Google has unveiled the winner of its first-ever "Change The Game Design Challenge," which is part of Google Play's "Change the Game" program with the goal of filling the gap between gender representation in the game industry workforce. Christine, an 11th grader from Vancouver, Washington emerged as the grand prize winner and will receive $10,000 worth of college scholarship and $15,000 worth of technology donation to her school. She and the other four finalists are set to present their game design at E3 and they get to tour Google's Los Angeles office and join the Girls Make Games Summer Camp.
The Change The Game Design Challenge is a collaboration between Google, Girls Make Games, and ESA Foundation and allows contestants to design a game they love to play. The game concepts include one which involves the rebuilding of deserted planets and another which is about creating a symphony. As part of the set of prizes from the challenge, all five finalists will get the opportunity to translate their own game ideas into a mobile game which will be launched on the Google Play Store. In a related announcement, the Mountain View, California-based internet giant also pushed out a new study which highlights the role of women in developing mobile games. The study was done in collaboration with gaming intelligence provider Newzoo to "understand the experiences and perceptions of female players in the US." The study reveals that more women are playing mobile games today, with 65 percent of female in the United States aged 10 to 65 years play mobile games. Likewise, women also represent 49 percent of mobile gamers, according to the study. Additionally, it is revealed that 64 percent of women choose mobile devices as their preferred gaming platform while only 38 percent of men prefer to play games on mobile. Furthermore, the study shows that 43 percent of women play mobile games five times a week while only 38 percent of men do so.
Google first launched the Change the Game program last December in an effort to encourage women to identify as gamers, with a focus on mobile games for Android devices. The campaign also seeks to promote general diversity in games and urge developers to target their projects at broader demographics.