Google has announced that games from the ‘Change the Game Design Challenge’ are now available in the Google Play Store. These games were all designed by teenage girls, as the ‘Change the Game Design Challenge’ did challenge thousands of teenage girls to design a game they want to see in the world. In its press release, Google notes that while half of mobile game players women, only 23-percent of the gaming creator industry falls on women, as men seem to be more interested in creating games and be included in the process. Google says that this information is exactly what inspired it to create the Change the Game challenge. The company also notes that the winners have worked in partnership with Girls Make Games’ development studio LearnDistrict, and a team of artists, programmers, and producers in order to bring their games to life. Now, if you’d like to know more about these games, and who made them, read on.
The Grand Prize Winner was Christine, a 17-year old from Vancouver, Washington. She is the creator of “Mazu”, a single-scrolling platform game in which a young woman shapeshifter embarks on a journey through a danger-infested forest. Cristine is a long time gamer, and she says she noticed the difference between games made for boys and games made for girls. She added that she wanted to create a game that will be enjoyable for everyone, and that she plans to continue down that road. The second winner is Dakota, a 14-year old girl from Encino, California. Her game is called “EcoVerse”, and it is a series of minigames to clean, plant, and bring animal life to planets, as the main character is a part of the Galactic Restoration Team. She says that she wanted to create a game that is all about building and rebirth, as many games are focused on destruction. The third winner is called Lily, she’s 14, and she lives in Poplar, Wisconsin. Her game is called “The Other Realm”, and she says that she was inspired by emotions and eyes. This game is all about looking at things through a different lens, she said.
The fourth winner is called Erin, and she’s an 18-year old from Freehold, New Jersey. Erin created a game called “Symphony”, which is a rhythm game. This game explores music, as music helps connect a young girl with her deceased grandfather. She says that this game is supposed to show the healing powers of music. The last winner is called Lauren, a 17-year old from Birmingham, Alabama. Lauren’s game is called ‘Palette’, and it’s supposed to simulate an artist’s struggle. In this game, you’re supposed to reveal famous painting throughout history by mixing different colors from a palette to match a target color. As already mentioned, all of these games are currently available on the Google Play Store, and are linked down below.
Background: Google kicked off the Change the Game challenge way back on March 22, after which teen girls were allowed to apply for the contest. Quite a few of them applied, and back them, Google said that 49-percent of mobile game players are women, at least as far as the Google Play Store games are concerned. Back then, Google announced its cooperation with Girls Make Games, and the ESA Foundation in order to kick off this challenge. The company also announced a $10,000 college scholarship for the winner, and $15,000 for their school’s or community center’s technology program. On top of that, Google announced that the top five finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles in order to attend E3 and showcase their game, and that will happen in June. All five finalists will get a VIP tour of Google Los Angeles on top of that, and a scholarship to attend Girls Make Games Summer Camp. It is worth noting that this contest was open only to US residents, which is why all five winners are from the US.
Impact: Considering how many girls are actually playing mobile games, this movement seems like a good idea by Google. These five girls may actually inspire other girls to start thinking about designing their own games, and to seek some education on how to do it. More female designers and programmers will certainly have an impact on the gaming community, and it may provide us all with more interesting titles to play, as females do give out different perspective when it comes to games, of course.