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Women of Gaming

Rocket Jumping With Poornima Seetharaman

September 10, 2015 — by Nachiket "therapist" Mhatre0

Hailing from Palakkad in Kerala, 31 year old Poornima is one of the rare Indian women actively involved in developing video games.

Poornima SeetharamanHailing from Palakkad in Kerala, 31 year old Poornima is one of the rare Indian women actively involved in developing video games. When she isn’t making games, she plays them on a sizeable collection of platforms including Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, GameCube, and the good ol’ PC. Her tryst with game design involved outsourcing content for a Korean Mobile Games company, where she worked on a mobile game along the lines of Neverwinter Nights. Her second stint in the industry was at Indiagames (now Disney), where she assumed the role of Lead Designer for the mobile version of Bioshock.
Apart from running her own game design studio, her work on various video game projects has won her local awards as well as nomination for international awards as well. Working closely with Square Enix founder Yasuhiro Fukushima, while helping the company arrange the Square Enix India Game Development Contest was one of the high points of her career. After a stint with Knowledge Adventure (aka JumpStart), which makes educational MMOs for kids, she’s currently employed at Bash Gaming (aka GSN Games). Here, Poornima works towards learning the finer nuances of social casino gaming, while working with known industry veterans such as Steve Meretzky and Raymond Holmes.

First gaming memory/system?
I started with the NES clones, playing Mario, Tank and Duck Hunt. However, my gaming addiction started with Age of Empires II (1999). Since then, there’s been no turning back.

Jade Raymond or Anita Sarkeesian?
Jade Raymond.

Describe Gamergate in one line
Intrusion of privacy and cyber-bullying.

Do you think gaming is friendly/inclusive to women?
It is to an extent. That is, if you can choose to ignore the wrong people and stay with the right crowd.

If there’s one thing you could fix about video games and/or the gaming culture what would it be?
Not everyone who plays it needs to be a pro at it. Video games are forms of entertainment. E-sports exist for displaying your skill. For regular gamers, play and let play. You may be good, average or bad. It shouldn’t matter. Enjoy the game and the experience.

Why are female video game protagonists in short supply?
In real life itself, the number of women taking the lead roles is much lower compared to men, and video games follow suit. Men still form the majority of the audience and hence equality is still an issue.

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Nachiket "therapist" Mhatre

Nachiket has been obsessed with computers and videogames since the 8086 days. But don't you go asking him about his earliest gaming memory. Not unless you are fine with being subjected to an interminable monologue romanticising the warm monochrome glow of early DOS games and how the medium has since lost its soul at the turn of the millennium. When he isn't being a corporate slave at MySmartPrice.com, Nachiket spends his free time tinkering with hobby grade R/C, practicing archery, or just sharpening his knives for relaxation.

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