Women in Saudi Arabia have recently been venturing into new industries, making good headway with added support from their communities, including the exclusive club of indie game developers.
An ambitious dreamer and a gamer, Saudi entrepreneur Noor Alkhadra paved her way into the games development sector after years of playing games. She started gaming as a six-year-old thanks to her older brother and his treasure trove of games, and her passion grew after her brother left home to study abroad. Alkhadra was left with a goldmine of games and has not stopped since.
Her journey into game development began while studying for her bachelor’s degree in fine arts, specializing in video game design at the Academy of Art University. She continued her education, obtaining a master’s in technology entrepreneurship at the University of Central Lancashire in England, and kick-started her company WeGeek, a video game events company.
She initially wanted to start her company in Saudi Arabia. However, at the time, men and women were separated in events, and given that there are more male gamers than female gamers, it didn’t make sense for the young entrepreneur, so she opted for Britain instead until the time was right.
In 2018, Alkhadra paved another path and joined forces with Roborace, the first autonomous car racing vehicle, which became WeGeek’s partnership manager.
In 2019, another avenue of development was starting, when she launched “Robonetica,” a platform that teaches teenagers how to code robots through video games in Saudi Arabia.
To further her mark in the gaming industry, she launched a YouTube channel at the start of the year where she reviews games and tech devices, as well as providing educational tips on entering the sector, gaming news, and funny moments in the industry.
Being a woman involved in the indie gamer development industry helped her break an entrenched stereotype about gamers’ gender specifications.
“I’ve always loved video games, being in the gaming industry for over seven years in multiple disciplines from business to entertainment. But being a woman in the video game development industry was very uncommon, even in the US,” she said.