WOMEN are being urged to break into the "boys' playground" of computer games design.

Digital game developers from from around the world will link up with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) this weekend for the Global Games Jam 2018.

And ahead of the event Dr Romana Ramzan, GCU lecturer in Games Software Development, is calling on women to get involved.

She said: “I never thought I could have a career in games.

“It was only during the fourth year of my Internet Software degree that I realised it was something I could pursue.

“Encouraging greater gender diversity can only enrich and strengthen the industry by bringing new perspectives that can lead to more creative gaming experiences.

“When I speak at events and run workshops, it helps to break the stereotype of what a game designer looks like.

"They see a young woman stood before them and it gets them thinking, before I’ve even said anything, that this is no longer a boys’ playground."

This year is the 10th anniversary of the game-creation event, which takes place from Friday until Sunday.

A Game Jam starts with designers being given a theme, late on a Friday afternoon, and they then have until Sunday afternoon to complete a game based on that theme.

The games community has come under fire for its sexist abuse of women with reports of women receiving three times as much in-game abuse as men.

At the first Scottish Game Jam in 2009 there were no women taken part but more are now getting involved.

According to Dr Ramzan, the Global Game Jam invites students to explore new technology tools, try new roles in development and test their skills.

GCU’s Saltire Centre will host 200 jammers, a mix of students from GCU, the University of West of Scotland and Glasgow School Art, along with industry professionals and keen amateurs.

Dr Ramzan, who recently scooped the award for Professional of the Year at the Scottish Asian Business Awards 2017, added: “We’re excited to once again be a host site for the 2018 Global Game Jam, especially as this year marks its 10th anniversary.

"It’s wonderful to see how the event has changed since its inception; we’ve grown from 23 participants to 170 plus.

“Many of the people who took part in the very first Jam will be returning and it’s great to see how the event has transformed the lives of so many participants.

“Some have gone on to set up their own companies as well as being nominated for BAFTA awards. The Global Game Jam is a highlight of the gaming calendar and it offers a great opportunity for those who take part to put their skills to the test.”

The Global Game Jam will this year take place between Friday, January 26, and Sunday, January 28.

Last year, more than 700 locations in 95 countries created 7000 games in one weekend.