BAFTA Winner Siobhan Reddy Addresses The Games Industry's Diversity Efforts
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Media Molecule's Studio Director shares her thoughts on diversity and work culture.
On the heels of winning the BAFTA Fellowship, Media Molecule's Siobhan Reddy spoke to Gamesindustry.biz about her win, issues of diversity in the gaming industry, and the work culture Media Molecule strives to create.
Reddy is the first woman to win the BAFTA Fellowship, a prestigious accolade that recognizes "exceptional contribution to film, television or games." Former awardees include Hideo Kojima, Tim Schafer, and Gabe Newell. Reddy was awarded for her "pioneering work on advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and creative and collaborative working culture."
Viewing the BAFTA win as a sign of "real encouragement for all of us to care even more about inclusivity, diversity, and building a work culture that celebrates creativity," Reddy spoke more in detail about what creating that work culture looks like.
For her, diversity doesn't stop at getting people through the door; an environment that supports workers is just as key. In a quote to Gamesindustry.biz, Reddy commented, "The issues haven't really gone away. We're all making strides to bring in more diverse groups of people, we're aiming to create studios that enable people to thrive within them--and that's incredibly important."
"It's one thing saying, 'Oh, we want to bring people in' but it's another thing having the setup so you can ensure people can thrive. That's something I'm very passionate about, and I know a lot of other people are: enabling people to do their best work. The world is flawed. Sexism, racism, ableism--these things are all real, and as an industry we deal with them, too. I'm hopeful by the amount of people and studios trying to tackle big subjects... We've all got a lot of work to do, and it is work. It's about making sure we find new ways to bring people into our industry."
Regarding what type of environment Reddy aims to cultivate, she said: "If I think about what I'm trying to achieve with the culture, which I think we do a pretty good job of, it's building a culture of belonging. That's important because we're an industry asking people to be creative, to do creative things. When people come in to collaborate with someone, there should be a sense of belonging, friendship and being in it together."
Reddy's interview also touched on the genre of creative gaming and how those games can bring in a new generation of developers. Media Molecule's Dream is one of those creative toolkits that allows players to create their own games easily, producing fun and unexpected results. You can check out Dreams' subreddit to check out what the community is making.
"The mission is to share that love of making with people so they can find their own passion and share that with people," Reddy stated. "Maybe that goes on to a career--we've certainly hired a bunch of people from the LittleBigPlanet community and now from the Dreams community. As we progress throughout the years, we'll be working more and more from the Dreams community."
Reddy ended the interview on a humble note, noting that other people within the industry are working on the same issues. "I don't feel like I've done nearly as much as other people, by the way," she said. "I think there are plenty of people working a lot harder and more consistently on this than I have... I've been really privileged in my life and career in many different ways. So there's been a journey of understanding privilege and what that means."
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