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Boys club no more: Winnipeg women are making strides in game design

When a male colleague completely ignored her emails, software engineer Czarina Ramos found a workaround.

“Unfortunately the one way I could get around that is talking to other male coworkers in my department,” said Ramos, “and letting them message him, and he would respond immediately.”

That was just one hurdle she had to jump as a woman in game development, said Ramos, a former Winnipegger who is now a software engineer at virtual reality game design firm in Vancouver.

Game design and development is becoming more friendly to women as more of them, like Rebecca Harrison, get into the industry. The Winnipegger co-founded Flightyfelon Games with her husband Zachary.

Harrison’s game design company has five staff, three of whom are women.

Harrison’s advice to young women wanting to break into the industry is to reach out.

“Don’t be afraid because there are other girls in the industry. Go be friends with them,” Harrison said.

Both Ramos and Harrison and the struggles and strides of women in game design are now the subject of a short video by students with the Create program at Sisler High School in Winnipeg.

Create students Erin Tierney, Aaron Reyes and Laura Gross made the new video as part of CBC Manitoba’s Project POV: Sisler Create, an ongoing video storytelling collaboration with Sisler’s post-high program, which offers multimedia training and experience.


Meet the filmmakers

A young person with curly hair smiles at the camera in a black-and-white photo.
Erin Tierney loves editing and working behind the camera. They went to Sturgeon Heights Collegiate and took media production, graduating in 2020. They spent two years at the University of Winnipeg majoring in theater and film before joining the Create program. If they are not editing, you can find them playing Dungeons and Dragons with their friends. (Carmen Acuna)
A young man wearing glasses, a shirt and tie and a zippered jacket smiles at the camera in a black-and-white photo.
Aaron Reyes is a graphic designer, video editor and motion graphic student. He loves working with his peers and teachers to improve his skills. He has a passion for digital design and wants to take it to the next level. (Carmen Acuna)
A young fair-haired woman smiles at a camera in a black-and-white photo.
Laura Gross has a homeschooling background and loves to be creative. She has been interested in the film industry for a while and has made several short films, music videos and animations. If you don’t find her working on a new idea, you’ll find her out walking her dog. (Carmen Acuna)

More on Project POV: Sisler Create

(CBC)

CBC Manitoba’s Project POV: Sisler Create is a new storytelling collaboration that partners filmmaking students with CBC journalists to produce short videos.

During fall 2022, CBC journalists led storytelling and producing workshops over several weeks with filmmaking students at the Create program at Sisler High School. The program focuses on education and career pathways into the creative industries. Students can take courses in animation, film, game design, visual effects, graphic design and interactive digital media.