Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi is proud to be the first school in China to launch a partnership with Girls Make Games; a series of global camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of female video game developers and creators. As part of our mission to increase the number of girls involved in STEAM and SE21, we will be working with Girls Make Games (GMG) throughout the 2022-2023 academic year to bring workshops, speakers, and a bespoke electives curriculum to our Senior School girls.
As the first school in China to partner with GMG, we are excited to be working with an organisation that shares many of our College values, and will help our female students to Aim High Together in STEAM-related fields.
CEO and Co-founder of Girls Make Games
" Girls Make Games is delighted to be partnering with Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi for our first ever GMG initiative in China! Our mission to increase gender diversity in gaming and games development has taken a significant and important step forward with this partnership. With the world-class education and holistic approach of Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, we are excited to work with the team to inspire girls to engage in STEAM through gaming and game development.
The idea that girls are not interested in playing or making games just isn’t true. At our GMG camps and workshops you’ll find a room filled with passionate creatives, teeming with ideas the world is yet to see. Their biggest challenge has never been lack of motivation, it’s limited access. It is my dream that every girl who wants to make a game, or work in the industry can access a path to it. With leading lights in education such as Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, we can show girls the wealth of opportunities that exist for them in gamedev and STEAM through the enjoyment and creativity making your own game can bring. "
Laila Shabir is the co-founder and CEO of Girls Make Games. A Pakistani immigrant raised in the United Arab Emirates, Laila attended MIT and pursued finance at BlackRock followed by economic research at The Brookings Institution. She eventually found her passion in video games while watching her husband play Halo competitively. By seeing the skills he acquired through playing, she realized that a connection between education and video games needed to be formed.
In 2014, GamesIndustry.biz named Laila the Games Industry Person of the Year, and in 2018, she received the Visionary Award from the ESA Foundation. In 2021, Laila was also featured on Variety’s Top 500 Entertainment Business Leaders list. A game developer and proud gamer herself, Laila has set a personal goal to teach one million girls how to make games through her work.
Launched in 2014, Girls Make Games has reached over 22,000 girls through GMG’s summer camps, workshops, games and books in 9 countries, 89 cities worldwide. The programme has already made an impact on the game development and education sectors, winning awards and receiving support and accolades from media and industry leaders including Google, Microsoft, Fast Company, Forbes, Teen Vogue, Nintendo, Sony Playstation and many more.
Girls Make Games leads the way in diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why we approached GMG to take part in this year-long partnership. When talking about the importance of this initiative being for girls-only, GMG CEO and co-founder, Laila Shabir, spoke about how important it is that girls see themselves reflected in an industry where they are outnumbered at a ratio of over 3:1, three men to every one woman. Says Laila, “For many of the girls that come to [Girls Make Games summer] camps, this is their first time walking into a room full of girls who love video games. It's very important to walk into a room and feel like you're not an outsider. And the best way to do that is to show many more faces that look just like you”. We hope that through partnering with GMG, we can begin to change some of the paradigms that currently exist in the game development industry and STEAM in general.
Our first GMG event, a girls-only workshop that took place as part of our STEAM Week events, was a fantastic introduction to the GMG partnership. Participants watched the award-winning documentary Girls Level Up to learn about the mission and history of GMG before having the chance to play some games that were developed by GMG campers – all of whom were middle school aged girls when the games were created. The impact of this hour-long workshop was immediate: in post-session feedback, girls told us that they had been inspired by the idea that not only boys can make games, but girls can too.
Participation in Girls Make Games events benefits all students who join the programme, not just those aiming to develop a career in the games industry. After Monday’s workshop, a Year 9 pupil commented, “I now feel more comfortable going out of my comfort zone when thinking about technology and gaming,” whilst another in Year 8 said, “It helped me understand how people our age have a lot of potential.” This change in mindset after a single hour-long workshop demonstrates the potential positive impact of this partnership. Indeed, for many participants, the value of joining the community and feeling valued is as important as the technical skills learned.
Our Girls Make Games partnership will take full flight in Term 3, where our bespoke eight-week elective course promises to give our students a unique experience on their journey to design their own platformer-style game, changing their own perceptions of what girls can achieve.
Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi is the first school in China to partner with Girls Make Games, and we cannot wait to develop this partnership further, providing an exclusive and unique opportunity for our female students to Aim High Together and take the lead in STEAM and game development.
To learn more about GMG and their impact, read their 2021 impact report here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c88336eda50d31190b37459/t/61bce3cd6e0662125cfc585f/1639769053416/GMGImpactReport2021.pdf