The Victoria & Albert Museum in London has appointed Sophia George as the first ever game designer to participate in its Museum Residence programme, recognising gaming design as an art form.
The six-month residency gives designers, artists, writers and musicians a studio space within the museum where they can work. They also contribute to workshops, lectures, and gallery talks for the museum’s learning programme. Visitors are also encouraged to visit and interact with the designers while they work.
Although just 22, George has already set up her own UK-based company Swallowtail Games and received a ‘Ones to Watch’ Bafta award in 2012 for her internationally acclaimed mobile family game, Tick Tock Toys. “Computer games are an incredible artistic and creative medium that’s often overlooked, despite them blending elements of many traditional practices – including pure art, animation, character design, architectural design, music and much more,” said George. She will be interpreting the vast V&A collection in a new game.
George’s appointment forms part of a wider drive to build the V&A’s digital collection, which includes a recently acquired 3D-printed gun. “We see games design as a huge part of this,” said residency co-ordinator Laura Southall. “Alongside this, the digital interpretation of our existing collections has always been a priority. By appointing Sophia, we are hoping to extend our range to include more sophisticated games and platforms, rather than just computer interactives in the galleries.”
See Innovations in Gaming Design to find out how women like George are breaking gender-role stereotypes by excelling in male-dominated industries in our Future Female Industry Trend report, Icons of New Feminism.