Especially for International Womens Day (and continuing all week) we've created a series of interviews to co-incide with the annual celebration of women's achievements all around the world.
There's great advice for women who want to be part of the gaming world and we find out what's changed, what's changing and what still needs to change if women's voices are to be heard and gaming is to become more inclusive, more entertaining and more engaging for everyone.
We caught up with Liat Barer, VP of product at Odeeo, creators of the next-level audio network that delivers advertising in-game without disturbing the gameplay or hindering the player or developer from doing what they do best.
PocketGamer.biz: Firstly, tell us about your work at Odeeo
Liat Barer: We're building the future of audio advertising technologies, and our mission is to create a better in-game advertising experience that connects gamers, developers, and brands through audio innovation. By running audio ads within gameplay, we create a non-interruptive ad experience while providing advertisers access to the biggest and fastest growing audience in the world - and of course this gives developers an incremental revenue channel.
The product team at Odeeo is currently focused on creating the best and easiest-to-use product for game developers. We are improving our SDK solution, making it flexible and very easy to integrate; developing new solutions for our monetization partners for reporting and analysis; and working on numerous added-value products which our developers will be able to use to bring audio monetization innovation into their games.
Making a product that is designed to be fun - what can be better than that?Liat Barer
What made you want to work in games?
Games are the number one form of entertainment today. The best thing about it is that EVERYONE is a gamer - my son, my friends, my mom, and even my grandma. That is also what makes it the perfect platform for advertisers - the audience is so diverse and so engaged that as a marketer, you can count on the fact that your message can reach the right audience within this category.
I have been in the ad-tech industry for over 10 years now, mainly focused on advertising solutions for mobile apps including games as well, of course. My last 1.5 years at Odeeo have been focused only on gaming and I simply love it.
I love the innovation and creativity that the gaming world is all about. Making a product that is designed to be fun - what can be better than that?
Do you feel like attitudes towards female gamers and women working in games/games-related industries have changed, and are changing?
I think that the attitude towards women who are gamers or work in the gaming industry is changing for the same reason the attitude towards women in any formerly male dominated field is changing. It is all about exposure and positive role models.
It's important to note that what we used to think of as a gamer - a bored teenager with a console, in his parents basement, playing for hours - is no longer correct. A gamer today can be anyone. It is actually shown statistically that when it comes to mobile games, and specifically casual games, that are more women players than men.
I think this misconception is changing in all gaming platforms as it is becoming clear that women enjoy games just like men do.
When it comes to women working in games-related industries, my personal belief is that change comes from positive real-life examples and role models. As we see more women in leadership positions and tech roles in the gaming industry, it will become easier for other women to join the ride and take part.
Breaking into a male-dominated industry is hard, especially when there are not many visible examples of success for women. The growing minority that we are now in the gaming industry will be the catalyst to bring gaming to a more gender-equal place.
What do you think that having more women in games can bring to the industry and the games we make?
As in all industries, gender equality should be what we aspire for, to make sure our products fit our audience.
We already see that women make up a bit over 50% when it comes to the mobile gaming audience, so of course we need more women to make sure the games fit the audience in the best way possible.
What's the road ahead? How can we encourage more women to get involved and make a difference?
I'm a big believer in role-models. Seeing other strong and leading women getting involved and making a difference is the best encouragement for other young women to step up and make a difference of their own. Articles like this, conferences where women and the speakers, women-focused initiatives and groups, are all things we should keep focusing on. I'm personally very excited for every opportunity I have to speak up and hopefully be a positive example for other women.