Unfortunately, they are not uncommon: reports of a "culture of sexism" like League of Legends developer Riot Games. Even though it is said that in some studios there are not even toilets for women, this paints a picture of an industry that has still not completely outgrown the cliché of the men's club.
The proportion of women among gamers in this country has increased significantly in recent years: Half of the 34 million Germans who play computer games and video games, according to figures from the lobbying association, is female.
On the side of those who make games, it looks very different. Here, it was at the last survey in 2015, only half as many women as the users, just under a quarter. Although Germany is ahead of the international numbers of the game developer association IDGA, it is still well behind the ratio of the audience for whom the games are made.
"In the programming class were just nerdy guys"
Keyword: male club? "I was not in the computer science AG, because there were only guys," tells Kathrin Radtke. The programmer works at Studio Fizbin in Ludwigsburg. The experience from the school has continued in the study: "The Game Engine Programming course was just nerdy guys that I thought were a lot smarter than me." Even if they were not and interested in the subject Radtke, the feeling remained that a woman would not fit into this technical area.
The Association Game complains for years a lack of skilled workers in the German gaming industry. Among other things, this is counteracted by the growing number of training offers at universities. Whether at the HAW Hamburg, the Cologne Game Lab or the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Berlin – game design can now be learned throughout Germany as a degree course.
Where the next generation is trained, lies the foundation for the demographic change in the industry. "Of course we would like to have a 50-50 quota among the students"says André Czauderna, program director at Game Lab in Cologne. So far you have not managed that "but we are already over 27 percent of the industry",
Parity has already been reached among employees. "We have good role models"says Czauderna. Nevertheless, there are still fewer applications from young women in the technical courses. "Things are different in Game Art, the relationship is balanced"he admits. The video game industry faces the problem of other STEM professions: last year, according to the Federal Statistical Office, less than a quarter of all undergraduates in computer science were women.