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  • 26Mar

    Microsoft hosts 8th Annual Women in Gaming Awards luncheon

    On Wednesday, Microsoft and IDGA Women in Games hosted the 8th Annual Women in Games awards at GDC. This year the awards were given over a luncheon at the W. I had a golden ticket as the liveblogger/twitter reporter for the day.

    Before the event opened, women were able to network at the registration table. I had to power up my laptop.

    Every attendee was assigned a table where salad was already served. Of course, it’s hard to eat when all you want to do is meet the fabulous women sitting around you. The packed room at the W contained a variety of women that work in the industry. Some names you may know off hand are women like Kim Swift from Valve Software and Kiki Wolfkill from Microsoft Game Studios. At my table alone we had someone from EA (Dead Space), Media Molecule (Little Big Planet), Microsoft (Recruiting), Redstorm (Ghost Recon), and Turbine (LOTRO).

    The awards started with the announcement by Fiona Cherbak and Karen Clark about the new Game Mentoring program. The program is designed to help mentor men and women as they get out of college and work their way through the game industry. At this time you have to be a student to apply for a match. You can read more about how to become a Protage here. If you have worked in the industry for 3 years, you can read about how to become a mentor here. Overall it’s an amazing program that GamingAngels.com fully supports and hopes to be a sponsor of.

    Kiki Wolfkill from Microsoft Studios opened the show, followed by a video of Will Wright. In the video, Will spoke about affect of having women on dev teams. With a hope that there is more attention placed on concentrating on diversity.

    The awards consisted of nominees in Art, Design, Engineering, and Production. The women nominated are all amazing, but in the end someone has to win. Here is a short list of the winners:
    Robin Hunicke senior designer for EA LA wins in the design category.
    Kiki Wolfkill from Microsoft Games (Halo series) won in the art category
    Siobhan Reddy from Media Molecule won in the production category.
    Corrinne Yu from Halo Microsoft Gaming team won engineering category.

    The event ended with closing remarks from Samantha Ryan, Senior VP of Production & Development at Warner Bros Interactive. Prizes were given away and I won a Halo soundtrack.

    It’s difficult to describe the feelings from being in a room with so many accomplished, positive, and hard working women. A common theme was that not all their career paths started in the Games Industry. But with determination they got there. It’s definitely about taking a chance and going after your dreams. Microsoft and IDGA Women in Games put on a great event and will probably need an even bigger room for next year.

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