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PlayStation Hosts Camp To Inspire Girls To Become Leaders In Gaming

SAN MATEO (KPIX) -- Gaming is a big business, but it's one that's overwhelmingly dominated by men.

At its offices in San Mateo, PlayStation is hosting a summer camp for girls who game. Students of the camp are learning how to design and program their own video games. KPIX 5's Mary Lee went to San Mateo to meet the gaming leaders of the future.

The camp is part of the San Jose-based program "Girls Make Games." The program's goal is to inspire girls to become the next big designers, creators, and engineers in the gaming world while encouraging them to be anything they want to be in the process.

One of the students, Vanessa Meza, loves video games and started playing when she was just three years old.

"Seeing all these other girls with the exact same interests as me is like heaven," said Meza.

Laila Shabir is the CEO and Founder of Girls Make Games. She grew up in the Middle East and knows just how important it is to empower girls in tech.

She started the program four years ago when she was running her own educational game studio, but she was having a tough time recruiting women to join her team.

"I'd like to think that GMG [Girls Make Games] gives them a home where they can come and say, 'This is what I want to be!' or 'This is what I wanna do!' and 'I want to make a game that's about a bird that's half unicorn and half mermaid and half -- you know -- automobile!' And that's possible! Anything is possible," said Shabir.

"It's really awesome! Because ever since we were little, we're told, 'You can do whatever you want to do.'But you don't get to experience that until you go out and then try these things. And when you do it, you get to see, 'Whoa! This is something I can actually do," said Reva Sathe, another Girls Make Games student.

Girls Make Games aims to inspire the next generation of girls who will one day lead the gaming industry.

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