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Women in Games: The Gamasutra 20

May 21, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 17 of 21 Next

Sheri Graner Ray

Game Design Consultant, Sirenia Consulting

Career overview

Sheri Graner Ray is an accomplished game designer who has worked in the gaming industry for nearly two decades. She began developing games in 1990, and has since worked for Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment, Cartoon Network, and Her Interactive -- a development studio focused on development for girls, most famous for its work on the Nancy Drew series.

Graner Ray is also the author of Gender Inclusive Game Design -- Expanding the Market, the leading text on gender and video game development. It was during her first days of making RPGs she says she ran into the problem, "What if the player is a female?" She has since become an authority on the subject of gender equality in the gaming industry. Unsurprisingly, she is the chair of the Women in Games International, an organization she co-founded.

Major accomplishments

In 2005, Graner Ray was awarded the IGDA's Game Developer Choice Award in recognition of her lifelong work in game design and gender issues.


Graner Ray's approach to understanding women gamers was innovative in 2003 when she released Gender Inclusive Game Design, and it continues to make ripples through the male-dominating industry today.

She regularly makes presentations at industry events, where she discusses the way male and female players vary in approach to playing games, encouraging discussion between developers.

What her peers say

Brenda: "Sheri made it so much easier for all of us -- female gamers and game developers -- to enjoy our experience with games. Her book, Gender Inclusive Game Design, is a must-read for any designer.

Each generation (sounds odd to say that, no?) of women entering the industry discovers Sheri's work again and again, thinking back to a time when there really wasn't much of a female presence to speak of. I've also known Sheri forever. We're both women who love RPGs and fast cars (she has a Corvette, and I have a BMW 3 series sports model). I think I can take her at the track."

Article Start Previous Page 17 of 21 Next

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