Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women

Game Industry's 100 Most Influential Women

In anticipation of this week’s Women in Games Conference in Seattle, edge-online.com has produced a list and biographies of 100 women in the game industry who are making a difference…
 

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In advance of this week’s Women in Games International conference in Seattle, “The Balancing Act: Game Industry Careers and Quality of Life,” we are pleased to present our choices for the “top 100 women in games” to our readership.

While it is a known fact that the ratio of women to men working in the games industry is remarkably off-kilter, it is unclear what this data truly means to the game community. One widely-supported idea is that, by including the viewpoint and talents of women in the game development process, nothing is left to chance in terms of looking at the big picture.

A gender-inclusive approach to game design and marketing of games may ensure that most, if not all, considerations to producing games for myriad markets are not overlooked. Games are no longer produced for a niche market of players; they are produced for complex, over-lapping layers of demographically, geographically, socially and culturally-influenced consumer groups. Including skilled women in the game creation dialogue for these markets allows for maximum potential return in game design, production, management, sales and marketing for the growing masses.

Another idea is that women in the game industry have the extra advantage of understanding what types and genres of games female consumers will want to play. Increasingly, the game-playing trends and tastes of women and girls are playing heavily into market growth opportunity for game software and hardware companies. Entire divisions and company strategies are being built up around female players and their game play preferences.

To demonstrate the broad range of women in games who are today’s representatives and purveyors of these ideas, Next Generation has compiled their list of top women in games, from luminaries to lesser known members of the game community.

These women are impacting not only the industry trade of making and marketing games, but are also exploring games as social commentary, games as art, games as educational tools, games as a story-telling medium, and games as the leading form of entertainment in our world today.  They include leaders and founders, academics and educators, consultants and vendors, authors and editorialists, marketers and pitch people, creatives and technologists. 

We polled the game community through the IGDA’s lists, the membership of Women in Games International and the public relations departments of the game publishers to derive the most balanced, but diverse and current, group of female leaders, innovators and contributors to world of interactive games.

Inevitably, we fear some significant women were, in error, left off this list. This is to be expected, since locating many of the women was an arduous challenge. We will run a follow-up article next week to include those who were perhaps overlooked and apologize in advance.Please email us with your suggestions.

Fiona Cherbak
Chair, PR Committee
Women In Games International

Special thanks to my highly capable and persistent research associate, Evie Marzec in Seattle.

About the Author

Fiona Cherbak is Chair, Public Relations Committee for Women In Games International and Director of Business Development, Mary-Margaret.com.