The New Honorary Doctor at the University of Skövde is a Champion of Equality in Gaming Culture
Åsa Roos is the name of the University of Skövde’s second honorary doctor. Originally from Skaraborg with several years of experience within computer games and the gaming industry, now active as a UX-designer in Canada.
On Friday the 7th of October she was conferred upon with an honorary doctor’s degree in informatics during the academic ceremony at the University of Skövde. The ceremony was held at St. Helena church, Skövde, Sweden.
- It was at home in Mariestad that my interest in computer games and analog games was awakened. I spent a great deal of time playing, but also organizing gaming conventions, primarily for board games. A hobby that, among other things, led to my becoming involved in gaming conventions where I was in charge of role plays for a period of ten years, says Åsa.
Åsa Roos was born in 1973. She focused on social studies at high school in Mariestad in order to be able to continue on to study textile design and silversmithing courses at Helliden’s college in Tidaholm. In Lund she studied industrial design before her career as a game developer took off.
So far she has had the opportunity to work for the renowned game developer Avalanche at several different occasions. Her professional career began at Picofun and continued at Finnish Sulake. During her time in Finland, Åsa Roos came to realize the importance of opening up the gaming industry and the gaming culture to women as well. She was contacted by representatives of the project SuperMarit who had the long term goal of making women within the industry and culture more visible, this at a time when women within the gaming industry constituted approximately 8 percent of the total number.
- The collaboration primarily consisted of lectures and hosting workshops at the University of Gotland where the project originally began. I was also contacted by representatives of other game programs and other interested parties who wanted to benefit from my experience.
Today Åsa Roos works on the other side of the Atlantic, as a UX-designer at BioWare in Edmonton. At the same time she is an ardent debater who participates in conferences, on the radio and in newspapers and magazines to highlight the situation of women within the game trade and game culture. She runs her own blog where she writes about games in general and about equality within the game culture in particular.
Despite threats and harassment from people who oppose an inclusive game industry she perseveres tirelessly to debate and stand on the barricades to bring about change. For the network Donna at the University of Skövde, which has the aim of encouraging women to become game developers, Åsa Roos is a clear role model and a major source of inspiration.
In the motivation of the nomination to honorary doctor it states, among other things, that Åsa is a true role model for everyone who works for an inclusive game culture and in particular for girls who are contemplating a career as a game developer.