Portal designer: 'We need to change the makeup of our industry'

Kim Swift says games are reflections of their creators and believes teaching children to follow their dreams is the key to greater diversity.

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The best way to introduce greater diversity into the games industry is to teach children that anyone can make games, according to Portal designer Kim Swift. In a blog post published yesterday, Swift said a child's hopes and dreams--including those about making video games for a living--should not be suppressed, but rather endorsed, accepted, and encouraged.

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"Thankfully, I lucked out with some insanely supportive parents, but without that I doubt that I would be making games right now," Swift said. "And so when I blather endlessly about a game I’m working on until my eyes bleed, in the back of my head, I hope that there’s a little girl out there that realizes her dreams are achievable."

Swift's comments come after the much-publicized #1ReasonWhy debate on Twitter, which drew significant discussion about sexism in the game industry last month.

Later in her blog post, Swift said if gamers want greater diversity in gaming subjects, a more "fair" and "unbiased" workplace, and the industry to "just plain grow up," then "we need to change the makeup of our industry, because games are a reflection of their creators."

Swift doesn't believe these problems will be eradicated in the short term, however; the solution lies at least two decades away, "when this current generation of kids sees the good example that we should be setting now."

"Though we may not be able to tell it completely like it is just yet, there’s still plenty we can do to help future generations of game developers," Swift said.

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