Empowering Innovation: Kazakhstan’s Young Women Redefining the Gaming Industry Norms

by | Aug 12, 2023

In Kazakhstan, a remarkable effort is underway to overcome the obstacles that often discourage girls from pursuing careers in male-dominated industries. UNICEF, in partnership with the GameLab video game development and research laboratory at Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU), has created a gamification course to equip girls with the skills and knowledge needed to enter the tech job market. Recently, fifty Kazakhstani schoolgirls took part in a two-day hackathon, showcasing their creativity and innovation in the gaming industry. Let’s explore the details of this inspiring event.

Imagine a room filled with excitement and anticipation as girls from different backgrounds gather to challenge conventions. These girls are not just aspiring gamers; they are fearless pioneers, ready to defy the norm and make their mark in a male-dominated industry.

Successful women in the gaming industry played a crucial role in supporting the participants of the online course as mentors. These mentors provided guidance, shared their experiences, and shattered barriers, inspiring the girls to fearlessly pursue their dreams. The impact of having role models who have defied societal expectations and achieved greatness in their field cannot be underestimated. Research shows that the number of girls interested in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) doubles when they have strong female role models, highlighting the importance of representation and mentorship.

The objective of the hackathon was to make the online youth nanosatellite development course more interactive and enjoyable by gamifying it. The girls learned how to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical setting, creating educational game prototypes aimed at enhancing the online course experience. In this thrilling adventure, they incorporated gaming elements to engage young learners and stimulate their interest in STEAM subjects. Imagine a world where learning is not limited to textbooks but is an exciting journey of discovery and creativity.

Working together, the girls showcased their creativity, innovation, and teamwork skills during the hackathon. They presented several educational game prototypes, demonstrating their ability to apply their newly acquired game development knowledge. The event emphasized the changing landscape of the gaming industry, highlighting the increasing opportunities for women to excel and thrive in this field. Imagine a world where barriers crumble, and diverse voices come together to create groundbreaking innovations. These girls are not just participants; they are architects of a new era.

The hackathon aimed to empower girls and break gender barriers in the gaming industry. Despite women and girls making up almost half of the world’s gamers, only 24% of the gaming industry’s workforce are women. This disparity is due to societal stereotypes and norms that discourage girls from pursuing careers in male-dominated industries. The initiative led by UNICEF and its partners challenges these barriers, providing girls with the skills and support they need to confidently enter the tech job market. Imagine a world where talent knows no gender, and passion is the only requirement for success.

The gamification course introduced the girls to various game development professions, teaching them Unity, game design, video game psychology, augmented and virtual reality basics, and the use of AI for game development. By equipping the girls with this knowledge, UNICEF believes that they can succeed in any field of science, including STEAM. Through this global initiative, UNICEF strives to support Kazakhstani schoolgirls and encourage their participation in STEAM fields. Imagine a world where girls have access to the tools and knowledge needed to unleash their limitless potential.

The hackathon, organized by UNICEF and its partners at KBTU, provided a platform for girls to incorporate video games into educational processes. Their prototypes aimed to make the online youth nanosatellite development course more interactive and enjoyable. By incorporating gaming elements, these young innovators are reshaping the educational landscape, paving the way for a more engaging and immersive learning experience. Imagine a future where education is not limited to textbooks and classrooms but is a captivating adventure that fuels curiosity and sparks the imagination.

The gamification course and hackathon in Kazakhstan have proven to be transformative experiences for the participating schoolgirls. By breaking gender barriers and empowering girls in the gaming industry, UNICEF and its partners are fostering a new generation of innovators and leaders. With the support of successful women mentors and exposure to game development skills, these girls are well-equipped to pursue careers in STEAM and contribute to the ever-evolving world of technology. As the gaming industry continues to grow and diversify, it is essential that we provide equal opportunities and encourage young girls to embrace their passions without limitations. Together, we can create a world where talent knows no gender and passion drives success.