‘Women in Development, Games & Everything Tech, Inc’ (WiDGET) is a not-for-profit trans-inclusive support organisation empowering women and non-binary game developers to maintain an improved quality of life, facilitating the creation of their own diverse and interesting game experiences.
WiDGET is dedicated to the retention and support of women and non-binary developers in games and tech.
As the very first art-form native to the computer, we believe games are a strong medium for storytelling, education, expression, and entertainment, and that over time our lives will only continue to intertwine with the digital even further. We believe it is important these stories come from a diverse array of backgrounds, and for marginalised groups, the games industry struggles with issues of gender equality, economic security, and personal safety. We believe it is a matter of urgency to tackle these problems through our focus on the retention of talent in our maker communities.
We do so by facilitating activities and spaces where developers can access peer-to-peer support, share skills and personal wisdom, and establish positive interpersonal connections with other practitioners. Through this network we will continue to prioritise and spotlight marginalised voices in the games community, and through advocacy, research, and grassroots action, will strive to have a lasting impact on the wellbeing of Australia’s games community and its practitioners.
To empower women and non-binary game developers to maintain an improved quality of life, facilitating the creation of their own diverse and interesting game experiences.
01. Personal development and support
Through targeted programs and the encouragement of a peer-to-peer mentoring system, we can encourage the personal development of women and non-binary game developers and encourage retention.
By conducting research into the state of the games industry we can learn how to best serve women and non-binary developers. We are interested in identifying feminist best practices and modelling their use and implementation.
We advocate for women and non-binary game developers in conversations with government, arts and cultural institutions, and within the games industry itself. We're not afraid to be the big sister to all who need one.
WiDGET Inc. will set up a funding body from which to distribute funds to subsidise women and non-binary folk's participation in making games. This will include scholarships, hot-desks, travel assistance, and assistance with childcare costs.
"It's undoubtedly easier to survive when a few hundred women have your back"
leena van deventer | Co-Founder
WiDGET was set up on International Women's Day in 2013 by Leena van Deventer and Liah Clark. Their intention was to create a community where women could go for support and knowledge-building.
In its earliest iteration, WiDGET published over 80 paid articles by women game developers with the prompt "Something I wish I knew five years ago". These articles acted as a way to spark discussion in the social media spaces of the organisation.
Since then, WiDGET has run events both online and in person (such as their Unconference, and "Go You!"), and has started to find its feet as a fledgling arts organisation.
Now though, WiDGET has its eyes on becoming a stand-alone organisation, providing support, research, advocacy, and funding to women and non-binary game developers. We have learned a lot from our 5 years of doing our best to help, and look forward to improving that to the best of our abilities.