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About Sheri

Sheri Graner Ray is the CEO and Founder of Zombie Cat Studios and a sought after design and production consultant. Shehas been designing computer games since 1989. She has worked for such companies as Electronic Arts, Origin Systems, Sony Online Entertainment and Cartoon Network. Most recently she worked with Jesse Schell at Schell Games as the studio’s Design Director. She is author of the book, “Gender Inclusive Game Design-Expanding the Market” which was nominated for Game Developer’s Book of the Year in 1996.

As an award-winning designer, her title GeoCommander was named Best Serious Game, Government Division at the 2008 I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase and Challenge. She has been awarded the IGDA’s Game Developer’s Choice award and has been on the Hollywood Reporter and WGEN’s lists of top women in games. In 1998 she founded the IGDA’s Women in Game Development Special Interest Group and served as its leader for 10 years. In 2000 she was a founding member of Women in Games International and served as its Executive Director for 6 years. She is a sought out speaker on the subject of game design at conferences worldwide.



  1. I am a freelance permission editor working with Pearson Education on a college textbook. We need to get permission to reprint some excerpts from your book, Gender Inclusive Game Design. Please contact me with either an e-mail address of fax number where I can send a formal permission request letter. Thanks!

  2. Anna Walsh Anna Walsh

    I’m sorry to bother you but I’m creating an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) on the portrayal of females in video games for my sixth form project and was wondering whether you had any comments or opinions on the matter? My supervisor advised me to ask people in the video game industry who are involved in the area I’m researching, and I read an interview you gave to Beth Winegarner and thought you’d be perfect.
    I understand if you have too muchat the moment to reply, but I thought I’d try anyway. Thanks for your time.

  3. Hi Anna,

    Sure, I’d be happy to help you. Just drop me a note at sheri at schellgames dot com. Thanks!

  4. David Merrett David Merrett


    I’m currently in my third year at the University of Leicester. I’m starting work on my dissertation concerning gender representation in video games. As well as reading journal articles and books, I thought that contacting people in the industry would ground my dissertation and also add a unique touch.

    I was wondering whether you had any comments or thoughts? There’s already been some really useful excerpts referenced in Sex in Video Games, as well as the interview and your book itself. So I thought you’d have some valuable insight.

    Anything you could offer would be very appreciated.

  5. […] I am being helped in this effort by some pillars of the gaming industry, including Jesse Schell, Sheri Graner Ray, and a couple others I am in talks with at the moment. At the end of this process, I hope to be […]

  6. Ryan Laley Ryan Laley

    Hi Sheri,

    I just wanted to say that I read your article about tutorials on Gamasutra and I wanted to contact you regarding it because I actually wrote a dissertation on the exact same topic for my degree here in the UK and I want to share my experiences and results.

    I too looked at the importance of tutorials in video games and found it odd that there wasn’t more research or articles about it. So I experimented on the difference between (what I called) linear tutorial systems and non-linear. Which match up the explorative and modelling terms you described.

    I made a prototype game with the two different tutorials and had people play the tutorial then challenged them with the game proper. This was all timed and I found that in all cases, players retained how to play the game after learning how to play in a linear tutorial (linear meaning a gauntlet style tutorial seen in a lot of shooters).

    This was a very interesting topic and one that I would hopefully continue to look at in the future perhaps if I do a PHD.

    I am currently teaching video game design in England and thought I had to contact you to see someone of your standing talk about things the same as I was a great honour.

    We even have you up as a poster to promote diversity in the game industry lol. Hope all is well and that I may even hear back from you.

  7. Michael Lyons Michael Lyons

    Hi Sheri,

    I just want to thank you for all the sharing here on these pages. I just read them all with great interest. It was especially enjoyable for me to read about your Origin years and the bits about the Ultima games which are very special to me. As you may know, Good Old Games ( has recently re-released the Ultima series up to and including Ultima VIII just the other day. It was from a discussion on the forums there that I found a link to these pages here. What began as interest in The Lost Vale turned into interest in you and your career and the issues of gender in games as I read more and more. I want to thank you for the good work you have done in the many ways you have done it over the course of your career thus far. This world is made a better place just a little bit at a time with the good seeds planted by people such as yourself.

    I especially want to thank you for whatever contributions you made to the wonderful Ultima games I so enjoyed in the past and will soon be enjoying again now that they are available again and playable on modern systems. Those games were so well done they are timeless in my opinion. There is without a doubt a strong nostalgia factor here but I know it will be so fun to play them again. So thank you for the hard work you did in contributing to them and for all those long hard crunch weeks you did. All that hard work still matters to this day as you can see here in this thank you I hope. And I am not alone in appreciating this fine work. There are many of us who are excited to see the Ultimas return again so we can enjoy them again.

    But enough of the Ultimas as much as I love them. I really want to thank you too for the good work you do in educating people about gender and gaming. This world has a long way to go but it is through the work of people such as yourself that we move forward, however slowly. Don’t ever be discouraged. What you’ve done and what you do matters. The seeds you plant will grow.

    After some of the trials and tribulations you have endured over the years I just wanted to take a little time here and let you know that I respect and admire you for your perseverance and excellent work and I wanted to thank you for it.

    I wish for you much happiness and success in your future endeavors.


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