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GDC 2013 adds 'Advocacy Track' talks on women in games, games' public image

GDC 2013 organizers have revealed new Advocacy Track talks for its March conference, including sessions on discussing women in games, improving the public image of games, and writing more diverse game characters.
The Advocacy Track is just one of seven Main Conference tracks to be held Wednesday-Friday, March 27-29 during the Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.
GDC has programmed its own sessions and also partnered with the IGDA for this track to present topics such as diversity, censorship, and quality of life, with the goal of offering "a forum for discussion and ultimately a place to effect change for the development community."
In a newly announced panel inspired by the #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe Twitter hashtag discussions, researchers, critics, and designers will present what it means to be a woman in the games industry and what actions everyone can take to foster more inclusiveness.
The panel will include Gamasutra editor at large Leigh Alexander, game critic and San Francisco State University Masters student Mattie Brice, Funomena co-founder Robin Hunicke, Microsoft Studios game designer Kim McAuliffe, game designer and IGDA's Women in Games chair Brenda Romero, and Storm8 game designer Elizabeth Sampat.

Elsewhere, in the session 'Scapegoats No More: Improving the Public Image of Games,' veteran advocates of games will identify central public image issues and offer concrete strategies and tactics for improving this image. Speakers for this session will be professor, game designer, and distinguished chair of the Georgia Institute of Technology Ian Bogost, former president of Epic Games Mike Capps, and IGDA representative and writer Daniel Greenberg.
Finally, Ubisoft scriptwriter Jill Murray, whose credits include (pictured) Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, will offer immediately applicable tips in 'Diverse Game Characters: Write Them Now!' Championing "research, imagination, consideration, and yes, the risk of getting it wrong," her talk will show how diversity can not only strengthen writing, it can open "new narrative possibilities and gameplay paradigms."
Other talks in the expanded Advocacy Track include a panel on 'Clone Wars' featuring Tiny Tower's Ian Marsh and Triple Town's David Edery, as well as a lecture from Jane McGonigal on 'designing games for maximum real-life impact', and a panel on recognizing the health risks of game development. For more information on these lectures or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2013's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week.
GDC still offers over $100 discounts to select pass purchases made by March 20th, at 11:59pm EST, with prices increasing for onsite registration. GDC 2013 itself will take place March 25-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
For more information on GDC 2013, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.



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