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.
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.
At regular intervals I will continue to add to it, both with my own contributions and those made by you.
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.
(Speaking of which, if you’re a lazy bastard, I’ve also created this Twitter list – which will also be updated – so you can quickly follow them all once you’ve finished reading).
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!
After working on campaigns for both Xbox and PlayStation, Alex founded Amcade, a marketing consultancy dedicated to the video game industry.
The current editor of VideoGamer, despite having only been there for just over a year. Alice has taken on these extra responsibilities with gusto and is doing a great job continuing the momentum VideoGamer’s built over the past few years.
Amy’s been an enthusiastic member of the Square Enix Europe community team since January 2016 and has also been helping out with 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/
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). She’s now at Visceral Games, working on their upcoming Star Wars title.
Follow Amy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/amy_hennig
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.
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.
Follow Annie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Murderblonde
The 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.
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’.
The Senior PR and Events Exec for Team17, Bethany helps promote the likes of Worms, Overcooked, The Escapists and Playtonic’s eagerly anticipated Yooka-Laylee.
Follow Bethany on Twitter – https://twitter.com/bethamari
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
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.
Visit Cara’s website – http://caraellison.co.uk/
Carli is a writer at Geek.com 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”.
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 letter her retire early – but her influence can’t be overstated.
Based in San Francisco, Cassidee is a freelance writer whose work has featured in the likes of IGN, GameSpot, Shacknews and USGamer. She currently curates IGN’s Snapchat Discover account.
Follow Cassidee on Twitter – https://twitter.com/CassideeMoser
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 is currently the host of IRL, the Ginx.tv reality show about the lives of eSports personalities.
Formerly the Social and Community Manager for Xbox EMEA, Clare left to become a full-time YouTuber. Her channel has surpassed 500,000 subscribers and her dedication to Pokemon Go cannot be questioned.
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. While she’s no longer directly involved in the games industry – she’s currently the Principal Development Manager on Amazon Prime Air’s drone-based delivery project – the groundwork she built for the female programming community was enormous.
Follow Corrinne on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Corrinne
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 over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube, while her own account recently passed the 55,000 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 is the Community Manager at Team17, meaning it’s her job to maintain the publisher’s social media accounts and make sure the rabid Overcooked fans don’t go mad and set a kitchen on fire or something. She’s also got a great blog where she shares her thoughts on the games she’s been playing.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 currently working with Visceral Games on an upcoming Star Wars game.
Follow Jade on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ibjade
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 nearly reached 2 million subscribers.
Jen is currently the Games Editor of the UK Official PlayStation Magazine, where she’s quickly established herself as one of the finest writers in the UK industry. She won the Rising Star award at the 2016 Games Media Awards, and she shares my love for atrocious puns.
Follow Jen on Twitter – https://twitter.com/itsJenSim
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.
Kallie is an Associate 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 is the Editor In Chief of rapidly growing site 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 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. She’s currently freelancing (she regularly contributes to The Guardian and Waypoint) and she’s also dabbling in game design. Kate is awesome.
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 a producer of games and apps at Google VR.
Follow Kellee on Twitter – https://twitter.com/KelleeSan
Visit Kellee’s website – http://kelleesantiago.com/
Keza is a veteran games journalist who’s currently the UK Editor of Kotaku. 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 IGN, The Guardian, VG247, Eurogamer, BBC, Channel 4 News and the Observer. Her book about Dark Souls, entitled You Died, is available now.
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 over 130,000 followers on Twitter and I’ve got all the time in the world for her.
Follow Kim on Twitter – https://twitter.com/nanosounds
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). She’s currently the Head of Marketing at Blazing Griffin, an independent digital entertainment company in Scotland dealing with video games, movies and TV.
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 Editor-In-Chief at Let’s Play Video Games and the co-host of Podquisition. She recently 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.
Lauren is a freelance tech journalist living in Wales. She’s currently writing for Windows Central, where her regular Xbox game reviews helped the site gain its Metacritic accreditation. As she puts it: “Video games are a passion, technology is a passion, writing is an obsession.”
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 GamesMaster and ONM. She returned to Future in 2015, where she’s currently the News Lead on GamesRadar.
Follow Louise on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Shiny_Demon
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 Video Producer at GameSpot.
Follow Lucy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/lucyjamesgames
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.
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 also a recognisable face in the UK Pokemon community, with her regular Twitch streams and competition coverage.
Meg Bethany Read
Still a relative young buck in the world of games journalism, Meg has already made an impact despite still being partway through a university degree. She’s written games coverage for the Daily Star, Daily Express and Zelda Informer, and is one of the regular writers on Switch Player magazine.
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 GamesMaster.
Follow Mim on Twitter – https://twitter.com/crinolinerobot
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.
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.
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
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 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.