As a woman in the business world, I’m not always thrilled about being celebrated for successes because I happen to be a specific gender. (I’m particularly thinking about things like special awards categories such as “Top Women in XX Industry”).
That said, there is something unique about the role International Women’s Day plays in supporting a more inclusive world – which is something I absolutely can get behind. This year’s theme is #choosetochallenge and in the words of the organization that supports this initiative:
“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.”
They go on to encourage us to help forge a gender equal world through celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.
It’s in this spirit that I want to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible talent that will be at GDC Showcase next week who will be sharing their wisdom with the world. They just all happen to be women.
Joahanna Thomas, HR Manager, Avalanche Studios kicks us off on Monday with an extremely timely discussion session titled “Diversity and Inclusion Starter Kit.” I think we can all agree that it seems daunting to start a D&I initiative from scratch, so we pulled this practical session from the Vault, with Joahanna joining live to answer your questions alongside the presentation. This session aims to provide tips, best practices, and lessons from Avalanche Studios’ mistakes.
Obsidian Entertainment's Carrie Patel joins us on Tuesday for an AMA session. As a game director and senior narrative designer, Carrie will be answering your questions about her experience working on The Outer Worlds and Pillars of Eternity including the White March expansion, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, and the first expansion for The Outer Worlds, Peril on Gorgon. As a game industry veteran, she can also provide insight into game direction and narrative design in general. You won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to pick her brain.
And what GDC event would be complete without the rockstar that is Victoria Tran (Community Director, Innersloth). She joins us for a fresh new session on “Making Marketing Mistakes.” In a world full of desolate contests, misspelled tweets, and forgetfulness, we'll will explore how: 1) mistakes will/should happen 2) there is a way to "correctly" fail and 3) the best lessons come from failure. Victoria encourages us to get past the embarrassment, learn how to bounce back, and celebrate failing! A lesson that I often find myself repeating more as a mantra these days…
I’d be remiss if didn’t mention that our Platinum partners for GDC Showcase are also sending along their A-team to share some pretty amazing content:
Facebook is bringing together Mary Kim (Head of Growth, Game Hive), with several other colleagues to discuss “From the Burden of Waterfalls to the Benefits of Bidding.”
Pamela Harrison (Software Technical Consulting Engineer, Intel Corporation) takes us through delivering best-in-class visuals, smooth game performance, and optimal gameplay through the use of Intel Dev Tools.
And last, but certainly not least, Unity’s Ashley Alicea (Sr. Developer Advocate) will show us the power of Unity Visual Scripting- a new workflow for artists, designers, programmers, and others who want to make powerful interactive behaviors for their games.
And folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impressive skills members of our GDC speaker community wield. I hope you’ll join us March 15-19 for GDC Showcase where you can learn from these impressive industry veterans, and many others.
The week is meant to be a taste of what GDC’s flagship conference is all about, and a celebration of the incredible talent the Game Dev community boasts – regardless of where you fall on the gender spectrum.