Yesterday saw the founding of an ambitious and practically-minded ideellförening (en: non-profit organisation) whose goal is nothing less than the promotion and accessible teaching of game development to girls and women.
TjejHack is a scheme founded by Inger Ekman, whose company – Spelverkstaden AB – brings games education and game jamming to schoolkids and teachers. TjejHack’s club meetings see Inger and a team of exclusively female volunteers passing their expertise on to other girls and women, in a safe and supportive environment.
The club’s first ‘term’ was a roaring success, bringing in participants even from outside Stockholms län to engage with a variety of game development tools, in the heart of suburban Huddinge. I wrote about the scheme shortly after its first meeting, but soon discovered that in volunteering I would also stand to learn a great deal myself, about broader aspects of game design and the relative accessibility of this creative medium.
Now that TjejHack has been formally instated, it’s our hope that the scheme will expand – taking on new club members and forming new project teams, of course – but also spreading a wider cultural message that girls and women can and should be making games. We hope to begin working with local and national bodies to improve gender diversity in the medium, and encourage more creative voices, starting with – but not being limited to – an early age.
You can follow TjejHack around the social web:
.. and if you’re based in or around Stockholm and are interested in joining or volunteering, you are invited to get in touch with Inger, the club’s secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org.