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There's an erroneous belief that there can't really be women game developers! Really? Meet these amazing women who ace this industry.
It is an exciting time to be a young woman in the gaming industry for it is a huge arena with a lot of opportunities for women game developers to use their technical and design skills to make their mark. Be it graphics, game development, game designing, game testing, game marketing, e-sports, content creation, the field is growing far and wide to grow in.
Here we celebrate 10 women game developers who are thriving in the gaming industry, and inspire us all to dare to be different.
Poornima Seetharaman is the director of design at Zynga, a game developing company specialising in social games.
Poornima has been a part of the gaming industry for over fifteen years since 2006 and working at various positions such as game designer, producer, entrepreneur, studio head. She has been associated with various big gaming companies such as GSN Games, Jumpstart, India games by Disney India. She has worked with huge gaming franchises such as Bioshock Mobile, Neopets, Farmville 2, How to Train Your Dragon. In 2020, she reached a milestone in her career when she was the first Indian woman to be inducted as Hall of Famer at the Global WIG Awards celebrating the achievements of women and organisations in the gaming industry. She is also an ambassador for Women in Games (WIGJ) and the founder of Women in Games India Community.
In her free time, Poornima teaches as guest lecturer at the National Institute of Design, Bangalore and conducts workshops for institutes like Srishti, Christ (Deemed to be University), Backstage Pass, Amity University, Jain University etc. Poornima has curated, judged and spoken at various design festivals, summits and conferences like TEDx, Pocket Gamer Connects, India GDC, Talents in Games etc to name a few. She is also one of the mentors at Google’s Indie Game Accelerator.
With her stellar achievements in the gaming world, Poornima has become an industry legend among women game developers.
Christelle D’Cruz is the Co- founder of Super Gaming, a game building company which has built over a hundred games over the years.
She began her gaming career by making educational games for TapToLearn and was the first female employee of the company. Christelle was also the sole developer of children’s games like Chota Bheem Rush, Motu Paltu Run. She was the lead UI developer of MaskGun an FPS shooter game. Christelle completed her MS in Computer Science and her Bachelors of Engineering, Computer from St. Francis Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
Christelle is truly an inspiration for women game developers looking to enter the male dominated field of game development and testing.
Laxmi Khanolkar is the co-founder and CEO of Apar Games, a game developing company based in Mumbai. Laxmi has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Mumbai University and a master’s degree in information technology from Welingkar Institute of Management.
She began her journey in the world of gaming by designing interactive e-learning children’s content. She went on to work as a game designer and producer at Reliance Games. She started her own company in 2008 after working in the gaming industry for many years. The company builds games and undertakes gaming projects of various companies under her wise and steady leadership.
Pavithra Sridhar is a game and experience designer at Bigfatpheonix Interactive. She has a very interesting educational background. She did her Master’s in Toy and Game design from National Institute of Design and her Bachelor’s in computer science from Ethiraj college for women.
Pavithra began her career as a game designer at Dhruva Interactive and went on to work at Byju’s and Bigfatpheonix. She delivered popular products such as Heidi- Alpine Adventure, Sara’s Cooking Class, and Disney-Byju’s Early Learn. Her core skills and areas of interest are game design, UI design and presentation, creative conceptualization, scenario development, building up play experiences, graphic design documentation, market research & system design.
Bhamini Lakshminarayan started off her career in gaming at Cuemath as a content designer and then went on to work at Byju’s design team. In 2019, she joined Bigfatpheonix Interactive as a founding member- where she is the head of game design. She has a bachelor of arts from St. Stephan’s College, Delhi and a master’s in media and cultural studies from TISS, Mumbai.
As a game designer, Bhamini is passionate about children’s media and storytelling and creating fun games for learning. Bahmini focuses on creating experiences through her products and focuses on empathy, kindness and integrity.
Anshu is CEO Web 3.0 and Gaming, at Mythoverse studios and is also was the founder of CHNO Media- a company aiming to bridge the gap between gaming and entertainment taking it to the masses by making use of hindi and other regional languages.
Anshu has more than 15 years of experience in different areas of content making, talent management, and brand building and now uses all her skills at Mythoverse Studios. Under her leadership, Mythoverse aims to explore new areas of immersive experiences.
Saumya Iyer is a producer at Zynga a game developing company. Like many of the stellar gaming ladies on this list, Saumya has been in the gaming industry for many years. She has played a variety of roles such as games producer, designer in her 15 years in the industry and worked for GSN, Jumpstart, EA, Zapak.
She has worked on games from popular franchises such as Bejeweled, Monopoly, and How to Train Your Dragon etc. Saumya joined the ranks of women game developers in India after completing her BSc in Physics from Mithibai College and her HSC from Sophia College, Mumbai.
Shilpa Keswani is the head of scaled partnerships at Google Play and manages content – gaming and comedy at YouTube India. Shilpa Shilpa completed her MBA from Schulich School of Business, York University in 2012 and is passionate about gaming and content and manages some of the leading gaming streamers on Youtube and works actively to increase the gamer base on the platform.
Shilpa has worked at 99Games for the past decade and is the VP of Games of the company. At 99Games, Shilpa works at building and managing creative, development and design teams. She is also involved in product conceptualisation and design, reviewing technical designs, various coordinations, game release plans, marketing, analytics, user acquisitions and monetizations.
Shilpa is a computer science graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology, and has been in the game developing arena for almost two decades. She started her career at Robosoft, a Macintosh platform and then went on to join 99Games. The company has had many hits such as the monetised game Star Chef, Bollywood-IP-based titles including Dhoom 3: The Game and Sultan: The Game. She has worked as a mentor in the Google Indie Accelerator Program and was featured alongside globally celebrated women gaming professionals in ‘Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play’ by Meagan Marie.
Saumya Singh Rathore is the co-founder at WinZo an online social gaming and entertainment platform where she leads content, growth and product. After completing her Masters in Psychology, from the University of Manchester, she joined KPMG’s Strategy Consulting wing and then went on to work at the Times Group handling projects in print, radio and television and then worked at Zo Rooms before co-founding her own online gaming company.
Are you a woman at work who’s breaking stereotypes in any of these upcoming/ promising industries – Gaming, data science, AI & ML, cloud computing, digital marketing, social media (influencer) or any other emerging industry that has promising career opportunities.? Come inspire young women.
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Does Ranbir Kapoor expressing his preferences about Alia using lipstick really make him a toxic husband?
Sometime back, a video of Alia Bhatt with Vogue went viral where she shares her go-to make-up routine and her unique way to apply lipstick. It went viral not for the quirkiness but because she said that after applying the lipstick, she “rubs it off” because her then boyfriend and now husband – Ranbir Kapoor likes her natural lip colour and asks her to “wipe it off”, whenever they are out on a date night.
Netizens had gone crazy over this video, calling RK toxic and not respecting AB’s choice to wear makeup. I saw the video a couple of times to understand the reason behind the uproar but I failed to understand it. I read many comments and saw people saying that asking your partner or dictating terms on how they should wear makeup is a major sign to leave the person.
Modesty or humility is viewed as the hallmark of a well-brought-up girl, which makes it hard for us to be open to any real compliments without feeling like an imposter.
Why is accepting that compliment so hard?
Colleagues: Have you lost weight? You look good!
She (who has spent months doing Keto and weights): It’s the dress that’s making me look thinner!
Guests: Your house is so beautiful and neat!
She (who spent the last five hours mopping and polishing): It could be tidier; there is just so much dust.
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