it, even as my amiibo and Lego Dimensions collections slowly build around us both. I love her.

4 comments

  1. It’s very impressive what you’re pulling off recently! Large and interesting features, extensive Switch coverage… Keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to what’s next! 🙂

    Like

  2. Arcade Magazine! That takes me back. Best video gaming mag I ever read. I still have the copy of ‘Game Over’ by David Sheff, the story of Nintendo from the 1880’s up to the SNES.
    Their Games Night features inspired plenty of post-pub antics in my neck of the 1990’s (back when post-pub gaming was a thing)

    Like

  3. I made a list a small list a while back as well for international women’s day, if this helps Chris :):

    A person that I left out on the list and derseve more lime light is Yuka Tsujiyoko composer for Fire Emblem and the original Paper Mario (amongst others), her biggest work is 114 track for fire emblem 4. She has also acted as sound supervisors to some Nintendo games in recent years. Her amazing work’s not known so much outside of Japan but with recent FE Gaiden remake Shadows of Valentia, her original tunes are getting remastered and it’s beautiful.

    Another female composer to highlight is Michiru Yamane who’s most famous works are in Castlevania games and is doing Bloodstained’s ost as well. Her tunes are one of the most iconic thing attached to the series.

    Man I could make a whole list just of Japanese female composers that created gaming’s most iconic tunes there’s so many that go unnoticed (but that’s something which happens to every composer that isn’t Koji Kondo or Nobuo Uematsu).

    Like

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