Evolving faster than almost any other industry in the world, the video game industry has seen exponential growth which has no doubt played a big part in Alumni, Sofia Moriatis' journey from studying at JMC to landing her dream role!
Joining the JMC Academy community in 2015, Sofia Moriatis took her passion for games a step further and completed her Bachelor Degree in Game Design at our Melbourne Campus. Three years on, and with an array of industry experience up her sleeve, Sofia is quickly advancing in the gaming world and enjoying every bit of it.
Now an Associate Experience Designer at EA Firemonkeys Studios, Sofia lets us in on her journey to entering the Games Industry and how women's roles in the industry are changing for the better!
What drew you to the world of gaming?
Growing up, I had such a passion for playing games – enjoying the experience of role-playing different personalities and characteristics while treating the experience as a form of escapism. It was also a way to connect with my uncle, he really inspired my passion for gaming and after he passed it became a way to honour him. As I got a bit older, I became more intrigued with how the games actually worked behind the scenes, how designers mixed aspects of the imagination, mystery and simulation into the games core function.
How has your experience in the industry-led you to your current role?
Being an Experience Designer, what has been the most rewarding part of my role is not only having my own gaming experience input into a program but integrating other player feedback and creating something so diverse and accessible. I’m constantly questioning ‘what do players want?’ in a world where technology is improving, and technical restrictions are becoming fewer and far between. The most important takeaway from my previous roles was always balancing my soft and hard skills into each project because no matter how good I was at designing and mastering the technical side of things, no project would succeed without the soft skill of interpreting players senses and being a team player.
What are your future predictions about women’s role in games?
I think the industry has evolved and is really celebrating the diversity in gaming/engineering roles and this is going to continue as time passes! Women have got a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to emotional intelligence which lends a hand in creating and designing games that empower players and act as a place for self-expression for all.
Want to study Game Design at JMC?
How has the recent global events impacted the industry?
There has been such a high demand for gaming products recently (even in some of the hardest times) which has been so heart-warming to see. As a society, we are adapting to a new way of connecting, and the gaming industry has really taken this time in its stride with a focus on teamwork. Our environment lets us expand on the opportunity to cross into different disciplines and work with a range of people, and that has allowed the creation of games to continue by continuously piggybacking off each other’s strengths.
Being given the chance to work from home, I’ve had the chance to put the extra two hours I would usually take going to and from work to better use. There’s more time in the day to really reflect, accept and appreciate the work that I’ve already done and move forward into bigger and better things in the future.
Do you see further opportunities for growth in gaming?
After the ramifications COVID caused the game world and all industries needed to adapt to new working environments, working from home has seen the greatest opportunity for growth and collaboration. We had the chance to work with teams from around the world and work collaboratively on programs simultaneously.
Another opportunity that has come about is the collaboration with film and tv industries to create reality game competitions. The cultural phenomenon of following people live on screen and watching each episode unfold has paved the way for shows like The Sims Spark’d, with more to come I’m sure of it.
What advice would you give to young women who are interested in entering the Gaming Industry?
Some of the best advice I received that I’d pass onto any aspiring creative is to be your genuine self, be strong and be proud of your work – no matter how big or small it is. Make sure that you’re actively living in the present, it will shape your future no matter what creative direction you end up in. This mindset can apply to everyone, when you take each step towards your intended path slowly and with thought, you’ll be more prepared.
How did studying at JMC prepare you for the creative industry?
When I first visited JMC at an Open Day, I knew this was going to be the place for me, it just felt right. The one-on-one experience that I had with industry lecturers and the chance to create emotional connections with my peers were big highlights during my time studying. My cohort in particular really helped mould my creative thinking and we all inspired each other to continue creating. Right after I graduated, our Games Head of Department Kim Edwards also played a big role in landing my first role as a digital marketing coordinator at a game marketing agency which got my foot in the door and has turned into one opportunity better than the next. I couldn’t recommend JMC more!
Disclaimer Sofia is here to represent only herself and not EA, all views are her own.