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"Having more women in the gaming industry brings diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas" - Barbara Lee of Kinetix

We get the real state of play and showcase a world of talent around International Women's Day 2023
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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 spoke with Barbara Lee, head of engineering at Kinetix, the exciting, hyper growth AI startup that brings emotes into video games and virtual worlds.

PocketGamer.biz: Firstly, tell us about your work at Kinetix

Barbara Lee: I manage a team of front-end, back-end, and 3D engineers to build our platform. We are currently working on multiple projects. There are a number of AI powered game development initiatives, which we will be announcing soon. What we can talk about is that we’re working with the likes of The Sandbox, incorporating our emote wheel into well-known virtual worlds, resulting in more immersive social experiences.

What made you want to work in games?

Working in this industry is a dream come true! I started working for Kinetix in June 2022, and before that, I worked as a lead developer in fintech services. I decided to join Kinetix because I was enthusiastic about their mission to leverage technology to create new services for game developers.

I am passionate about gaming and have been playing indie and platform games for a long time, Okami is my all-time favourite game. 

Do you feel like attitudes towards female gamers and women working in games has changed, and is changing?

The attitudes towards female gamers and women working in games have been changing slowly but steadily. Now there is more awareness about the issue of gender inequality in the gaming industry, and organisations are working towards improving diversity and inclusivity through various initiatives.

“There is more awareness about the issue of gender inequality in the gaming industry, and organisations are working towards improving diversity and inclusivity through various initiatives.”
Barbara Lee

However, there is still a long way to go, and there are still instances of discrimination and harassment. It is imperative to continue the conversation and take action to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.

What do you think that having more women in games can brings to the industry and the games we all make?

Having more women in the gaming industry can bring diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas. It can also help to break down gender stereotypes and biases in games, resulting in more inclusivity and diversity. Women gamers make up a significant portion of the gaming community, and having more women involved in the development of games can help to create games that better reflect the interests and experiences of this audience.

What's the road ahead? How can we encourage more women to get involved and make a difference?

Encouraging more women to get involved in the gaming industry can be achieved through various initiatives and actions, such as providing more opportunities for women to learn about and access gaming and technology, supporting and promoting female game developers and streamers, and creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.

Pairing women with mentors with experience in the game industry can also help guide and support them as they navigate the field. Networking opportunities can connect women with other professionals and open doors to job opportunities. The industry needs to address issues of discrimination and harassment and work towards creating a safe and supportive environment for women in the gaming industry.

It takes time, but I’m confident we will have more women involved in this industry!