Looking for Female Unreal VR Developers in the SF Bay area

Hey all,

Looking to find one or two female unreal developers for an upcoming panel discussion, specifically focused on VR. We already have male developers, looking to make sure the panel is balanced.

Feel free to message me here, or poke me on twitter @inannamute


And if one of the best VR developers sees this thread and passes it up, because they are not female? Sounds like you are just limiting your potential panel by limiting your demographic.

They are looking for a balance of demographics on the panel. This is not limiting.

No they are limiting it. The only thing which should matter, is what you know, not if you happen to be male, female, alien or whatever…

Oh well, guess this panel isn’t for you. There’s probably one somewhere specifically for men that are the the victims of under-representation in the gaming industry somewhere.

It’s nice to have a variety of different people from different backgrounds on your panels, but for a panel regarding a technical subject their specific sex / race / nationality probably isn’t so important as the quality of the speaker themselves and what they can bring to the discussion.

In my experience, there are considerably more female developers in VR applications than there are in the games industry, but asking specifically for ‘experienced female Unreal Engine VR developer in the Bay area’ is a really narrow demographic - you can probably count the number of people who fit that particular description on the fingers of your hands…

I quick glance at the SF Virtual Reality meetup group with over 2,500 members and pretty good male/female ratio suggests otherwise :wink:

I’ll quote myself to labour the point again, because it doesn’t seem to have come across:

The ratios may be pretty reasonable, but ‘being female’ is only part of the criteria.

Now narrow it down to those that are a) have enough experience to contribute something worthwhile to the panel, and b) working with the Unreal Engine. Spitballing here, if a third of your meetup group is female (830 people), and 10% of the group have the ability to validly contribute (250 people), and 5% of the group are actively working with the Unreal Engine (125 people), you’re only looking at four people in that group who meet all three criteria, assuming an even distribution of all those criteria (which may or may not be the case, of course).

Besides, why are we picking to ‘balance’ the demographics by gender anyway? What does it meaningfully contribute to the discussion? Of your four panel members, should one of them be black and one asian, and should two of them be LGBT? I mean if you’re going to ‘balance your demographics’, then surely you also need to include race and sexuality too, right?

Clearly, you don’t think equal gender representation is a good thing, fair enough. I disagree.

I lived and worked in the far east for several years and it was mightily refreshing working in technical roles with a good mix of male/female team members. Better working dynamics and less alpha-male BS, and ultimately, a better product.

Women are a huge potential market for VR games, they play a lot of mobile and social games. Trying to be diverse in an emerging field is a really good thing. I’m LGBT and I don’t think games need to cater towards my demographic, but I do love it when we’re included, when LGBT material is included and treated respectfully in games, and when it’s celebrated. But there is no need to include every demographic in every talk. If you are talking about types of games that have demographics where the players are 80% male, trying to bring in a women JUST to have representation isn’t needed. But a panel on why that type of game isn’t appealing towards women players should probably have at least a woman on it. Generally a fresh perspective is always a good thing, games get locked into a lot of ideas that are probably reinforced by the people that make them, because gamers and game developers are often similar demographics.

Couldn’t agree more.

Clearly, you don’t think that racial representation is a good thing, fair enough, I disagree. See, I can avoid your arguments entirely and insinuate that you’re a ‘bad person’ too.

You know full well that it neither what I said, nor was it implied. Yes, it’s nice to have a variety of people at your panels, but including a token woman in your panel over a good male candidate simply because they are a woman and you want to ‘balance your demographics’ is exactly the kind of discriminatory behaviour I would want to avoid - it’s just plain sexist and the quality of your panel has suffered as a result.

Bold added for emphasis - I entirely agree. There’s a certain amount of context where it makes sense to deliberately broaden the demographics of your panel in a given direction - it’s hard to have discussions about LGBT topics in games without including LGBT members on the panel. However including someone on a panel about developing for VR *because they have a ******* doesn’t make sense. If you have a good female candidate, then by all means have her as a panellist. If you can’t find one, then ask yourself - is it really likely to meaningfully affect the outcome of the discussion at hand?

I didn’t say you were a bad person, I just said that we disagree.

In my view, choosing a more representative panel (race/gender, whatever) will only enhance the quality of the panel, and find the idea that being representative will mean a lower quality panel, with ‘higher quality’ men losing out to token women quite backwards frankly.

I think this is one of the scenarios where it would be good to specifically look for a good female candidate, just to see if there is one, due to the other points in my last post.

This I’ll somewhat concede to - there’s nothing wrong with looking to see if there is such a decent candidate. I do still find it a bit off that you’d want to specifically broaden to include a given demographic, but exclude others. Where I disagree is that I don’t think one’s gender has any relevance in VR. I don’t think we can even say what kind of demographics VR games are going to appeal to and who will eventually make up the audience. The kind of people that embrace development for emerging technologies aren’t usually the kind of people who are going to be ‘locked into’ a given development mindset, and I think the more successful VR games on the market shows a reasonably different class of games to the ‘traditional’ market already.

It only enhances the quality of the panel if their race / gender / whatever has any bearing on the topic of the panel. Someone’s genitals or skin colour has negligible bearing on their ability to develop VR applications* in Unreal. The same goes if your panel is currently all female and you’re looking for men to include in it for the sake of ‘balance’ - if you’re passing over a better female candidate for the sake of a token man then you’re once again diminishing the quality of your panel for no good reason.

(*Actually, there are neurological reasons why particular demographics might have issues working in VR, but that’s way outside of the scope of the discussion and irrelevant to any given specific individual’s ability anyway).

When it comes to a panel which is primarily about discussion, having a broader range of people from different genders/races/background provides a very clear and obvious value over one which is not representative.

Where is this hypothetical ‘better’ male candidate that is losing out to a ‘worse’ female one? It’s a weak argument against striving for better representation.

People’s genders don’t represent their ability to contribute to a discussion about developing for VR applications - gender, and the representation thereof, is largely irrelevant. Since it’s irrelevant, it isn’t better representation any more than looking specifically for someone who has brown hair because your existing panellists are blonde.

The hypothetical better male candidate is in the exact same place as the hypothetical existing female candidate, but by preferentially or exclusively seeking only the latter you automatically exclude the former, which is the basis for discriminatory behaviour.

Well, I think gender/ethnicity/background has a quite significant relevance when it comes to discussion of any kind of media creation, be it VR, games, film, or anything else.

Believing there is value in diversity does not equal discrimination.

Content creation isn’t the same thing as platform-specific development; issues or interests in content creation pertaining to things like gender or race are not unique to those platforms, nor is there anything unique about that platform that really changes those discussions (though whether such a hypothetical issue / interest could exist is in itself a perhaps a topic for discussion). If we’re discussing something like the artistic or narrative content of games and applications, then it’s relevant to have representation that may present differing perspectives on those subjects. When it comes to the challenges and curiosities of developing for VR (over any other platform), one’s gender has no relevance - it’s a diversity for the sake of diversity and makes as much sense as picking people for their ethnic background, sexual orientation, or favourite pasta sauce.

Well I guess that’s where we differ.

Anyway, this has been a quite civil and thoughtful discussion by ‘internet forum gender issues in the game industry’ standards, I suspect we’ll just start going round in circles taking it any further, I’ll leave it at that :slight_smile: