Building a gamer community for women in Saudi Arabia [Wamda TV]

by wamda,   July 23, 2013

At Wamda’s Mix N’ Mentor Riyadh, we chatted with Tasneem Salim, the cofounder of GCON, a community and annual conference for female gamers and game developers in Saudi Arabia.

In this brief interview, Salim discusses how they formed their first convention last year, which attracted over 3,000 gamers and major gaming sponsors including Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. GCON’s team, made up of all female developers, artists, and writers, is also hosting a female developer competition in collaboration with Saudi incubator Verso to build the best education games for the change to win incubation, seed funding and game publishing.

Salim also addresses the major challenges GCON faces, noting that a lack of successful titles from Saudi Arabia, or any real role models, makes it difficult to break through barrier to entry created by foreign titles. Additionally, the lack of technical training in Saudi Arabia requires the team to educate themselves.

“We’re trying to develop our talents in-house by going online, finding resources and basically living the life of an independent developer,” she says. “But it gets very tough sometimes.” Check out the short interview above to learn more about GCON and how it is supporting Saudi Arabia’s “gamer girls.”