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Girls Level Up Documentary Project Aims to Empower Girls to Make Games

Girls Level Up, a new documentary project which aims to inspire girls to make games, launched Monday with seven videos from women developers.

The videos answer questions sent in by young girls around game development, and each one answers a different question, from “How do you come up with an idea for a video game?” to “What programming language should I learn?”

The videos are available on the Girls Level Up website.

Girls Level Up found women developers to answer the questions who have worked on top games, from “Journey” to “Uncharted 4,” as well as women working on upcoming titles like “Psychonauts 2.”

While women and girls make up an estimated half of the 2.3 billion people worldwide who play games, not even 15% of game developers identify as female. This new project from Artifact Studios (and sponsored by Facebook’s Women in Gaming Initiative) aims to change that by encouraging young girls and giving them access to information from women in the games industry.

“[Girls] don’t get Xbox’s for Christmas,” founder Laila Shabir stated in a video on the project’s website. “They get Barbies or something else, and their brothers get the Xbox’s, even though they have the same expressed interest. So, in a way they don’t have access.”

Shabir is also the founder and CEO behind Girls Make Games, which provides workshops and camps for girls who want to learn how to be game developers.

Anne Edgar, who came up with the idea and also directs and produces Girls Level Up, commented in a press release on the project.

“There are many reasons women lack a voice in this immensely powerful medium,” Edgar said. “But one that runs deep is it simply does not occur to most girls who love video games that they could one day grow up to become video game developers. We’re showing that dream is very possible by highlighting brilliant women who have mastered the art and craft of game making, and also by giving a voice to girls who are just getting started.”


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