At Keywords Studios we are using our passion for games, technology and content to deliver better digital experiences with our clients.
We are proud of our diversity and inclusivity and today, March 8th, we celebrate all of our female colleagues by talking with some of our Women in Games ambassadors.Women in Games (WIGJ) is a not-for-profit organisation that advocates a games industry, culture and community free of gender discrimination, where full equality of opportunity, treatment and conditions empowers all women to achieve their potential.
It works in partnership with individual ambassadors and companies such as Keywords.
Charlie Coler and Joyce Brabban are Project Manager and Producer, respectively, at Studio Gobo and Ilaria Di Camillo, LQA Tester at Keywords Studios based in Montreal.
Here’s what they had to say:
How did you get into video games and what inspired your career path?
Charlie: I worked in VFX production previously, which I loved. There are a lot of similarities and I’m passionate about learning how things are made.
I always enjoyed playing games, so it was a natural progression. Also, a seaside location such as Brighton isn’t too bad either.
Ilaria: I am a long-time gamer: my first computer came into the house when I was six. I have been an AMD sponsored pro player for several years and video games have accompanied my entire life and have been very important to me (I even had a video game-themed wedding!).
It was my love for video games that inspired my career path. Before being a tester, I am a player.
Joyce: Typically, playing games inspired me to get into the video games industry. I realised the amount of work that goes into creating them and I wanted to be a part of it.
Let’s focus a bit more about your Ambassador Role. Why did you decide to become a Women in Games Ambassador?
Charlie: I’d been helping out at events hosted by my old company and found it inspiring to help and support other people trying to get into the industry.
I don’t believe that women should be put on some sort of pedestal because we’re a minority in this industry. I just want us to be equally respected for the work and roles we do and I feel it’s important to convey this message and it’s great to have a platform to do so.
Ilaria: In the years in which I was playing competitively I had many people who supported me but also many who did everything to prevent me from playing just because I was a woman. It is something that upset me but now that I have grown up and have two children, I decided to contribute in the hope that this does not happen again.
It is an honour for me to be a WIGJ ambassador because my goal is to make the world of video games more inclusive for everyone. Together we can make the gaming world an inclusive place that allows our best side to resonate and create something beautiful.
Joyce: I believe having more diversity in any industry naturally breeds more experiences to share and learn from. That is why I wanted to become a Women in Games Ambassador, to support any group who encourages this belief.
How does it feel to be a representative for women?
Charlie: I wouldn’t say I am a representative for all women, more of an ally. I just hope that I can inspire, motivate and be there with some helpful advice if needed.
Ilaria: It is beautiful and I am very grateful to Women In Games for allowing all of us to have an active role.
I hope that in future my children will have the opportunity to enjoy a less toxic and more positive world of video games. But I also hope that other girls and women can take my story as an example: don’t be frightened by negativity.
If you love video games, continue to have fun and if you are really passionate, contemplate the possibility of working in the world of video games! It is a wonderful experience to be behind the scenes!
Joyce: For me, being a WIG ambassador is about showing support by actively including women, and other minorities, into the games industry. I am open to any person who shows interest in being part of this great industry.
Which changes would you like to see in 2021 in the industry?
Charlie: In an ideal world, there would be no crunch. I would also like to see more women in leadership roles.
Ilaria: I hope that 2021 will continue to reward all those initiatives, even individual ones, that promote positivity and inclusiveness in the world of video games. We don’t have to put up with toxicity: we can say no and improve what’s around us. Every little kind gesture can go a long way.
Joyce: Although I don’t experience this at Studio Gobo, after the recent news of negative work ethics and studio cultures, I would love for the industry to continue moving forwards in taking care of their staff members (dev & support teams included).
Why do you think it is important to see more women in games and working in games?
Charlie: I think it’s good to have representation from all minorities in the industry. It gives a different perspective on the creation of games and hopefully inspires a younger generation to believe they can be whoever they want to be.
Ilaria: First of all, it is important that each of us does what makes us happy. If a woman loves the world of video games, it is right that she has the same chance as a man to be part of it.
Also, women represent a very large slice of video games players. It is not a male-dominated world, as many think.
Finally, there shouldn’t be the difference between men and women in video games: we are all people, we are all video games lovers, we are all gamers!
Joyce: On an industry level, diverse teams create diverse games. On an individual level, I believe relatability and understanding is important for minority groups. Having more people that individuals can to relate to would only increase a sense of belonging.
And finally, what advice would you give to young women considering a career in video games?
Charlie: Just go for it! It’s a really exciting time to join the industry and there is so much support and people willing to give help and advice these days.
Ilaria: Fight for your dream, sister! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you are a woman.
If you are passionate about video games, be focused and prepared and wake up every morning with the desire to climb the mountain! Will it be simple? No. But you are not alone: there are many people who want to know you and know how you feel and have you by their side at work.
You can do it!
Joyce: I always say to do what you enjoy and you’ll naturally stumble across like-minded people. This would then lead to working somewhere, in something, that you equally enjoy. Don’t be scared, just do what makes you happy!
If you are interested in a role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.