Should I pursue a career in games?

I received this email from a friend’s daughter:

I’m in college deciding on a major. I was thinking about going into game design but know that it’s an incredibly difficult industry and very hard for women in general. I was hoping you could share your insight with me to maybe help me chose whether or not this major, this lifestyle, is the right decision. I love video games, creating art, writing stories, and have since I was five but I sometimes feel that passion with a little bit of talent won’t be enough to push me through into the gaming industry which I sometimes hate.

My response:

I’d say that in life, in general, women have it tougher. That’s certainly no reason to not pursue your interests. If you want a career badly enough, you’ll have it, regardless of the environment. For advice on how to navigate in male-dominated arenas, I’d recommend these books:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

If you do decide to pursue games for a career, I suggest you read as many Gamasutra articles as you can. Particularly to think over which specific aspect of game design appeals to you.

You’re fortunate that you live in an era wherein if you want to practice making games, there’s any number of game engines you can download and experiment with:

https://unity3d.com/unity

https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SDK_Installation

https://www.unrealengine.com/what-is-unreal-engine-4

However if you have decided before attempting the job that it might be too difficult for you, then it might be too difficult for you. Only you can determine what you’re capable of. I hope these links are helpful to you, good luck!