March 7 2018

Vicarious Visions head: We need diversity in our video games, and our ranks (Video)

Albany Business Review

By: Mike DeSocio and Andrew Roiter

The average video gamer these days is not a boy in high school, as you might imagine – it’s a 35-year-old, and more likely to be a woman, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Jennifer Oneal is keenly aware of that, and she’s leading her video game studio Vicarious Visions, based in suburban Albany, New York, to design games that serve a growing and diverse audience. Attracting and building a workforce that reflects that diversity, she says, is key to their success.

The Albany Business Review sat down with Oneal for the latest installment of our series, “The Interview.” Watch the video below to learn how Oneal is growing a diverse staff to shape the next generation of video games.

There are 14 video game studios in the Capital Region, employing a total of 352 people, 285 of which are software developers, according to survey results released today by the Center for Economic Growth.

Many of them are clustered in Troy, home to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Digital Gaming Hub as well as Velan Studios, a game design company started by Guha and Karthik Bala, the founders of Vicarious Visions.

CEG reports that 10 of the studios in the region attribute their presence here to their founders’ roots at local colleges, while others cite a high quality of life.

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