What is the GAGE (game art and gender equity) project?

The project intends to portray the evolution of female participation in the Portuguese gaming industry, providing a comprehensive assessment of the gaps and challenges of gender equity in this professional field. GAGE project aims to promote diversity, changing values and behaviours through inclusive practices that encourage the participation of women in this economic and cultural sector. Thus, a critique of games is proposed as a mirror of a binary society (M / F) where men have a preponderance in the created and developed narratives. After collecting and analysing data from empirical research, we will use animations, and games as a means of raising awareness of gender issues in this sector.

In Portugal, the digital games industry has been consolidating. It is estimated that operating companies employ between 986 and 1270 workers and generate annual revenues of approximately 31 million euros (Romeiro et al., 2020). In a decade, there has been a significant increase in the offer of specific training in the area (Lima & Gouveia, 2020) and events related to digital games have emerged: game jams, game development camps and conferences. There is a strong masculinization of the workforce and a greater presence of men in higher education associated with technological areas, from which most of the human resources in the industry come from (Pinto, Lima & Gouveia, 2021).

Gender asymmetries should be investigated through a creative collaborative practice where artists, game designers and engineers work together. This research will take place between 2021-24 and will be conducted by a team of researchers with different backgrounds (Arts, Social Sciences, Design, Engineering, and Philosophy) and with experience in research that combine different methods in data collection.

GAGE project is urgent and necessary for several reasons:


for contributing to one of the sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030, UN), namely, to achieve gender equality at all levels;


for being a pioneering and comprehensive study that focuses on an expanding technological and creative industry in Portugal;


for being an empirical and theoretical contribution in game studies, game arts, and design and gender studies.