Xbox France presents a round table on the place of women in the video game industry

This Wednesday, June 23, Xbox France organized a new and unprecedented round table within its premises in Paris. The opportunity to come back and deepen the recent study carried out by Xbox and the CSA concerning the relationship between French women and video games. An event marked by the presence of women from the industry and the sharing of their experiences and analyses. Back on the key elements of this conference definitely essential to improve the relationship between players, between professionals and professionals.

A study on the relationship of French women to video games

For this round table, Xbox France had therefore called on professionals. Marine Normand (General Manager of Madmoizelle) chaired the latter and went through the different angles and lessons learned from the study published earlier this week. At his side, to react, three industry experts:

  • Ina Gelbert, Director of Xbox France
  • Lucie Prunier, Senior Producer at Dontnod
  • Morgane Falaize, President of Women in Games and co-founder of the Minuit Douze agency.

To launch this round table, it was first Ina Gelbert who took the floor. The Director of Xbox France thus recalled the overall context of the French market and specified the objectives targeted by this study carried out in partnership with the CSA. The time to define the targets, the sample of players, age groups and other modalities of the study and Anne-Laure Marchal (CSA) is already talking about the players. What they like, their platform of choice, their frequency of play, all the figures to support it.

And the surprises are many. Women play often (76% at least once a week) and on all media (75% on home consoles, 60% on PC). Far from the clichés of occasional gamers limited to their mobile phone, the gamers turn out to be gamers like the others. And the industry appeals to them since 36% of respondents say they want to work in the field of video games.

However, the problems also exist and are numerous. We then talk about the obstacles that prevent women from projecting themselves in the industry. The lack of inclusion, the permanent elitism, the lack of representation of women, the absence of role models and, of course, the misinformation. National education fails in its task and does not consider the market as serious for the pupils.

The round table “All in the game”

Then the round table really begins. We wonder about the ages of initiation to video games, about the experiences to be offered and the public who surrounded the guests of the day. The opportunity to see that there are no established rules, that you can start very early or late and share the same passion. The only common point in the end, the fears of evolving in this profession.

In turn, Ina, Morgane and Lucie testify and remember the brakes that shook them. The impostor syndrome of course, but also that of not being legitimate to occupy positions mainly occupied by men in the industry. Men who nevertheless have an important role to play by promoting the positive reception and inclusion of women within teams and organization charts.

At Xbox France, parity has been reached. 50% women, 50% men for a multicultural team that is part of the strengths of the company. At Dontnod, work is underway where only 26% of positions are filled by women. How to change this? How to rebalance the forces? Everyone needs to play the game.

To increase the presence of women in the industry, several responsibilities are pointed out. These include in particular:

    • National education which must better represent the industry, its paths and professions to young people.
    • Parents who still convey many prejudices, including that of a recreational but non-professional video game.
    • Media whose treatment of information related to the video game industry is often negative and biased
    • Industry professionals who must offer more diversity and be actors in changing mentalities in the industry
    • Companies that must prohibit problematic behaviors (sexism, crunch, etc.) that harm the image of the industry and the employees who suffer from these actions
    • And finally studios that need to better represent women in their works. This requires realistic human morphologies, without hypersexualization of the female protagonists and highlighting by advertising. Ina cites the character of Kait in Gears 5 in this sense.

In the end, it is up to everyone to move the lines, to change mentalities!

Also find on the Xbox site the interview of Harmonie Freyburger, HR Project Manager at Ubisoft and Vice-President of Women in Games France.

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