International Women’s Day 2022: Conversation with Funko Games’ Fertessa Allys | Pocket Gamer.biz
Every year on March 8, we celebrate the achievements of women from all walks of life on International Women’s Day. Gender representation and equality in the video game industry are ongoing discussions and we believe they are essential to creating and promoting an industry that we can all be proud to be part of.
On International Women’s Day 2022, this week we highlight some of the incredible female industry leaders we are honored to have spoken to our next conference in Seattle. We couldn’t be more excited to have them on our list of star-studded speakers, and we couldn’t wait until May to hear from them and share their brilliant insights with our PocketGamer.biz readers, so , we chatted with them about business, gaming, and of course what it means to be a woman in gaming. We recently spoke with Geogrify CEO Kate Edwards, you can read our conversation here.
Diversity is important because each person has a unique set of experiences that inform their perspective.
The next step in our Spotlight series is Fertessa Allyse. Fertessa Allyse started out as a freelance board game designer and designed Book of Villainy, Wicked & Wise, and Mansplaining (co-designed by Mondo Davis). She then joined the Funko Games team as a game producer and currently spends her days designing and producing games for the mass market.
PocketGamer.Biz: Which game has been on your phone the longest?
Fertessa Allys: Boardgame Arena has been on my phone the longest. It gives me access to hundreds of board games to play digitally. You can play with strangers or friends and it’s free.
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
Diversity is important because each person has a unique set of experiences that inform their perspective. And no matter how empathetic someone may be or how much research they’ve done, they’ll still never know what it’s like to be another person or what it’s like to have their experiences. So when developing products, policies, or decisions, these will always be limited by your personal experience, and if you only hire people with a similar appearance or background to yourself, whatever you and your touch band will reflect this similarity.
When developing products, policies, or decisions, these will always be limited by your personal experience, and if you only hire people with a similar appearance or background to yourself, whatever you and your group will touch will reflect this similarity.
How do you think the representation of women in gameplay could be better?
I think there’s still a big gap in options when it comes to choosing characters when it comes to hair and clothing. Whether it’s board games or video games, as a black woman there’s usually only one or two options to choose from. Very rarely, either option is attractive. Black hair is naturally curly for most of us, so expecting to use straight-haired figures or settle for an afro or braids is insulting. Our hair is generally not naturally straight. As for outfits, I’d like to see cool or casual outfits that don’t need to emphasize that my character is female.
Which women in the gaming industry do you look up to or look up to?
I admire Deirdre Cross, Vice President of Funko Games, who helped grow the company from an independent independent agency to a significant presence in the board game industry. She is often the face of the company, marketing our games and doing all the work necessary to lead the company to success while continuing to be fiercely vocal and proactive about the visibility of women within the industry.
Find out more about Fertessa this summer
Want the chance to learn more about Fertessa Allyse and the Funko Games team? She’ll be leading the conversation at the upcoming Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle among hundreds of other incredible industry leaders. Be sure to reserve your place at our West Coast conference today and save up to $275 with our Early Bird offer before prices go up.