Google wants to see more mobile games developed by female gamers.
Google Change the Game Design Challenge was launched by the internet giant last spring and challenged thousands of teenage girls to design games they would like to play. After receiving thousands of submissions, five finalists were selected by a group of Google employees and guest judges.
The grand prize winner received a $10,000 college scholarship and a $15,000 technology contribution to her school.
In addition to these awards, the grand prize winner, Christine – an 11th grader from Vancouver, Washington – along with the other four finalists, also received a trip to Los Angeles last June to attend the E3 gaming conference, an Android tablet, and a scholarship to Girls Make Games summer camp.
The Google Change the Game finalists worked together with the Girls Make Game’s development studio LearnDistrict as well as a team of artists, programmers and producers to build their games. Christine’s game, “Mazu,” is about a shape-shifting young girl’s adventure through a forest full of danger.
“As an aspiring artist in the gaming industry, I don’t want to repeat this cycle of gender-based pandering in the future,” Christina said about what inspired her to create her game, reported USA Today.
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The goal of the Google Change the Game program is to “empower the next generation of female gamemakers.”
The program also seeks to celebrate women as players and creators. There are hundreds of millions of people around the globe who enjoy games on Google Play and of these hundreds of millions of players, 49% are women.
Moreover, back in August, QR Code Press reported that according to a Liftoff mobile games study, women are 79% more likely to make an in-app purchase after installing a mobile game app, compared to their male counterparts, making them the top mobile game spenders.
Yet, even though half of Google Play game apps are enjoyed by women and more women than men spend on in-app game purchases, only 23% of game developers identify as women. The Google Change the Game Design Challenge was created to help address this disparity and encourage game development among the next generation of female gamers.
Early access of Christine’s game, “Mazu” is available for free on Google Play, with the full game slated for release, next month.