This week, we continue our series of posts highlighting women working in the gaming industry leading up to GDC at the end of this month. This week, we have a story from Dead Space Associate Producer Yara Khoury.
"Three weeks ago during a Dead Space 3 launch event in France, a journalist asked me: “And so, how is it to be a woman working on a game like Dead Space?” I thought about it for a second, but quickly realized that this question was quite frankly throwing me off a bit. I needed to buy myself some time, so I stared back at the journalist and asked: “could you please be a little more specific...?” And as the journalist listed features of the game such as “horror”, “dark” and “gory”, images of blood splatters and necromorphs popped in my head. It somewhat annoyed me to have to explain why my gender did not matter in my mind. But I figured that if the question was still being asked, then it probably mattered that I answer it.
Being a producer on Dead Space was the opportunity for me to work on one of the most creative universes and well-crafted games of this console’s generation. I always loved fictional universes and rich storylines, and making games was my childhood dream. My passion for games kept growing with time as I understood the elements of arts, design and technology that compose them. The unique and distinct art and gameplay style at the roots of Dead Space are extremely appealing to me and the many men and women passionate about playing and making games. Not necessarily because of their dark and gory aspects, but because everything in the game is made in a meaningful and beautiful way. Everything in the Dead Space universe makes fictional sense, everything contributes to creating a dense world and atmosphere that engages our players emotionally. The creative process behind the making of such games is very inspiring and challenging, and women absolutely have their place in contributing to it.
When I joined the team in 2010 as an intern, I was intimidated by the talent and intelligence of the development team. It was my first time working in a studio, and I needed to prove myself. Not because I was a woman, or because I was French, but because I was new to the game and had to learn everything. I started asking questions, and was genuinely surprised by how helpful and mindful everyone was with me. I grew faster than I expected, and rapidly developed a strong sense of belongingness with the team. Sharing the same passion and putting it at the service of a common goal has been one of the most rewarding experiences. Gender in that context has not been an issue or differentiator to my career so far, and I trust EA will continue to foster team cultures and environments where women feel as such. Women are increasingly interested in the amazing opportunities the videogames industry has to offer, and it is of crucial importance that we reinforce how welcomed and needed they are."
Why do you think it's important to have a variety of perspectives when creating a game? Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #PlayAs1 for our Diversity & Inclusion team to read. The first 5 people to tell us their stories will receive a copy of Dead Space 3, and everyone who answers with the hashtag by March 29 will be entered to win the grand prize of an EA Swag Pack!