Maru enters the MCV Pacific Women In Games list for a second time.
With a long career in game, Maru looks back on her career with warm regards. She tells MCV Pacific, "My first career highlight was back in 2007 when my first game, 'Cube,' for the PlayStation Portable was published worldwide."
A decade later, and Maru is still going strong. Her latest title, a tower defense game called 'Maori Pa Wars', is currently in development. Releasing in May this year, the title will be the be the first time they have published a game that is available in the Maori language.
Maru has spent a good part of the last 12 months developing an educational online gaming project. At the start of the year she decided to do a Masters in Applied Practice (Technological Futures) through Tech Futures Lab and brought that project into the Masters program. The rest of this year will be spent researching and developing this game in preparation for release in early 2018.
Her biggest achievement to date came in October last year when Maru was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to gaming and mental health. She tells MCV Pacific, "It was a great feeling to have my work in gaming recognised and it really reinforces the idea that games can be used for more than just entertainment and have powerful, effective outcomes.
Continuing she spoke of her inclusion in this year's list, "Sometimes you don't realise how inspiring your work is until a young person approaches you and says "I want to do what you do". Moments like these make you reflect back on yourself and realise how much of a role model you can be."
"If I can inspire girls to look at gaming and technology as something they want to do and become involved in then that makes me happy. I'm in great company on this list and see all of us as role models for the next generation, what an honour."
Maru was featured in our first Women In Games list in 2015.