“You can be a game developer.” That’s the message surrounding the newest entry in the famous Barbie timeline, which adds the creation of video games to the doll’s long list of careers.
While some argue there are still criticisms to be made about Barbie as an icon for young women, none can deny the level of encouragement surrounding the toy can be good for the games industry.
A report on Mashable shows text on either promotional material or the back of the box for Game Developer Barbie tells young girls that “game development involves storytelling, art and graphic design, audio design and computer programming”.
It adds that anyone wanting to be a game developer needs to be “creative and understand technology, math, storytelling and art”.
Even the laptop accessory that comes with Game Developer Barbie appears to show real code: reportedly ActionScript or Haxe, outputted from educational programming environment Alice.
It’s a dramatic improvement over the Computer Engineer Barbie of two years ago, which Mattel had to issue an apology for after depicting Barbie as reliant on male programmers to create a full game.
Many in the games industry are trying to address the lack of balance in its workforce, with figures showing that only 15 per cent of games developers are female. Anything that encourages girls of any age to consider a career in games development can only be a good thing.