Following International Women’s Day last week, we’re continuing to highlight some of the women behind Codemasters’ games. The last interview in our series is with Christina McGrath, Codemasters’ very own Senior Community Engagement Manager.
What do you do at Codemasters?
My official job title is ‘Senior Community Engagement Manager’, but informally I’m known as Captain Internet/’the one off Twitter’.
How long have you worked at Codemasters?
I joined the team back in 2015, so I’ve been here almost three and a half years. I’ve worked on 12 games in that time, across Codemasters’ mobile and console wings – so it’s been a busy three and a half years!
How did you get into the games industry?
Growing up, I never really knew that working in games was an option if you weren’t a programmer – as an outsider to the industry, I was a bit naive and thought everyone needed to make a game was a coder. Then as I started to get into games, I joined communities and started to realise just how many opportunities there were to make a contribution to the industry with a skill set like mine. I’ve been working in community management for a decade now (both for and outside of games), and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What does a day in your job look like?
Succinctly: tea, tweets and emails! On a serious note, though… What doesn’t it look like? Working in Community means you get a uniquely broad overview of how things work; on a morning I might be in a meeting with some of our marketing partners, or meeting our Licensing team to see if cool assets have been approved for use yet, or dropping bombs in the DiRTy Gossip thread, or in a meeting with the development team about plans for our current and future titles… No one day looks the same. I can go from being in a field in Galway, to a race circuit in Spain, to the set of an advert at Pinewood Studios, to being at my desk.
How did you get into social media as a career?
I thought I was really witty and that social media was easy, so I pursued it quite deliberately. I was wrong on both counts! The best social media accounts and community teams make it look effortless, but it’s incredibly hard work at times. It’s also wildly rewarding at times, which is the very reason I love it.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on?
DiRT Rally 2.0. DiRT is, by far, the game closest to my heart, and I’m incredibly proud of some of the stuff we’ve done for it. There are too many things in that project I loved working on – the triple announcement, the real life rally, the Halloween trailer, the live-action trailer… It’s so rewarding to look back at these things and think, ‘I did that!’
I also really love working on some of the non-games things we do – like celebrating International Women’s Day or Pride Month, for example. I think it’s crucial to champion diversity and inclusivity where possible – I’m a firm believer that variety is the spice of life, and that games are better with diverse opinions and inputs. I’ve absolutely loved talking to colleagues for International Women’s Day about their experiences and why they love what they do, and I can’t wait to do more of it. I work with spectacularly talented people, and I feel like it’s a/ my duty to show them off, and b/ to show other spectacularly talented people how welcome they’d be at Codemasters.
What are you playing at the moment?
Aside from DiRT Rally 2.0? I’m about four hours into Anthem at the moment, and about 200 hours into Pro Evolution Soccer 2019. I’m also halfway through Inside, which has the most beautiful art style. Oh, and like, Mandy, I play Pokémon Go every day too! Gotta catch ‘em all, etc.
What’s your favourite bit about your job?
When I watch the credits of our latest release and see my name in lights. The novelty still hasn’t worn off.