Faith, CVs and The Games Industry

Note: Hey! I forgot to say, I hit 100 posts the other week, with my Lieve Oma piece! I’m immensely proud at what this blog has become. I’ve surpassed my own expectations at keeping it going for this long. Here’s to the next 100! — Pip : -)

A few weeks ago, I had to redo my CV in order to apply for work experience at a games studio. After the usual period of procrastination, I did so and sent it off to a few people I trusted to provide valuable insight. Whilst they were all extremely positive (yay!) about it, one contained the following paragraph:

(Quick Note: In my university’s Christian Union, I’m the “Real Food co-ordinator”. This involves organising two Bible studies a week, as well as training/looking after 3–4 leaders. I’d mentioned this on my CV due to the valuable organisational and leadership skills it provides)

“Your Food Coordinator role is valuable to you, as is the knowledge transfer in your training role. However, you might meet some resistance to it being couched in terms of Christianity. Unfortunately faith carries a set of assumptions and prejudices, which might include that you would object to swearing in the office, be over-serious within the culture of the office or would object to producing common game content on the basis of these principles. While none of this may be the case, much of game industry culture is relaxed, joking and quite ‘laddish’ both in the drinking ‘work hard — play hard’ culture and the content of many current games and you may face prejudicial assumptions that you are a bad fit for that. It is a shame that it is not helpful to be able to discuss something that is an important part of your life, but my advice would be to recast that part in a secular way, so you are able to talk about the transferable skills without casting it in a manner that would likely not benefit you.”

This got me thinking. Though I’ve not talked about it much on here, I’m a Christian. It’s a big part of my life and of me. I’ve been mulling over the thought ever since. Is it right to remove/rephrase this part of my CV, in order to maintain a higher chance at attaining a job, or should I keep it as it is?

It’s funny just how much this splits me. At a moral level, I should keep it on my CV. After all, if a company isn’t going to consider hiring me, due to me being a Christian, then is it the sort of atmosphere I want to work in? Christianity forms such a significant chunk of my life, that even removing it from my CV feels like I’m not representing myself to the fullest. It also feels like taking a step back and almost hiding God, only talking about my faith when it feels safe and comfortable to.

Yet, using practical reasoning, these excuses don’t make sense. When discussing this with my friend Gurdeep, he came up with two very valid points:

“If you can see yourself removing that part, you can reconcile it by thinking of your faith as a relationship between you and God.”
“Seeing the world for what it is isn’t great”

I think both of these points are incredibly valid and ring true to similar thoughts within my head. The Games Industry is, sadly, lacking in diversity. Whilst many people are campaigning and actively increasing the diversity within the industry, last year it was still 75% male. This also reflects on the valid point made by the feedback given to me:

“much of game industry culture is relaxed, joking and quite ‘laddish’ both in the drinking ‘work hard — play hard’ culture and the content of many current games and you may face prejudicial assumptions that you are a bad fit for that.”

(Now, before I continue on with this, I totally get the irony of this. One of the main points raised was that, being a Christian I would be far too serious. Now, here I am, 4 days later, dissecting my feelings about it all!)

Even if I take the line off of my CV, my relationship with my faith won’t change. I’ll still be a Christian, I’ll still have God, I’ll still be the same. Taking it off, would potentially help me land a job/work experience, and won’t affect my faith. I could potentially rewrite it, so that I maintain the example of those skills, whilst refraining to mention my faith.

However, ultimately, I think it comes down to personal preference. I find it fascinating that I could be rejected due to my faith, but another question is, would a studio that rejects me simply for being a Christian, be a studio that I’d be happy to work in? Essentially, I don’t think that matters too much. There will always be people whose views disagree with yours, whether believer or non-believer. It’s learning to work with, become friends with and accept people that aren’t of the same beliefs with you that is important.

My final decision was to keep the line in. I don’t particularly feel comfortable taking it out. Whilst there may be benefits to removing it, I feel like getting rid of it is almost deceptive, almost as if I’m trying to pretend that I’m not a Christian. My faith is so personal and dear to me, that I think that I’m inevitably okay with being rejected if the reason is simply for being a Christian.

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