Profile – Ann-Sofie Sydow (TGA)

Game Assembly

Ann-Sofie Sydow is the educational coordinator at The Game Assembly (TGA) in Malmö. TGA is a Higher Vocational Education. An education made to meet the game industry market´s demands for game artists, game programmers, level designers and technical artists.

Why do I do what I do?

The short answer is because I love working with creative people. The game industry is constantly evolving which makes it vibrant and alive. I get easily bored and I need to evolve to be alive. Working with people with ambitions to be game developers is challenging though. They are determined, driven. Dedicated and immensely sure of what they want. And that is great and we love it! We want that…but they have also been brought up more or less as extreme individuals. That isn’t their fault. It is simply the times we live in.

This makes the going tough in the beginning as the combination of working collaboratively, tough feedback and tight deadlines can take its toll. But after a while this “handicap” disappears. They understand that a good result and a more or less painless journey depends on communication across the different disciplines. The ability to work cooperatively is the key to making great games. When our students reach that milestone we view that as a success. This is also highlighted when delving through the history of our alumni. They are everywhere and we are immensely proud of them all.

Apart from academic qualifications are there any other qualities TGA instills in the students for the professional world?

What I think TGA prepares the students for is the success that comes from hard work, the joy in having skills and the importance of knowing how to work together with the same goal, making a great game.

Has the issue of inequality been discussed with the students and if so is there anything TGA can do to influence the next generation of developers?

All of this is also a part of working with gender equality. It’s important to talk about the situation we are in. In my opinion we all want men and women to have the same opportunity to vote and to have the same rights, same wages for equal jobs. We need to keep the issue of inequality in the spotlight so as to ensure the discussion continues. Only by doing that can we see changes and hopefully the next generation of gamers such as my daughter and son will enjoy the fruits of our labour.

We have come a long way here in Sweden, but there is still a lot more to do. I can see changes but nothing is taken for granted. I am a feminist and proud of it. My firm belief is that everybody should get to be who they are and we all are on the same team, some are just a little bit misguided or ignorant.

What does feminism have to do with hard work, skills and cooperation? Well, education and getting to know a handicraft well, learning how to work together and showing each other respect is what it’s all about. We are all on the same team – men and women. Yes, I’m very pragmatic… But that’s one way to do it.

For more on Ann-Sofie Sydow and games education visit The Game Assembly.

Leave a Reply