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New Gaming Exhibition – Code Breakers: Women in Games

Media release

New Gaming Exhibition – Code Breakers: Women in Games

 

Otago Museum has announced an exhibition for Otago’s gamers, digital natives, and technophiles, Code Breakers: Women in Games, set to open on Saturday 2 July.

This free exhibition is made by ACMI and transforms the Museum into an immersive and interactive game zone. Visitors can get hands-on with an array of playable games – from indie through to commercial hits and new releases – all made by New Zealand and Australian women working in different capacities: as directors, programmers, developers, digital artists, writers, producers, and designers.

“We are really excited to bring this to Dunedin”, said Marketing Manager, Kate Oktay. “There are ten different gaming stations where visitors can play on a huge range of games”. From platformers and role-playing strategy digital board games through to graphical adventure and racing games, Code Breakers offers something for everyone at every skill level. Deliver pizzas in Ninja Pizza Girl, join an animal clan in Armello, or race souped-up cars in Need for Speed: No Limits.

“Beyond just the fun of playing games, the exhibition also ponders bigger questions about women in gaming, and offers girls an example of how far you can go and what you can do in the industry. Given Dunedin’s huge gaming industry, and the fact that we are a university town, this is really important”, said Ms Oktay.

Code Breakers asks important questions in a post-Gamergate landscape: What does a more inclusive games industry look like? How do we encourage this diversity? In Code Breakers, each maker reflects on the sometimes-challenging journey they’ve made into this male-dominated industry, revealing the human stories behind their games via a custom-built exhibition audio tour.

"I think this exhibition is an excellent way to give a peek behind the curtain of game development, and highlight that women are playing an integral role within the industry. I really hope it helps to inspire girls and women to begin making their own games," says Rebecca Fernandez, a games programmer who worked on PS4/Steam titles Tricky Towers and Armello.

Award-winning, local independent game developer and publisher, Runaway Play, is the Museum’s major sponsor for Code Breakers, which resonates with the company’s inclusive culture. Runaway is known for nature-inspired games like Flutter VR, which people will be able to try out during the exhibition’s opening weekend. Team members will also be at the Museum and available to chat to anyone interested in a game development career.

In the Beautiful Science Gallery next door, Dunedin gaming companies will be showcased, so that visitors can see what is being created in the city right now. This display was made in conjunction with CODE, the New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence, a Dunedin-based hub designed to progress the expansion of New Zealand's growing video game development industry.

Code Breakers has been curated by ACMI in collaboration with an advisory committee consisting of key industry figures Kate Inabinet, Animation and Games Industry lecturer at RMIT and creator of education-based games for children; Helen Stuckey, media arts curator, researcher, and Program Manager of Games at RMIT; and Leena van Deventer, a game developer, writer, educator, and Co-Director of WIDGET (Women in Development, Games and Everything Tech).

Code Breakers: Women in Games is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

 

For more information, or to request images, please contact Charlie Buchan

Charlie.buchan@otagomuseum.nz | 027 387 7331