Game Workers Unite Ireland Survey results


A report commissioned by the Financial Services Union (FSU) into the working conditions of game workers in Ireland raises serious questions for employers according to Gareth Murphy, head of industrial relations and campaigns with FSU.

The report “What’s the Score?”, which was written by two academics Josh Moody and Aphra Kerr, is based on data gathered by Game Workers Unite Ireland over the past year in an online survey. A total of 223 respondents had completed the survey, which is estimated to be about 11.5% of the workforce.

It finds some worrying issues regarding low pay, unpaid overtime, a gender pay gap and lack of job security.

Some key points from the report include:

*64% of respondents have experienced low pay with 82.5% earning below the average wage.
*86% of female respondents earn less than 3,000 per month, for comparison, 58% of males earn 2,000/m or more while 72% of females earn 2,000/m or less.
*62% of survey respondents do not have secure employment contracts
*55.5% have been required to work crunch time in their jobs – (long periods of overtime at the end of a project to hit the deadline) in their jobs
*45% of respondents note working unpaid overtime.
*12% have experienced harassment and/or intimidation based on their gender, ethnicity, age or sexuality.

“The games industry is an expanding and highly profitable business sector in Ireland, yet the conditions of work are relatively poor. The issues raised in the report demonstrate why workers are coming together to campaign for better conditions.  This sector can afford to be better for those working in it.” stated Mr Murphy

Commenting on the report Ellen Cunningham, Coordinator of Game Worker Unite Ireland (GWU Ireland), said:

“Workers in the games industry deserve a decent living wage, to see an end to the gender pay gap , to see an end to unpaid overtime, to see an end to undocumented and unhealthy overtime hours and should be able to expect secure and reasonable contracts. Workers should not have to choose between quality of life or pursuing a career in the game industry.”


  1. Games Workers Unite is an international worker-led movement to organise and unionise global game workers in pursuit of fairer working conditions. Game Workers Unite Ireland is the official Irish chapter of GWU and has established official union status through its affiliation with the Financial Services Union (FSU)2. The Irish chapter is worker-led and collaborates with union organisers and academics to build an organised community which can represent workers across the industry.

You can download the full report online at

Introducing Game Assets Marketplace


A few weeks ago got an email from Game Assets Marketplace, a relatively new Irish start up.

We were curious about what they do and what follows is our questions and their answers.


Q1- Who are the company founders and what are your backgrounds?

The founder of Game Assets Marketplace is Stoko Ltd, an Irish Software company dedicated to building successful projects in Ireland. Leo O’Brien is the manager.

The marketplace’s team has people from the gaming industry with previous experience in GameDev, entrepreneurs, marketing specialists, and customer support.

We’re familiar with every detail of the market, and the problems that many talented asset publishers have with publishing and selling game assets.


Q2. When were you founded?

The marketplace was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in early 2020. The core team is based in Dublin, and the other part of the team is remote. We prefer to keep a flexible work environment.

We achieved results beyond our expectations in the past eight months by attracting many talented asset creators and game devs from different countries.


Q3. What exactly do you do?

The marketplace is a hub that gathers talented indie game developers and asset creators. We offer the lowest possible commission per sale on the market (most stores get 20-40% commission from each sale, and it’s too much in our opinion). We only have a 10% flat commission.

Another unique feature is the approval process. It takes up to 24 hours, but in most cases, it’s about 1-2 hours. All other marketplaces make the approval within 3-4 weeks. Also, the minimum required balance to make a withdrawal is only 1 Euro. We don’t keep the users’ funds.

This combination provides the perfect conditions for an asset developer to earn more, get the earnings quickly, and easily publish all new assets.

The platform is a solution as a portfolio place because it’s free to join, free to upload any assets, and has an unlimited maximum size of all stored files.

The marketplace also includes a game asset search engine, which is something unique. Everyone can search top asset stores in the world with only one click.


Q4. There is a game ideas section. What are you trying to do there?

We’re using the available game assets to build a game idea. It includes assets, monetization ideas, theme, and genre (based on our experience and market research). We do our best to help all parts of the industry to be successful.

This section’s information is free to use, so there is no need for registration or order of only the selected assets. For many developers, it’s important to get inspiration from somewhere. It can be a successful game, news, articles, examples, and so on.

In this section, we’re trying to help the game devs to make a new game, and at the same time, we promote the assets of registered publishers.

We think that the success of each game depends on the scripts and the assets. All the magic happens around those two things, and with the right characters, interesting environment, good VFX, and sound effects, it’s possible to make a successful game.


5. Is it pay per asset, or are there other payment options available?

The marketplace only offers pay per asset, which can be a fixed price, or through a bidding system. Some of the assets are available for free, but they’re not premium, and others are free trials.

There are different promotions to sell assets with 0% commission, but we don’t have the option to offer premium assets for free, because the asset creators have to be rewarded.


Q6. Your website says you are a ‘hub for indies’. Why indies specifically?

The indie game developers usually are a small team or a solo developer. There are no designers in most cases, and it takes lots of time to create all the assets for a game.

The main market for assets and game scripts is indies. Also, they’re more open-minded. They can make a new game within a week or two, and a lot of innovation is coming from them.

We know that many big companies are focusing their resources on indie games, which is one reason this niche has become so competitive these days.


Q7. What specifically should Irish devs and students know about you?

Irish devs and students can use the marketplace to sell their work on the market’s best possible terms. Also, they can request any type of collaboration about their games. We have a lot of experience with game development, publishing, and asset creations.

Most of the big marketplaces are not so friendly when it comes to custom solutions and partnerships. In the same, we support Irish game development, and we’re ready to help such types of projects.


Thanks to Leo for answering our questions.

Check them out here –


IndieCade festival anywhere..

IndieCade is switching to online from anywhere with nine full days of 24-hour programming for the 2020 online festival celebrating independent games. It will take part this October 16-24 for #AnywhereAndEverywhere. See

The event will be filled with gameplay, exhibitions, discussions, connections and interactions, conference sessions, workshops, and more!

For more than 15 years, IndieCade has supported and celebrated independent gamemakers.

For IndieCade 2020, the core programming will take place online from October 16-24, across borders and timezones.

For more information, read the FAQ.

Submissions for IndieCade 2020 are now closed.


IndieCade Anywhere And Everywhere

Two game companies win European funding



Two game companies, Isometric Dreams (Spooky Doorway) and Gambrinous have received a total of €300,000 for the development of new Video Game projects in the latest round of Creative Europe MEDIA funding.

The Creative Europe Media video game development scheme is for companies who have produced at least one recently published video game and who wish to invest in the development of a new video game concept or prototype. It supports European video games companies with proven experience who want to develop up to an alpha or beta version of a narrative-led video game.

A list of previous video game winners from Storytoys in 2013 through to Simteractive in 2017 and the latest winners can be found at alongside all the other Irish film and other winners.

See for more on the scheme.

These latest results bring to €12,231,201 the amount awarded to Irish audiovisual and games companies since the Creative Europe Programme commenced in 2014. The next calls for funding will be in 2021.

Well done everyone.


Programmer Simteractive (Dublin)


Simteractive is seeking a talented, experienced and enthusiastic programmer to join their team and work on their next project, Designer Life, which has already been selected for Creative Europe funding. The core team are based in Dublin but we are working remotely at the moment.

Previously we released a resort-building game called Eden Isle: Resort Paradise, which won multiple awards and has an average app store rating of 4.5 stars. We also have another game in soft launch called Tropic Cove: Match 3 Resort. This is a great opportunity looking for someone to make their mark on an up and coming studio!


*Implementation of new gameplay systems
*Programming tasks across all areas of the game including AI, UI, GameSparks integration, Facebook integration, saving and loading systems, in-app purchases and in-game adverts
*Implementation of character animations, effects and art assets
*Optimisation, refactoring and bug fixing of existing game systems
*Maintain a high level of code quality
*Co-operate in the overall planning of projects
*Evaluation of third-party tools


*2+ years of relevant professional experience in a programming role including at least one shipped commercial titles, ideally for mobile or tablet
*Excellent programming skills including knowledge of Unity3D and C#
*Strong prototyping skills
*Strong understanding of the challenges presented by mobile platforms
*Confidence and experience with third-party tools such as GameSparks, Facebook API, advertising, analytics and plugins
*Great communication skills and ability to work well with all disciplines
*Hard-working, focused, high degree of self-motivation and ability to solve problems independently
*A degree in computer science, game development or equivalent

**We Offer:**

*Remote working
*Opportunity to work in award-winning team
*Work on an exciting new mobile game
*Join a small, multicultural, friendly and dedicated team
*A good work-life balance
*A chance to join a company in a key role at a very exciting stage
*Salary negotiable depending on experience

**How to Apply:**

To apply, please email with a cover letter and CV and your availability.

**More Information:**

For more information on Simteractive, see

Posted August 2020

Entries open for Imirt Irish Game Awards (16th Aug)


If you released a game in 2019 then you should consider entering the fourth Imirt Irish Game Awards.

All entries for the game awards must have been released during the 2019 calendar year.

Please submit your game or game dev tool in as many categories as you see fit.

All entries are eligible for the Game of the Year category. Typically, game makers should self-nominate their games.

Nominations are open until 31st July 2020 16th of August.

Further information including on eligibility at 

Note: All entries must be submitted by Imirt members whose membership covers the period of 2020. If you have not renewed your Imirt membership this year, please do so as soon as possible by visiting

In addition to these awards, your membership helps ensure that Imirt continues to grow and is able to provide a common representative voice for the Irish game maker community.


9th Impact working on Big Brother Game

During the lock down we learned that Galway based game development studio, 9th Impact, are partnering with Endemol Shine Group on the first Big Brother mobile game, to be released towards the end of 2020.

9th Impact have previously partnered with major TV rights owners including on Danger Mouse. For more on 9th Impact see 

Well done to all the team.

Full info below on the deal and available at




Introducing a new genre of reality gaming, ‘Big Brother: The Game’ will be available worldwide for Apple and Android devices.

With a life changing prize fund up for grabs, anyone, anywhere can win the world’s first online multi-player reality TV show.

Players can become virtual housemates, experiencing life as a Big Brother contestant. They must make strategic choices in order to remain in the house and ultimately become victorious. The skill of the game is social, psychological and interpersonal.

Anil Mistry, Director of Gaming & E-Commerce at Endemol Shine Group, said, “This project was an ambitious undertaking and we needed a partner who had the vision, the capability and the creativity to deliver something truly unique that would both appeal to strategic gamers and delight Big Brother fans.”

Head of Development at 9th Impact, Dr. Finn Krewer, said, “Our approach to designing this game was to think of a person’s mobile device as their portal into a massive online Big Brother season. The player will face competitions, chores, nominations, evictions and have to navigate all the same complex social relationships and intrigue that make the TV show so compelling.”

Big Brother The Game will have 2 modes – Housemate and Spectator.

The game is free to download and the Spectator mode is free with optional purchases. To become a Housemate the player must use a Token to enter the House which is an in-app purchase.

Last year marked twenty years since Big Brother first aired in the Netherlands. Since then, 480 series have aired across 62 markets, producing an over 28k episodes. 7,153 housemates from around the globe have spent over 35,000 days in the house, with over 5,000 live evictions.

‘Big Brother: The Game’ is set to launch globally later this year.

NEW: Experienced C#/Unity Developer – VRAI (Dublin)

We’re looking for an experienced C#/Unity Developer for our dev team working on our data driven VR simulation product, as well as creating bespoke VR simulation experiences.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced C# developer who creates high quality software, and is a problem solver.

Your Responsibilities

*You will lead the Development team working in a multi-disciplinary environment with the Asset team, Data Team and Management team.

*Your team will translate product design and plans into high quality virtual simulation

*Share knowledge, help and mentor colleagues in a communal, cross-disciplinary and remote team environment

*Design and implement well-engineered, reliable, maintainable, and bug-free code

*Solve challenging technical issues

*Follow best practices, development processes, and coding standards

*Document and peer review technical designs with other software engineers

Candidate Requirement

*4+ years of professional games/simulation development experience

*Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or similar field.

*Extensive experience with self-testing to minimize and fix issues

*Expert knowledge of software development and best-practices

*Experience in leading a team of developers

*Experience of multi-user networking would be a bonus


During COVID remote working is supported but there will be a requirement in future to attend the office in Dublin for meetings, sprints etc.

The position is envisaged as fully flexible with the option of using city centre offices if and when needed.

About Us

VRAI create data driven VR simulation training for hazardous environments. Our customers are leading organisations such as the Irish Defence Forces, the United Nations in Somalia and International Airlines Group (IAG) in Heathrow Airport.

We have created HEAT, Hazardous Environment Awareness Training. HEAT combines authentic virtual training environments with cutting edge data capture and analytics capability.

HEAT allows organisations whose activities are Risky, Remote or Rare to train in a more authentic, memorable and measurable way.

We create shared value for our customers, investors, employees and community by adopting the ‘Triple Bottom Line’. We focus not just on profit, but also on people and the planet.

See more on the company at

Posted 20/07/2020

Vela Games Raises €3.1M in funding

April saw some good news on the games front in Ireland.

Vela Games has announced significant new investment led by London Venture Partners and with investment from existing investor IIU.  Lvp partner Mack Growen will join the board of directors as part of the investment.

The studio will use the investment to redefine Mulitplayer Gaming Through Co-Operative Play.

Founded in 2018 by Travis George, Brian Kaiser, and Lisa Newon George, Vela Games previously raised $3.7 million to establish a team of 16 developers from AAA studios, and prove out their design. This current round will accelerate delivery of the studio’s first title, a unique new genre of gameplay Vela Games is calling Multiplayer Online Co-Operative, or MOCO for short.

“We’ve been building out our bold vision for MOCO over the past two years and we are excited to work with Lvp to combine their long history and expertise in scaling genre-defining games companies with our own,” commented Travis George.

“We believe it’s important to work with partners who are excited about our mission, and Lvp has a great track record of working with innovative companies.  We are thrilled to add Lvp to our fantastic team of existing partners, including IIU and Enterprise Ireland,” added Kaiser.

“Our goal is to reimagine what multiplayer co-operative gaming looks like with a player first mentality in everything we do,” commented Newon George. “Co-operative gaming hasn’t yet been developed to its full potential. We want to create a new genre of game that will enable us to unite both PvP and PvE players from all over the world.”

Well done everyone.

More news at


Game Tools (Web application Developer) Warducks

We are looking for a web application engineer to build content and LiveOps tools that will control the in-game experience for millions of players in our upcoming mobile game. You will need extensive technical expertise, the ability to work independently, and commitment to follow through on big ideas.


As a game developer at WarDucks, you are part of an agile, cross-functional and experienced team, building amazing multiplayer games. Your responsibilities would include building cutting-edge web tools for our Game Designers, Game Operators, Analysts, and Community Managers. You are always on the lookout for ways to help your fellow team members, optimizing workflows and creating tools that enable others to be creative.




  • Overall responsibility of game operations tools (content, player support, in-game communication, etc…)
  • Identify and solve problems in our content creation workflows and pipelines
  • Actively participate in finding the best solution for new engine and tools features
  • Design, implement and maintain user interfaces




  • A full understanding of how to build and deploy RESTful services
  • A deep understanding of ES6 standard JavaScript and best practices
  • 3+ Experience delivering production quality, highly performant web application interfaces
  • 3+ Years Experience using JavaScript Application Frameworks: AngularJS, Angular2+, Vue.js or similar
  • Experience configuring and developing with modern web technologies: ASP.Net, Typescript, WebPack, Node.js, SCSS, etc.
  • Ability to write well-structured code and create robust solutions
  • Efficient communicator
  • A passion for games and game development




  • Experience with mobile games a plus
  • Experience with C# a plus
  • Experience with Unity a plus


About WarDucks


WarDucks is an all-star development studio known for top-notch entertainment software. After a series of hit VR games, we are now developing an exciting (unannounced) Augmented Reality game for mobile platforms. We’ve pulled together a tight team of experienced game devs from around the globe, and we’re building a new kind of gaming experience that we can hardly wait to show you!

If you are interested in applying, e-mail your C.V and cover letter to

**Posted April 24th 2020

Ourea wins two awards at Games Fleadh 2020

Rewrite Games, an indie development team in TU Dublin’s School of Media, has won two awards at Ireland’s Games Fleadh, which took place on the 4th March, in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. 

Their game Ourea, a cinematic puzzle PC game, picked up two awards as the team of 5 came home with the Best Game Built Using A Game Engine and Best in Social Impact awards. 

Ourea is a cinematic narrative game about discovering the harrowing past of a long-forgotten world.

Overcome environmental puzzles as you ascend an ancient and mysterious mountain in search of what happened to those who inhabited it before.

The protagonist Glyf is the last of the Oreads, an ancient species of mountain nymphs who inhabited the planet Ourea for centuries. The Oread species drew energy from immense heat or fire through their natural power. Using the trees and natural life that surrounded them, the Oreads lived off the land, subsequently destroying nature in the process.

Having been very well received at the show, the team won both awards against 32 other teams.

Speaking of the awards, Gary O’ReillyProduction Lead at Rewrite Games said “We’re delighted to receive these awards at Games Fleadh and to meet so many people looking forward to Ourea’s release. It is a huge motivation for us, and we aim to deliver a fun yet thought provoking game in May.” 

The team consists of five students with Conor Barron on Art, Robyn Behan on Narrative and Art, Tom Eustace on Design, Samuel Hegner on Tech and Gary on Production.

You can find out more about Ourea and sign up for the upcoming demo at

You can also follow the game’s development on social media at and

Ourea is releasing on Steam in May 2020. Take a look at the trailer. Well done all.


This is not a plumbing issue!

Aphra Kerr and Vicky Twomey-Lee explore how to make game events more diverse and inclusive.

The games and technology industries are fond of saying that they have a pipeline issue. They argue that there are not enough people studying and entering the industries, and their solutions have focussed on promoting educational and employment opportunities. Advertisements of women in white coats, persons of colour in hard hats and the ill-fated European campaign ‘Science: It’s a Girl Thing’ have all tried to break down the perceived stigma around working in tech.

The pipeline metaphor is catchy but it is misleading. It presumes that the issue with diversity is simply one of spending more on promotion of the working opportunities than a wider structural and cultural issue. But fancy imagery is not going to break down the structures and cultures that are reproducing the marginalisation of minorities and others in technology.

The flow of water into the pipeline is not only slow, it is also leaky. Many leave the industry, and this leaves it with a workforce that skews young and inexperienced. The metaphor also ignores the lack of diversity in many industries and occupations. It is hard to address recruitment and retention when you are simply not recruiting and retaining a diverse range of workers. This week we will see a range of events to mark international women’s day – the challenge is turning these events into meaningful change throughout the year.

The Persistent Low Levels of Females in Games and Discrimination


The pipeline metaphor and the skills shortage debate conveniently ignores the diversity of people entering the technology industries. Indeed, many industry surveys and companies in Ireland don’t collect, or won’t reveal, the diversity of their workers. The Oldsburg Nord City report on the audio-visual industries in Ireland estimates that there are approximately 16,930 full time equivalent workers in 2016 in Ireland and 2,000 in the games industry, of which only 150 worked in development. We don’t know anymore about these people. We simply do not have any demographic data on these workers (see

Creative industries and games industry data in the UK is more comprehensive.  The latest census of the games industry in the UK had 3,200 responses (see UK Games Industry Census – Understanding diversity in the UK games industry workforce). It estimated that 10% of employees were Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) and 28% were female across all occupations. This findings puts female representation at well under the national average of all those in work, roughly equal to those working in film and television in the UK and above that of the general IT/software sector. It highlights the persistent low level of females working in certain parts of the creative and cultural industries and in technology.

And what is working in these industries like for those who do enter? Developer satisfaction surveys conducted by the International Game Developers Association in North America point to ongoing workplace challenges including discrimination, overwork, unpaid work, employment volatility and high staff turnover (see Many companies have no formal equality policies or complaints procedures. In North America there are also widespread differences in pay across occupational roles. For example, programming roles are overwhelmingly male but also the most highly paid. These are what academics often call structural issues – and we need to work harder to change them.

Refiguring Innovation in Games


In 2015 we became part of an international networking project called ‘Refiguring Innovation in Games’, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada. The focus of the project was on diversity, inclusion and equity in the games industry and culture and addressing the structural challenges identified above. A key part of this project was its focus on equity and the adoption of feminist theories and methodologies. The project brought together researchers and community organisers in Canada, North America, the UK and Ireland (see

ReFiG focused on four areas: games culture, the games industry, formal and informal learning. Our project in Ireland focussed on informal games education and how informal games education events might challenge or reproduce diversity. We set up a ‘Network in Play’ of local academics, community organisers and others. The funded part of this project is just coming to an end (see

Researching Game jams in Ireland


Informal learning events are generally not formally accredited and not typically not classroom based. Informal learning can take place in formal settings, but we were interested in the burgeoning range of hackathons and game jams in cities and towns around the country. They are usually ‘open to all’. You just sign up online. Most are free to attend. Who was organising them, who was attending and what were they learning?

Game jams are a collaborative intense game making event where people form teams to work on digital or non-digital game making. They sometimes last all weekend, like the Global Game Jam, or as in our examples, they last one day. A theme is announced at the beginning of the day, and then teams are formed and people try to make something in line with the theme. At the end of the day people play each other’s games and often prizes are awarded. Game jams have been praised for being a useful way to learn content, technical skills and team working skills. They are sometimes seen as a pathway into games and tech education and a way to build local game making communities.

Yet we were struck by the fact that the attendees at the game jams we studied were not very diverse. In a previous feature on we reported on our initial findings on a game jam in Dublin, and subsequently we surveyed game jams in Cork and Limerick. Attendees at these events skewed male, young (18-25), white, and often the attendees were already studying or working in technology (see 

Our conclusion is that games jams may be good opportunities for learning, but they are not necessarily good for diversity. If attention is not given to explicitly broadening attendance, and building an inclusive learning environment, then game jams and similar types of events may actually merely replicate highly individualist, competitive, temporary ‘crunch’ like working patterns. It is perhaps not surprising that competitive game jams developed in North America and were developed by people who already worked in technology jobs.

Of course not all game jams are like this. Some are explicitly designed to be diverse, to challenge cultural and political norms, and to create spaces for marginalised creators. However, the key point seems to be, that when informal events are organised without attention to diversity, they may simply reproduce structures and cultures of exclusion. As with many ‘open to all’ events, organisers may not think about, or may not have the resources and capacity to make the events diverse and inclusive.

Organising Diverse and Inclusive Technology Events


Organising diverse and inclusive informal educational events can face significant challenges. We organised creative workshops in interactive fiction, board game design and coding for games in Dublin and Galway and in each case we faced a range of challenges. If you are relying on the good will of others to provide venues, technologies and support, you will find yourself being asked to compromise on certain issues. Do you run the event if your venue is inaccessible to some, if the technology is locked down to the desks and only certain software programmes are available?  How can you make sure that those with caring responsibilities can attend? Do you impose quotas to diversify attendance?

We wanted to include more women in our events and we achieved over 50% female attendees in our workshops. We wanted to include people with diverse creative backgrounds and skills in our workshops and we achieved that.

Your diversity challenges may differ from ours, but the key lesson we learnt was you need to identify who is missing from your events, or who is leaving early, and you need to actively work to address the reasons behind this. It is not enough to say your event is open to all and you have a Code of Conduct. You actively need to work to make attendance at your event diverse, reach out beyond your own online and offline networks to bring in new groups, and make your event a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone so positive word of mouth will bring in others.

Today we are publishing a free to download report and a 10-point roadmap to help organisers to think about the key issues you need to consider in order to make your games or tech event more diverse and inclusive.

Our 10-point roadmap considers the following ten issues and gives tips on how to address them:

* Time
* Space
* Publicity and Promotion
* Code of Conduct
* Cost to attendees
* Organisational Work/Labour
* Pedagogy of event
* Knowledge and expertise of tutors and attendees
* Technology choices
* Culture of event

This feature is just a taster of our work. Feel free to download the report, share widely and to get in contact with the authors for more details. We have written a number of academic chapters which analyse our findings and will be published over the next few months. We are happy to share these also if you wish to read more.

Informal learning environments take place in towns and cities around Ireland and the technology industry is particularly active in organising them. We all need to identify who and what is missing in our events if we are to address the diversity challenge in our creative, cultural and technology industries. Otherwise those pipelines will have low water pressure and leak for years to come.




Our Full Report (6 MGs) –  NIP-PDFGraphics-FA




Our 3 page Roadmap – NIP-PDFGraphics-Roadmap



Refig safer Space Policy guidelines –

Network in Play Code of Conduct –



Dr. Aphra Kerr is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University.

Ms Vicky Twomey-Lee is a code, tech event organiser, mentor and advocate for diversity in tech. She is currently the Maker Advocate for Dublin Maker.



With thanks to Joshua D. Savage, the SSHRC, our collaborators and participants.


Network in Play Report 2020 published

For International Women’s Day 2020 the Network in Play project in Ireland has launched the ‘Decoding and Recoding Game-Making Events for Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation’ report and roadmap.

The report and roadmap are written by Dr. Aphra Kerr (Maynooth University), Ms. Vicky Twomey-Lee (MADE, Coding Grace, PyLadies) and and Mr Joshua Savage (Maynooth University), and they summarise a four year research project exploring diversity and inclusion in the games industry and at game making events internationally and in Ireland. The documents also report on our field research at gamejams in Ireland and our experiences running creative workshops on game design.

The 3 page roadmap includes tips on developing inclusive events.

The document is published by Maynooth University and funded by the Refiguring Innovation in Games project.

The documents are free to download and share.

You can download the full manual here NIP-PDFGraphics-FA (6MBs) 

You can download the 3 page roadmap here NIP-PDFGraphics-Roadmap

A summary of the key findings will be available as a feature on and you can find out more about the Network in Play project on the diversity pages on this site.

For more on the international Refiguring Innovation in Digital Games please see 

We welcome feedback and suggestions. Thank you to all our collaborators and participants.

Contact us –

ShipItCon Paper Call – Failure!

ShipItCon is a not-for-profit, community driven conference about Software Delivery. Attendees come from Technology, Agriculture, Fintech, Healthcare, Gaming, Human Capital Management and the Beauty Industry.

This year’s theme is “Failure”.

What happens when you “Ship It” and instead of high fives and profit you find yourself in a downward spiral of Pager Duty calls and fire fighting? They want to hear your stories about system failures, organisational failures, how to overcome failure, the psychology of failure, burnout, building resilience etc. If you have an interesting story to tell then they would love to hear from you.

This year’s event is the 3rd ShipItCon. Last year they had 372 attendees from 150+ companies from all over the world. In 2020 the event will maintain the same format as the previous years; a one day event, hosted in the beautiful surroundings of the Round Room at Mansion House, Dublin.

Call for papers  closes at March 31, 2020 17:00 UTC

Submit your talk ideas at 

See more at


UK Games Industry Census 2020 Diversity Findings


UKIE and Dr. Mark Taylor of the University of Sheffield in the UK have published a new Games Industry Census which gives some good insights into the employment of women and black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) people in the British games industry.

Funded via the Arts & Humanities Research Council, this independent analysis focuses on three main areas:  the kinds of work that games industry workers do, their personal characteristics, and their backgrounds.

The census was completed by over 3,200 games workers, or around 20% of the overall workforce, between September and October 2019. By using both open and targeted recruitment methods, they were able to ensure a  representative sample of people working across the sector.

Key findings of interest:

*The games sector is a young industry, with two thirds of people working in the sector aged 35 or under. But 54% of people in the industry have worked in the sector for five years or more.

*10% of people working in games are Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME). This is a slightly higher percentage than in the national working population, and higher than both the overall creative industries and specific sectors such as music, publishing and film/TV. However, it is lower than the equivalent figure for IT and software, as well as below the average in the working-age population. While BAME workers can be found broadly equally in all job roles, with a small skew towards more non-sector specific roles, they are noticeably less represented in senior positions.

*70% of people working in the games industry are male, compared to 28% female and 2% non-binary workers. Female representation in the workforce is significantly under the national average of those in work, as well as less than in cultural and creative roles more generally, but is similar to the proportion of women working in Film/TV, and above that of the general IT/software sector.

*81% of the industry is educated to at least undergraduate level, rising to 88% for core games production roles in art or programming. This is considerably above the 57% average for the cultural and creative industries. 27% of workers hold a game-specific qualification, rising to over half of workers in games design and art roles. More commonly, workers have qualifications in STEM subjects at 31%, increasing to 60% for workers in programming roles.

*21% of people working in games are LGBTQ+, while 79% are heterosexual. This is a significantly high proportion of LGBTQ+ workers, with other data sources indicating that heterosexual people make up between 93-97% of the national population. At 2%, non-binary representation in the UK games industry workforce is higher than the national average, which is estimated at 0.4%. Trans people make up 3% of the games industry workforce, which again is above the estimated 1% within the national population.

*21% of people working in the games industry live with a chronic physical health condition. This is higher than the overall working-age population, where 13% report long term physical issues.

*31% of respondents reported that they live with anxiety, depression or both, considerably above the national average of 17%. Individuals working in junior or mid-level roles were more likely to report that they had anxiety and/or depression, with higher levels of depression also reported among Directors/CEOs of smaller companies.

*3.5% of respondents reported that they worked 51 hours per week or more. Three quarters of all respondents reported working a standard full-time working week of between 33-40 hours.

You can download the full report at 

FutureScope 2020 (Dublin)

Animation Skillnet, Immersive Technologies Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland, in collaboration with Animation Ireland and Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, are proud to present this exciting programme at Ireland’s #1 innovation event; Futurescope 2020.

On Wednesday 1st of April, some of the biggest names in the Irish and International industry will converge at the Convention Centre in Dublin to participate in a series of panels, demonstrations and interactive workshops.

Topics to be explored through panels and presentations on the day:

*Immersive Story-telling vs Story-finding
*Turning the Invisible Into Reality with VR
*XR in Museums: A New Awakening
*Nailing the Business of XR

Confirmed Speakers:

*Kim-Leigh Pontin, Creative Director at Nexus Studios (UK)
*Nikki Lannen, CEO at WarDucks (IRE)
*Christiane Hütter, Writer & World Builder (GER)
*Sam Wolson, Immersive Film Director (USA)
*Raphaël de Courville, Co-founder of NEEEU (GER)
*Chloé Jarry, Digital Producer at Lucid Realities (FRA)
*Agata Di Tommaso, Festival Distribution at Diversion Cinema (FRA)
*Susanna Murphy, Director of Operations at Virtual Reality Gaming
*Camille Donegan, General Manager at Virtual Reality Ireland (IRE)
…and many more to be confirmed!

Registration/Payment here:

Irish Game Based Learning Conference (Cork)

The 10th Irish Conference on Game Based Learning (iGBL), will take place in the Clayton Hotel in Cork again, on the 25th and 26th of June 2020.

Formerly the Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning, it provides a forum for all stakeholders interested in exchanging ideas, projects, and best practice on the use of games and game-based approaches to support motivation, learning, and change.

Contributions are welcomed from a wide range of topics and may be research or practitioner-based. Researchers from all countries and backgrounds are invited to submit.

iGBL was created as a symposium and an opportunity to share ideas on how games can be used to teach, train and promote change in both formal and informal learning environments. The conference includes a mix of academic presentations, practical workshops, digital and non-digital games demos, along with plenty of opportunities to network.



Themes for the conference

The symposium will include (but is not restricted to) the following topics:

*Pedagogy, Educational and Social issues
Pedagogical/learning theories for game-based learning
Evaluation of game-based learning
Assessment in game-based learning
Integrating games into the curriculum
Games to teach arts, science, or business
Social and collaborative aspects of game-based learning
Multi-modal aspects of game-based learning (e.g. audio, augmented reality, virtual reality, etc)
Motivational aspects of game-based learning
Gender/age/cultural issues
Ethical concerns of game-based learning (e.g. young children, adolescents, etc)
Achieving sustainable impact with game-based learning

*Gamification and Serious Games
Serious games and gamification in different sectors (e.g., primary, secondary and higher education, corporate learning, training)
Gamification within the industry and at the customer interface
Organizational issues when implementing games

*Creative Issues in Game Development
Designing games for learning
Best practices in game development
Alternative controls/ interfaces for games
Technologies, tools and platforms for developing games for learning
Technologies for mobile and multi-user games for learning
Prototyping and/or playtesting
Narrative/role-playing in game-based learning
Developing characters & animations for learning games

*Virtual and Augmented Reality for Training and Learning
Designing Serious games based on AR/VR
Immersive learning experiences
Virtual Worlds for Learning
Geo-based gamified apps

*Human Computer Interaction (HCI) & Audio
User Interface and User Experience in games
User-Centered  Game-Based Learning
Designing audio games for learning and training
Audio devices and design for game-based learning
Virtual Worlds for Learning
Geo-based gamified apps
Adaptive Design

*Non-Digital Game-based  Learning
Board games for education and motivation
Trading card games to learn and teach
Simulation and draw games for education and motivation
Educational games based on physical activities

Types of Submissions

Research-based submissions may include theoretical (e.g., literature review, theoretical frameworks, or systematic reviews) and/or empirical studies employing qualitative or quantitative methods. These can consist of completed research projects or works-in-progress. There are categories also for research students, so that you can obtain feedback on your work, regardless of where you are at in the research process (e.g., research proposal, data collection, or close to completion). The idea here is to give you the chance to talk about your work or project(s). You will also have the opportunity to submit a poster. The best 7 research papers/presentations will be shortlisted to be published in the International Journal of Game-Based Learning.

Practitioner-based submissions may include presentations that describe how game-based approaches have been employed to teach, train or promote change with no specific associated research required. For example, you may have used games in your classroom or for your company, and you would like to take the opportunity to share your experience and insights with like-minded people by delivering a presentation that explains what you have applied/used and how it worked for you. The emphasis for this format is to share practical information rather than research results.

Proposals for workshops and interactive posters are also invited. Workshops would typically be practical and last between 1 and 2 hours. The idea here is to provide participants with skills that they can apply straight away in their context (e.g., at home, in the classroom or at a company). These workshops need to be related to the theme of games, learning and/or motivation.

Proposals for game demos: if you have created a game which purpose is to promote change, learning or motivation, you can submit a short abstract. Once accepted, you will be able to showcase your game at the conference and to be in for a chance to win a prize.
Submission of interest to attend the student summer school.
Submission of interest to take part in the game jam.

There will be cash prizes (€50 per presentation) for each of the following categories: best presentation overall and best game demo.

Submitting an Abstract

The earlier the abstract is submitted, the earlier you will receive your notification:

Authors who submitted their abstract(s) by 22nd January will be notified on whether their abstract has been accepted by 22nd February.
Authors who submitted their abstract(s) after 22nd February will be notified on whether their abstract has been accepted by 22nd March.

Important Dates

25th of February: Abstract submission deadline.
22nd of March: Notification of abstract acceptance.
25th March: Successful abstracts are invited to submit an extended abstract (i.e., paper to be published in the conference proceedings).
12th of April: Registration deadline for authors.
12th April: Submission of extended abstracts (i.e., research papers).
22nd April: Notification of acceptance of extended papers.


Mindframe Arena released by Fierce Fun

Irish game developer Fierce Fun has just released their digital board game Mindframe Arena – a ‘Smart and Safe’ game designed for a family-friendly environment.

As games like chess can be off-putting for some children, Mindframe Arena is a great way to introduce children to intellectually stimulating activities such as board and strategy games. Based on classic board games like chess, Mindframe Arena requires skill and strategy to play – yet it is easy and fun to learn. Research has shown that playing board games can help in the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Peter Lynch from Fierce Fun states “From showing the game at events and conventions in Ireland, we found that 7 to 10-year olds really enjoyed it as did their parents.”

Irish parents can rest assured with the following Smart and Safe game features:

*No in-game chat or messaging
*No graphic violence
*No analytics or tracking
*Parental purchase & social media locks

Mindframe Arena is available  as a free download on Google Play and the Apple Apps Store.

YouTube Trailer


Apple App Store Page


Google Play Page

Fierce Fun

Located in Dublin, Ireland, Fierce Fun was founded by a team of experienced Irish game design professionals and mobile app developers. The company specialises in innovative new strategy and action games for mobile and PC platforms. In addition to original game development, Fierce Fun also provides custom game and app development services. The company is a registered Google Play and Apple App Store Developer. Fierce Fun is a client of Enterprise Ireland and has been supported by their CSF fund.

The company’s production team is a mixture of youthful technical talent and experienced creative designers. Most important of all, everyone at Fierce Fun is a serious gamer.


Imirt Annual Survey – have your say

Imirt, the Irish game makers association, is running its annual survey and has asked us to share it.

They have added a new section on game development related topics to get a better overview of the industry.

Please take a moment to answer the survey and share with your dev friends.

To access the survey go to

The survey is open  until the 14th of February.

See also the discussion on their Facebook page. Here is a link to the post .

History of Games Conf – Call for papers

History of Games International Conferences 

In 2018 an international steering committee was formed to insure that History of games conferences occur every two years.

Members were elected from 10 broad regions around the world and the committee will make sure that conferences alternate between different world regions.

New members can be voted in at the event and the organization seeks to grow by including even more regions as historical research develops on a global scale. For more information, please visit

CFP: Transnational Games Histories. 2020 Conference

27th – 29th May 2020, Collegium Maius (ul. Jagiellońska 15), Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

The theme of this year’s conference, Transnational Games Histories, reflects a changing awareness in the influence of games throughout time and space. Following from earlier calls for a broader and more inclusive approach to the histories of games (Therrien, 2012), games do not belong to one country, nation state or region. Through formal and informal networks (Wasiak, 2015) of production, distribution and consumption games pop up in areas far from their intended market (Swalwell, 2007). Indeed, when they permeate geographical and political boundaries they have the capacity to transform traditional ways of consuming media and even the way individuals interact within society (Švelch, 2018). In doing so, they alter contemporary notions of how these societies are viewed.

As Marshall McLuhan wrote, as societies change, so do games. By exploring the transnational histories of games, this conference series seeks to provide a forum for presentation and discussion of how transnational games transform across local, regional, national, international and global spaces and times and how they challenge and rework or hold and replicate, the status quo of those societies (Debus and Hammeleff Jørgensen, 2017).

Given the expansive, transnational, transformative and transdisciplinary reach and constitution of games histories, the conference welcomes original submissions from researchers and scholars working across the spectrum of academic disciplines, including, but not limited to: economic history; cultural history social history; computer science; military history; cultural history; media history; memory studies; sensory history; the history of technology; psychology of games; history of play; history of games, history of computing, art history; material histories; ethnography; historical archaeology; museology; information science; preservation; curation; education studies and heritage studies.

Topics to be covered, can include, but are not limited to:

• Board, card, table-top, playground, field, hand games

• Computer, video and electric / electronic games

• Histories and biographies of games designers and developers

• Histories of hardware and software (including board, card, table-top, playground, field, hand games)

• Histories of minorities in play and games

• Local, regional and national game histories

• Material games histories (storage, curation, display, upgrade, degradation)

• Historical Studies of Gaming Media (Magazines, disks, cassettes etc.)

• Sites of play (e.g. amusement arcades, theme parks, bowling alleys)

• Historical anthropology of games

• Animals and play

• Cultural and political discourse of games

• Histories of the games industry

• Wargames and political deployment of games

• Pinball and arcade games

• Home or lone programming

• Convergence of games with other games and media (e.g. chess, Tetris, pool)

• Critical readings of historical games

• Histories and biographies of players and their communities

• Histories of games no longer played

• Games and everyday life

• Histories of games and education


750 words including references

Closes: 13th January 2020

Notifications sent 29th February 2020

Submit via