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A collaboration between Mohawk College and Femme Gaming aims amplify the voices of young female and gender-diverse gamers.SUPPLIED

According to recent statistics, women represent half of all gamers globally, yet there is ample evidence that in the gaming industry, equal representation is still far off. A collaboration between Mohawk College and Femme Gaming aims to shift this state of play.

“Femme Gaming is an amazing organization that [promotes] equity in gaming,” says Lisa Funnell, associate dean for the Game - Design and Esports Administration programs at Mohawk College. “Their goal is to encourage girls in particular to get into gaming, and to spread understanding of the importance of safe and equitable spaces for all people in this industry.”

There is a strong alignment between Femme Gaming’s mandate and Mohawk College’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, which is embedded into all aspects of learning and development at the college.

While Femme Gaming helped guide the creation process for the Game - Design and Esports Administration program, Mohawk College, in turn, supports the organization by amplifying its message and empowering the voices of young female and gender-diverse gamers. This collaborative approach aims to ensure these and future programs offer a safe and welcoming environment for anyone interested in the gaming industry.

“Collaboration is a huge part of the gaming world, right? You’re constantly integrating and networking and connecting with others,” says Ms. Funnell. “This also then needs to be part of the creation process. As we’re creating these programs and putting them out there, we’re sending these messages of who we are, what we’re about, but also who we’re going to train.”

One goal is to produce graduates who will change the industry from the inside, with a focus on making it more inclusive. In addition, the partnership will expose students to change-makers who are actively working to make a difference, she explains. “When we talk to Femme Gaming and hear about their experiences, goals and values, it just reaffirms why we’re doing this. It’s showing our students that there are organizations out there advocating and fighting for inclusivity.”

“Collaboration is a huge part of the gaming world, right? You’re constantly integrating and networking and connecting with others. This also then needs to be part of the creation process.

Lisa Funnell, Associate Dean for the Game - Design and Esports Administration programs at Mohawk College

This engagement process has opened doors to opportunities to tackle prejudice and lack of representation, according to Andrew Fedurko, professor in the college’s Game - Design and Esports Administration programs.

“[The gaming industry] is growing, and by having the right people, the right voices and this mutual strategy, we can help shape the industry as well as the culture that supports it,” he says. “This means promoting equity, diversity, inclusivity, representation – and combating toxic culture, specifically within gaming and esports while, at the same time, getting more females involved.”

Although the overarching goal is to advance equal representation between male and female gamers – both in market share and voices creating games – the invitation to participate “extends to anyone and everyone,” Mr. Fedurko says. “A lot of people don’t feel that the gaming industry is right for them. At Mohawk College, we want to make sure that everyone is included in this program and in our ecosystem of the gaming environments.”

The message the team would like to convey is, “Hey, you’re welcome here. This is an inclusive space,” he notes. “We welcome everyone, because we want your opinion, your experiences. Your unique perspectives are valued. You can help shape the future of what is a growing industry. You’re welcome to the Game - Design program, and not just to attend as a student, but to help contribute to the future economy, the future industry and the future culture of this entire spectrum.”

Ms. Funnell adds, “We want to make sure students can see that this is a space for them, that there are career pathways in gaming, and that we want to have the greatest diversity of players and creators in this particular industry and space.”


Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications with Colleges and Institutes Canada. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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