FIRST THOUGHT: Talking a Good Game
Have you ever caught yourself inadvertently saying something sexist against your own sex? That’s right, women can be sexist too, even in minimal ways, like assuming a doctor’s a dude or your mechanic’s a bro. Personally, I eventually noticed I do this very thing. While playing an online video game, every time an opponent got me, I yelled out in frustration with a male pronoun: “He can’t do that!” or “His character is irritating me!” Sure, it’s a little thing, but it speaks to a deeper issue. And I’m working to rewire my mindset about such things. Today, take a little time to notice how you think and speak, and identify whether you’ve got some of these tendencies of your own.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 60 Percent
My yelling-at-guys gaming propensity is silly, especially since I’m one of many women who plays video and online games. In a recent survey of U.S. gamers, 60 percent of female respondents said they play mobile games every day (more than twice as much as male respondents), with 6 percent of those women saying Candy Crush Saga is an app they can’t live without.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Andra Petrosan, Producer for King Digital Entertainment
Why are so many women addicted to crushing candy? Maybe it’s because a woman helps lead the way. Andra Petrosan is a producer at King Digital Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush and an interactive-entertainment company that boasts 293 million monthly active users. Andra is turning the idea that all gamers are male on its end, proving ladies have some serious talent while also encouraging more women to enter the career field by gaining a knowledge of STEM.
This gaming dynamo grew up with a passion for PC and console games. And it was the early success of Candy Crush that influenced her to make a career move from cybersecurity to gaming. Now Andra hosts live in-game events for Candy Crush and coordinates a team of developers and artists to make the game even more of a global blockbuster.
If you’re new to the game, here’s some helpful info for you: Candy Crush Saga players compete by swapping candy on a board game in an attempt to match tasty treats of the same color. In this Candy Town, there are sweet jelly levels and coconut wheels and color bombs—all designed to puzzle your mind while satisfying your virtual sweet tooth. And it’s Andra’s expertise that is integral to Candy Crush’s success.
Like the candies dropping from the top of the Candy Crush board, it’s female gaming authorities like Andra who are helping generate a cascade effect in the gaming kingdom, inspiring other women and girls to pursue a fun yet fulfilling job in the industry.
Of course, Andra admits it’s not all fun and games. After all, it is a job, and every single workday requires Andra to be flexible in taking on a variety of tasks. From gathering data about a new game feature to researching players’ experiences to enhance their engagement, she does it all.
Called a proactive, ambitious, reliable leader and a real rainmaker by her co-workers, Andra is working at Candy Crush level 3000, totally dominating her tech gig. She’s clearly at the top of her game, and we’re positive she’s only going to continue crushing it!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Former On The Dot Woman to Watch Anita Sarkeesian, an outspoken critic known for pinpointing sexism in the gaming trade, was once asked by comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert what’s so wrong with video games in which male players can achieve success by saving a damsel in distress. Her reply was spot-on and a fitting conclusion to today’s story. She said:
“Maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel and she can save herself!”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.