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There's still work to do to ensure diversity extends beyond race and gender

"The industry needs people from all walks of life to provide perspective to make better games and apply game design theories and psychology to other fields."

There's still work to do to ensure diversity extends beyond race and gender

Vivienne Koh is a serial entrepreneur from Singapore, currently based in Boden, Sweden.

Her expertise is massively broad-based, ranging from radiology to crisis management, VR, the video games industry and other elements of the creative industry.

She founded Cafiend over 15 years ago, creating an evolving creative industries’ labor market disruptor that relocated from Australia and is now building games in Boden under its FloofCorp brand.

Koh takes part in a panel session at Beyond Games debating the future of XR; including VR, AR and MR.

Before the brand new online event explores the intersection of games and other creative industries next week (May 10th to 14th), we caught up with Koh to see which innovations in the creative industries have impressed her and how games contribute to other media.

Tell us a bit about your company

Cafiend started in Singapore in 2008 under a different name doing graphic and web design and has slowly evolved over the years to incorporate many other forms of digital media, as well as other services as we have grown.

For the most part, we work with off-site contractors and our game branch - FloofCorp - was the first to hire full-time on-site employees. We've dabbled in many different fields, including banking, healthcare, sports and museum curation.

What does your role entail?

As the founder and CEO in an extremely lean set-up, my main task on top of ensuring that the company stays afloat and is administratively sound, is to also play the part of the project and accounts manager - managing clients and assigning the right people to the right projects - as well as HR.

And probably a million other things that I don't really think about since it's routine and instinctive to me now.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into your field?

I didn't really start off particularly wanting to work in the games industry. I came from User Experience design and wound up in games. I decided to stay because it allowed for the maximum application of my skills - and it was fun!

Don't let the fact that your education or experience background doesn't involve anything to do with tech or games stop you from applying - the industry needs people from all walks of life to provide perspective to make better games and apply game design theories and psychology to other fields.

How has the way the games industry is perceived changed in recent years?

It's slowly getting more diverse, but there's still work to be done to break the conversation out of - and beyond - race and gender.

What innovations in games have impressed you in recent months?

I think COVID has changed the way companies and people work a lot in terms of how they think about productivity and management, due to movement and gathering restrictions.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

I think more and more companies - regardless of size - would be willing to have more flexible arrangements regarding working-from-home set-ups, since it's now been tried and tested and proven to still work. This means that it will become even easier to get perspectives from a wider community and a more diverse workforce when it comes to game design and development.

Book now!

To hear Koh debate the future of XR next week with an expert panel at Beyond Games, make sure you book your ticket now. Mid-Term prices offer savings of up to $140, but hurry - the offer ends at midnight THIS THURSDAY, May 6th.


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