Tech remains one of those things I continue to package into being too hard to comprehend. Something that I couldn’t possibly find time to understand and certainly not something that could be self taught. I regularly offload the decision making to somebody else, a friend or a parent when buying a new computer and even a phone because I just don’t get it. But I really want to!
Together with WD we decided to look into how established female identifying gamers got into the industry and how they developed their tech skills. We spoke to Lisy Kane; Co Founder of Girl Geek Academy, Producer at League of Geeks and Forbe’s 30 under 30 gamer about finding inspiration in the world of technology, specifically gaming and steps to take to become involved in an industry largely dominated by men. Lisy, who definitely does not offload such decision making also gave us an insight into the technology she can’t live without!
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The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD is the recommended device for pro gamers or anyone who may feel inspired after reading this interview. With read speeds up to 560MB/s and write speeds up to 530MB/s, WD Blue 3D NAND SSD delivers fast system boot times and less load time*
For more information about the WD Blue SSD head here
* Read/Write speed performance is based on internal testing using CrystalDiskMark. Performance may vary based on host device. 1 MB = 1,000,000 bytes.
What does an average day look like for you?
I try and get into work around 9am to get a head start on the day, but depending on how late I stayed up the night before.. Well sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Coffee for breakfast and then we get into it. As a producer for an indie game development team I start the day with making to-do lists and checking where the current build is in comparison to where it needs to be. It’s a diverse job so one day I could be doing Twitch streams, another I could be submitting documents and builds to Sony. Once I’m finished for the day I’m either going to events, working on Girl Geek Academy or most likely, playing Dota 2.
When did you get into gaming?
When I was young our family got a Honeywell laptop and I started playing games like Commander Keen. I was always interested with and involved in technology so games were an instant attraction to me!
Often the stereotypical story of a female identifying gamer is that they were introduced to it through their brothers or male friends. Was your entry into the field inspired by anyone? Firstly, I’m not sure where this “stereotypical” story is coming from but this kind of anecdote is what perpetuates the underlying lack of diversity within the industry. I don’t believe that there’s any data at all to back this story up so I’m going to disregard it.
Was your entry into the field inspired by anyone?
What inspired me to get into the games industry is realising the amount of work and creativity that goes into making videogames. I have been a gamer for as long as I can remember; however it wasn’t until I started looking into how games were made that I realised the industry is where I wanted to be.
How did you get into the industry – did you take any courses/work experience or did you rely on self-taught skills? A combination of a lot of things was what got me into the industry. Previous to studying at university (a double degree in PR and game design) I was working as an assistant within a software development team so got an incredible amount of experience before even graduating. When at university I had a great opportunity to intern at Defiant Development in Brisbane, working on Hand of Fate. From there I moved to Melbourne, where a majority of the Australian games industry is and got a job with League of Geeks shortly after!
The Ladies Network recently did some peer mentoring with high school students where we discussed setting goals. We spoke about how common it is to set goals when you’re young and to have ambitions or an idea of what you want to be, that in retrospect may seem ridiculous. Did you have any goals as a child that seem crazy looking back, or have you always had an idea of where you want to be?
In my grade 7 yearbook I remember we had to say where we think we’d be in 10 years time and I said that I’d be working in IT and would have bought my mums car. I never did buy her car, but I did continue to follow my interest in technology even though I didn’t have much exposure to it in high school.
Tell us about Girl Geek Academy.
Girl Geek Academy is a global movement encouraging women to learn technology, create startups and build more of the internet. We run events and workshops like SheHacks, SheMakes, SheMakesGames and MissMakesCode!
Talk to us about the term geek. The word has a new found positive social currency. Do you think the traditional image of a geek has been a reason female identifying people may not have engaged with technology in the past?I think the traditional image of geek has been the reason a lot of people have not engaged with technology, not just female identifying people. This stereotype definitely is the reason why we need diverse role models in technology to inspire diverse creators!
There is still such an under-representation of women in technology, why do you think that is? And do you see it changing in the near future?
There are still social structures and norms in place that discourage young women from exploring technology. The discussion around diversity in technology has only been going long enough that changes are still happening. Changing society doesn’t happen after a few panels or keynotes about diversity; it happens over years. I think we’re moving towards positive change however, we need everyone to be involved in the journey, not just women.
Do you have any particular female role models in technology?
Siobhan Reddy (Media Molecule), Brenda Romero, Amy Hennig (Visceral Games)
What are some of your favourite pieces of technology? Can you take us through some fun projects you’ve worked on?
I’m really in love with the Nintendo Switch right now, they’ve done such a good job with making a portable yet high quality console.
What are some of the ways female identifying readers can get involved in gaming?
In playing games? Just do it, if you’ve got access to a phone, a computer, a laptop or a console just get playing. There are a lot of diverse games out there so find the style that’s for you! If you’re talking about making games, think about why you want to make games! Start thinking about the games you like playing from a design perspective — why do you keep playing this game? What makes you come back? Then check out programs like GameMaker or Unity as they have plenty of online tutorials where you can start learning how to make your own games.
For more information about Girl Geek Academy head here and to learn more about the WD Blue 3D NAND SSD, head here.