Laila Shabir created Girls Make Games four years ago in an effort to bridge the massive gender gap in the video game industry. Each year the foundation runs three week summer camps around the country to foster a love of design and programming in like-minded girls with the goal of teaching them how to create their own video games. After all, the best way to deal with the gender disparity in gaming is to have more female devs.
This year, 33 teams of girls between the ages of 8 and 17 learned how to design and program games at PlayStation’s San Mateo campus. Five of those 33 teams made it to Demo Day to pitch their games to a panel of industry judges which included Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, Nintendo’s Executive VP of Buisness Affairs Devon Pritchard, and Caffeine’s Senior VP of Buisness Development Anna Sweet. PlayStation President and CEO John Kodera, Chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden, and Vice President of Product Development at Worldwide Studios Connie Booth also joined the list of industry judges.
Which is hella cool, when you think about it.
From GameRant‘s report:
The winning team this year was Team Sarcastic Shark Clouds, who created a game that takes a multi-narrative approach to bullying, presenting the issue from both the victim’s and the bully’s perspective. The game’s title is Shredded Secrets and it is an emotional journey through four characters and their experiences with school and life. This game shows how people from different backgrounds can overcome adversity together.
Shredded Secrets impressed the industry experts so much that it is going to be made into a full game over the next year to be published on Steam and console. For Shabir, “It is [her] hope that Girls Make Games can provide the same validation and access to education – which is the best form of empowerment – to girls everywhere,” and as is evident in the quality of the games produced at the event, Girls Make Games is certainly a great start. Other winners included the games Detective Blobfish, a horror game titled Luka, an educational game titled Kaiyo, and The Return.
All the 2018 Demo Day games are free to download and play on the Girls Make Games website. You can check out the Shredded Secrets trailer below.