Up Next | Sab Finlay-Smith

26 Apr 2024

Already showing incredible promise off the back of her directorial debut Exteriors, Sab Finlay-Smith seems to be just who the Gaming Industry needs today.

The gaming industry is undoubtedly male dominated and largely caters by design to a male dominated audience. Consider FIFA, one of the most popular gaming franchises, they only added international female teams and players in its 23rd release, FIFA 16, then did not add women at a club level until its 30th, FIFA 23.

Women when they are incorporated into games often tend to be secondary, sexualised or lacking any real depth. Fortunately, this is changing with an increasing number of women having their say in the gaming community; be that in Xbox Parties, gaming forums or at an employment level in the studios creating what we then get to play.

This is where Sab comes in. Progressive, level headed and dedicated, she has aspirations of tapping into an untouched market. if you Google ‘videogames for women’ the top results are almost all pretty two-dimensional; simplistic, cutsey, even demeaningly childish. Sab is after games for women that aren’t superficial, that  provide deeper stories, address darker subject matter and deliver important messages we can actually learn from. Channelling her lived experience, she’s carving a place for herself in the industry and is curating the games she wishes were available when she was growing up.  

Speaking of the freedom you find in game design, your boundaries are massively broadened – if there are any at all. You get to design your own environment, its physics and envision beyond the restrictions you may have to work around when dealing with a physical medium. This enables just the type of blossoming vision Sab possesses, with ideas that branch out, beyond the obvious playable experience and that leave an impression of the user’s psyche. 

Games may be the medium but at her heart Sab appears a passionate, enthused storyteller and an advocate and this has only enhanced her ability to create impressive and thought-provoking narratives as seen in Exteriors. Speaking on how she got into game design, ‘it just happened and it just felt right.’

Having already demonstrated her potential with her directorial role on Bad Studio’s Exteriors, Sab is an individual who has found themselves in just the industry that needs her, at a point where she could seriously make waves; with a wealth to offer and a heart aching to speak out, there is little doubt that years down the line she will be an established creative with a myriad of accolades. 

To keep track of Sab’s endeavours and for updates on future projects, including the immensely intriguing The Lens That Wonders, visit her website.


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