Here at PocketGamer.biz we celebrate diversity of all kinds. Speaking to various inspiring women at our Pocket Gamer Connects events around the world, and being aware that there is still a real need to shout about the subject, we decided to focus on females for December. In this series of features we will interview various women working in gaming, as well as sharing other stories around the subject.
Carla Arnal is a UX/UI Designer at Taproom and a firm believer that diversity in working teams is vital to success.
PocketGamer.biz: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your current role?
Hi, my name is Carla Arnal! I'm a UX/UI Designer at Taproom. In my day to day, I carry out multiple design tasks simultaneously, adapting to what the project requires.
I originally studied Design at university, where I learnt invaluable lessons about colour, composition and visual harmony. This is something that has stuck with me to this day. Later, I decided to redirect my professional path to the technology industry, which has led me to my role at Taproom.
What first attracted you to the gaming industry?
Well, I think almost all of us had a childhood that was enriched in some way by gaming. I grew up with Playstation and GameBoy. Games like Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil, and Pokémon Red and Blue stuck with me... Fast forward to now and here I am today working in the games sector! Having the opportunity to be part of this industry is both a challenge and a very enriching experience.
What effect do you think the culture within which you grew up has had an influence on your career path?
I believe that the values we acquire throughout our lives build something very important and are reflected in the way we relate to each other, and act as individuals in society. I was lucky enough to have good role models who instilled in me values such as effort, respect, perseverance and teamwork, and above all, to be honest with myself.
What challenges have you had to face during your career - thinking specifically about being a female in the industry?
In my case, I’ve been fortunate that my work as a woman in the games industry has always been recognised and acknowledged. I have always felt that I’ve been treated as an equal and I have never felt undervalued. I know this isn’t the case for everyone.
What advice would you give to companies looking to improve equality within the workplace?
They should be committed to diversity. The more people with different points of view you have in your team, the better it is for the company in so many ways. In large US companies such as Google or Meta, for example, they often look for people from other countries for precisely this reason.
And what advice would you give to other women joining the industry?
Keep going and don't give up. I would encourage women joining the industry to become part of communities related to their professional roles, go to as many events as they can, and never stop asking questions of themselves and others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those in senior roles and ask them how they got there. It’s not an easy road, but it's worth it.
Who inspires you the most (not necessarily from within games)?
I am often most inspired by people who are directly part of my life. Professionally, I’ve drawn influence from some very influential women in design, including Paula Scher, Carolyn Davidson, and Charlotte Perriand among others. Other than that, literature, cinema and architecture are also fantastic sources of inspiration.
Since you entered the games industry, what is the biggest change you’ve seen and is this for better or worse?
I believe that Augmented Reality (AR) is gaining ground in our lives. Thanks to this kind of technology, we can live immersive and interactive experiences that combine digital and physical scenarios. There is incredible potential in this for the video games industry, as it is an added bonus. In AR games, the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds are blurred, and the gaming experience is taken to another level.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
The bullying, verbal aggression and misconduct that often occurs within gamer environments.
If you could only keep 3 games on your phone for the rest of time, which would you choose?
I'm a fan of the classics, so I think I'd go for Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Tetris.