Women in Games Jobs (WIGJ) is delighted to announce that Jenny Richards-Stewart is to join the not for profit organisation as CEO. Jenny has had a long and impressive career in the games and education sectors. She was joint CEO of Gremlin Group PLC and presided over its sale to Infogrames/Atari in 1999. She was the Chair of the Board of Governors at GamesAid sponsored, Paddington Academy for six years and she has worked for a number of diverse companies including digital mobile marketing agencies as a non-Executive director. Throughout her working life she has been a passionate advocate for encouraging women to maximise their potential.
David Smith, Founder of WIGJ commented, “The WIGJ network continues to grow. It now has nearly 5000 supporters globally and this year’s annual conference was again a sell-out. The level of awareness of the gender imbalance in the games sector has increased significantly since WIGJ was founded but there is much more to do to encourage the recruitment and retention of a more diverse games industry workforce. We think Jenny will help bring WIGJ to the next level of becoming a professional membership organisation capable of working with government, trade bodies, employers, those already working in games and job seekers to campaign for a more inclusive games sector for the benefit of the games industry as a whole.”
Jenny Richards- Stewart responded “I have attended several WIGJ events and fully support their aims and aspirations. I feel that there is need for an organisation within the games industry which promotes equality and encourages new talent to join this exciting industry. I think WIGJ has done some great work in this arena and has the potential to become even more influential. I want to take WIGJ forward to the next stage by developing closer ties with key organisations and raising its profile in the games industry.”
Thanks to nearly half of delegates who completed the feedback form on-line. We will take all your comments on board for future conferences and events. With a similar feedback format to last year we can also make some year on year comparisons.
Over 1 in 8 delegates were male (2013, 1 in 5). 42% of delegates were aged 26-35 ( 2013, 59%). Nearly 75% were under 35 (2013, 85%). 58% had 5 years’ experience in the games industry or less (2013, 57%). Only 60% considered themselves to be working already for a developer or publisher compared to 80% last year.
26% of delegates rated the conference with the highest score of 10 out of 10. ( 2013, 38% ) The average rating was 7.5 out of 10. (2013, 8.4).
Elaine Reynolds and Trang Ho were the most highly rated speakers. With the 2 careers panels after lunch being scored most highly. Criticisms included the disorganisation after 11.30 caused by the late cancellation of a key note speaker and a panel chair who was delayed but these were more than offset by 2 excellent career panels after lunch. For 71% of delegates, it was their first time at the European Women in Games Conference. 80% reported that they were interested in attending the conference in 2015. (2013, 88%)
Here are some of the final comments.
“It was a great experience overall. The people were great, the panels were great.”
“I learnt a fair bit about it and like to work in it more now.”
“It was an amazing experience that showed diversity and equality within gaming.”
“Overall it was great and the energy was very positive.”
“I am glad that this event exists and hope it will keep getting better.”
Game Careers was thrilled to chat with game designer and producer Robin Hunicke, perhaps best known for her role as executive producer on blockbuster PSN game Journey. Her game titles include family-friendly franchises like The Sims2, MySims, whimsical online game Glitch and Steven Spielberg’s Boom Blox for Nintendo Wii. She is currently co-founder of the independent game studio, Funomena. There, alongside fellow Journey developer Martin Middleton, she is building a team to work on experimental gameplay projects and games for social good. An artist and computer scientist by training, Robin’s goal is to bring positive, new and unexpected gaming experiences to the public. A passionate advocate of Experimental Gameplay, she organizes the Experimental Gameplay Workshop, and has acted as chair of LA’s annual IndieCade festival. Through her public speaking, volunteer work and academic studies, she evangelizes fresh, broadly-accessible ideas, sustainable work practices and increased diversity in our industry.
Robin offers this suggestion to the Game Careers audience who are considering a career in games: “My best and most important piece of advice to someone who is seeking work in the games industry is to live a full and genuine life…to follow your heart, to have passions, to be curious, to travel. When I look at a resume, I just don’t just look at where they have worked. I look at where they have travelled to, the kinds of things they have built. I want to have a community of peers that isn’t just all about video games. Although those are important, I want to hear about the life you want to live and the world you want to live in.” Watch the full interview in the video that follows:
The fourth annual European Women in Games Conference is to take place on Wednesday 10th September at London South Bank University.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Your future in games.” The programme will feature a range of current topics including setting up your own games company, games industry career advice to how to encourage more school children to consider a career in the games industry.
As last year, the day’s conference will comprise a mix of keynote speeches, panel discussions and the European Women in Games Hall of Fame Awards and a Forum for HR Managers. The line-up of speakers and panellists will reflect the diverse talent that exists in the games industry. Key note speakers will include Emma Mulqueeny, the founder of Rewired State and Young Rewired State and a Commissioner for the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and Andrew Webber, Marketing Director – Audience Acquisition at Microsoft. 24 speakers have so far confirmed at Latest Agenda. More speakers and panellists will be announced over the coming weeks.
The conference has steadily grown in popularity since its inaugural event in 2011. This year’s event is expected to have the greatest attendance yet helped by the early bird ticket price of £20 per person.
This makes the conference much more accessible to students and entry level games industry professionals. In addition the organisers are keen to stress that this is an inclusive event and male delegates are equally very welcome.
Announcing the details of the conference organiser David Smith said, “The European Women in Games Conference has steadily grown over the past four years. The 2014 event will help all industry professionals’ progress their careers and we are making it accessible to everyone. I’d like to thank Siobhan Thomas, Course Director, BA (Hons) Game Cultures and London South Bank University for hosting the conference and making it possible for us to offer attractive ticket prices for a first rate and pertinent programme both for existing industry professionals as well as those hoping to join our industry.”
Women in Games Jobs is pleased to announce the next London Meetup will be held at The Alice, 133 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX near Liverpool Street station on 14th May 2014 from 6.00 pm. These meetups are the opportunity for anyone interested in gaming to meet leading, female video game professionals and an opportunity for you to network with other women in the industry over a drink. Men are welcome too. The Free tickets will be popular. Book now at http://www.meetup.com/WIGJMeetup/events/173530642/
For this meetup we are delighted to have as our speaker Catharina Lavers Mallet from the recently floated King.com. Catharina is the UK Head of Studio at King, the world’s leading cross-platform, bite-sized games company. Catharina leads teams of over 200 developers, artists, designers and data-driven product people to make some of the world’s best-loved casual games, including top Facebook game Farm Heroes Saga. Prior to joining King in early 2012, Catharina held a variety of roles at Electronic Arts/Playfish, including overseeing the development of The Sims Social and serving as the Product Manager for Pet Society.
Looking to make your first steps into the games industry? Siobhan Reddy from Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) explains what she’s looking for, what it takes to get your CV noticed, and why a showreel can be so crucial for your work. Find out more about gaming on BAFTA Guru
Game Careers recently had the chance to speak with Susan Gold, professor of game design at Full Sail University and president of the Global Game Jam. Susan joined the faculty of Full Sail University’s Graduate in 2009, after founding the annual Global Game Jam, an experiment in creativity and innovation in game development. With more than 16,000 game developers participating in 2013, Susan is the developer of the world’s largest collaborative interactive video game development event. Susan’s frequent conference talks and consistent outreach efforts has extended the Global Game Jam to over 58 countries, effectively changing the course of game development around the world.
Susan served as the chairperson of the IGDA Education SIG from 2006-2010, and continues to develop tools and resources for educator professional development. Susan orchestrated the Education Summit at GDC from 2006-2010, the Anigames Expo in Bogota, Colombia from 2010-2012, the Federal Games Working Group Summit at Games for Change in 2012, and is helping to organize the 2013 DigiWorld Conference in France. Susan has been consulting with the U.S. Office of Science &Technology Policy with projects like Apps for Healthy Kids, the STEM education initiative and now, the Federal Working Group in Games. Susan got her start and organizational skills as a community activist in Chicago.
In Susan’s exclusive interview with David Smith of Game Careers, she talks about how game developers can benefit from the innovative collaboration at the Global Games Jam: “Being part of your community is so important. Knowing the people that you want to work with in the future, or just having an opportunity to learn from those people. You have a bigger mentorship happening at that time, at the game jam. But more importantly, it’s the relationships you make, the network you create for yourself, as well as the ability to take that game and show other people what you have done. Without a game, you can’t get a job.” Watch the full interview with Susan that follows:
The European Women in Games Conference 2013,will take place on 25th September at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel Kensington, London, UK. The theme of this year’s conference will be Creating Your Future .
Get top insight and be inspired by leading industry figures Siobhan Reddy and Caroline Norbury MBE and meet other leading and dynamic women within the industry.
Alison Cressey CEO of WIGJ commented : “ I am excited to confirm Siobhan and Caroline as keynote speakers. Siobhan is studio director at Media Molecule the producers of the successful Little Big Planet franchise. As an innovative and dynamic role model I am very much looking forward to her keynote. Caroline is a passionate advocate on diversity and its necessity for success and I am sure will be an inspiration to us all.”
The conference will feature over 30 industry speakers as well as the return of the popular hosted roundtables.
New for this year will be a Student showcase and HR manager’s forum.
We are delighted to announce we will also be hosting the European Women in Games Hall of Fame awards this year sponsored by Electronic Arts.
Conference partners include BAFTA, Creative England, IGDA and Women in Games International.
The European Women in Games Conference is an inclusive event for both men and women games, technology and media professionals.
Super Early bird tickets are now available at £95 until 11 August. Our first, full day conference includes drinks on arrival and at breaks in the morning and afternoon and Chef’s 3 Choice Menu lunch with sumptuous salads, main courses and selection of desserts. Buy today athttp://wigconference2013.eventbrite.com
The conference starts at 9.30am until 5.00pm with sponsored drinks until 7.00pm. Registration starts at 8.45am.
More speakers and conference line up to be announced.