Building a fair playing field – The Women in Games Guide is available now

Published : Friday, August 19, 2022, 7:04 pm
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Women in Games has published the Second Edition of its Guide. Featuring almost 150 pages of information, inspiration, resources, first-hand accounts, showcases, recommendations and more, The Guide: Building A Fair Playing Field is available to download for free via the Women in Games website.

The Guide – researched and authored by Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman and Women in Games Education & Research Consultant Sharon Tolaini-Sage – is for video games, esports, and connected industries of all scales and sizes who are interested in engaging with, and advancing, gender equality and wider diversity and inclusion, along with policy units and international trade associations.

While the Guide is very specifically focused on gender, it encompasses wider intersectional issues of inclusivity and diversity, and can be used to address them at every level.

Why Is It Important?

There is an urgent need for change:

Women remain significantly underrepresented in the games industries
Well-publicised controversies around dysfunctional working cultures in the games industries add to the urgency for change
Longitudinal research shows abuse and discrimination in online multiplayer games[1]
This is a moment when integrating practical steps in every area to bring about gender equality is not just fair, it is achievable
What Is The Purpose of The Guide?

To address persistent wide scale issues of gender inequality
To highlight the role of leadership in achieving fairness
To provide inspiration for companies and individuals across geographical boundaries
To encourage and enable change
To share knowledge and showcase existing positive initiatives
To galvanize action
The Guide: Building A Fair Playing Field is supported by ISFE and InGAME, who have also contributed to the publication, along with Women in Games Individual Ambassadors, Corporate & Education Ambassadors, and the wider Women in Games community.

Following the launch of the English version, The Guide will be translated into multiple other languages. In addition, an audio book is being created to provide more accessibility, while a podcast series and Masterclasses will be launched later in 2022.

Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman offered: “The world has changed since the 2018 publication of the first Women in Games Guide. Covid-19 and its continuing aftermath has brought uncertainties, but this has also brought huge opportunities for driving positive change. Global working practices, and particularly the games industries themselves, are being transformed, and this Guide sets out to bring new impetus for gender equality and fairness.

“The Guide is part of our aligned efforts to take actions in support of the UN’s SDG’s, particularly number 5, Gender Equality. And integral to a larger portfolio of work within our 5 spaces of action: Industry, Education, Policy Community and Culture. This supports our mission to create new platforms, pathways and synergies that bring together agents of change, advocates, men and boys, champions, experts, grass-roots organisations and others, for new dialogues focused on shared solutions towards fairness and equality for all.

“This is a moment when integrating practical steps in every area to bring about gender equality is not just fair, it is achievable.”

ISFE CEO Simon Little added: “Women in Games deserves a huge thank you for this important piece of work, which will be an incredibly useful tool for many and will help us to champion gender equality and diversity in Europe. Thanks also to the ISFE members who shared their case studies with the authors, helping to inspire and drive change in the industry. With 52% of Europe's population and more than 2.2 billion people around the world playing video games, driving diversity and inclusion in the sector is not only commercially imperative, but also the socially responsible thing to do.”

InGAME Director Sean Taylor said: “As the UK centre for games research and innovation, InGAME is proud to support the new Women in Games Guide. This crucial research goes beyond simply identifying issues of gender-based inequality and discrimination in the game sector. Instead, its innovative approach draws on best practice from across industry to develop generalisable and actionable guidance for any company wanting a more welcoming and inclusive culture. We believe it will be an invaluable tool in helping the games sector become a better place for all women, from any background, to work and achieve their full potential, free from abuse or discrimination.”

The Women in Games Guide: Building A Fair Playing Field is available to download for free here.


Note To Editors:

[1] Bryter’s first Female Gamers study was held in the UK in 2018. It included respondents from the US in 2019 and targeted both male and female gamers in 2020. In 2021 it was female only and also included China as a market.

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