OPEN Meeting – Futures – Open to all – to discuss future direction(s) of Women In Games conference.

Chair : Steering Committee

My Thoughts

Discussion on how to open communications, get funding, and perhaps do more or less of the different areas already in the conference. I didn’t note down who said what because frankly it was hard to keep track of the topics, nevermind who was saying them 🙂


Aim: Debrief, and new years for next years steering committee, and feedback on how things could be improved.

Aim was to bring in people form academia, and industry and bring in reports and information to the conference.


The title of it, “Women in Games” can be ambiguous (avatars? or industry? or what). The cost is enough that GDC needs the funds put towards to it.

  • The ethos originally was not an industry event, and was based around networking and avatars.
  • Possibly doing in the future different streams – academic, industry. But hard because people want to be involved in both.

What do you get out of GDC instead of this?

  • Post-mortems – practical information about projects. Directly applicable. Technically focused.
  • Most useful Womens based conference, but increasingly hard sell to CEO’s. Something every week of the year. Reason we send to GDC from Blitz is there are technical talks – training. If we want to continue combining academic side and industry, education route is the main one. Really want this conference to succeed, but very difficult to justify. Do try and get speakers, but do send to attend (8 to GDC, 8 to whatever…)
  • Academics were happy with paying for entry, industry was surprised. It is typically the same with all academic conferences. Rather then other conferences when the speakers come for free in industry.
  • No funding available for funding for paying speakers, since there is nothing to publish for the money.
  • GDC is bigger scale – can pay people to help, get more money.

Education themed – get funding that route. Like Games:EDU attached to Develop. Possible funding attached.

More rigourous academic side perhaps. A journal, not just that women want to read.

See more results from academia at the conference.

  • Posters for academic results is one possibility. Funding – hard to justify perhaps just for a poster.

More practical talks perhaps?

  • What’s relevant to women in that situation?
  • Part of it is just for women in games, not just about women in games. So can be applicable.
    • Doesn’t have to be women specific – have women presenting it.
  • Maybe just be a mixer? The London “Women in Games afternoon”
    • Difficult to travel to. Would like to get younger women to get to these conferences, but the cost is too high. Mixers are a lovely idea – america does it better, go further.

If there was an organisation that handled Women in Games conference all year round, and the conference is just a meeting point, that would make it a lot more feasible. Need funding though.

  • Could backing be a virtual one?
    • A portal might work. More events might want to be connected to it.
    • Money and time is a problem. Basically volunteers doing it currently on top of their job (GDC has people paid to do it).
  • Should be some accessible funding from Government or Europe for “women in technology”. A decent proposal would get us some money.

Networking benefit is good. Hard to sell to get the funding. Sponsors for it?

  • Branding for the specific meetings
  • Can you get them to put the money where their mouth is?
  • If we approached them as an on going thing. “Are you interested in sponsoring an event per year”. It’s finding the person to approach.

More sociable as a conference. Mixers – sitting next to one person. Conferences have discussion points, more things to see more people.

  • It’s a given that this conference might be sociable 🙂

Enjoy the academic side. Teaching the publishers about the problems – the Hellgate London team hate the marketers for some terrible advertising, Kane and Lynch people – need to make it more accessible and inclusive. Presenting it correctly is important.

  • A few publishers in the past have come.

The number of men at the conference was really low. But lack of managers here. It should be made beneficial for men to come and see the issues.

  • The title is a bit ambiguous, an exclusive tone to it.
  • “Emitted feminists wanting to get into the industry” was an impression
  • Maybe the diversity route, “Diversity in Games”
    • Great event to have women meeting women, but having more men is against this. Conflicting things academia vs. industry.
    • Maybe have a specific day to discuss management things, bring the specific management in for that.

Maybe make it much more structured. Make one day more academic, one more working in the industry, etc. – rather then mixing it all up.

  • If you did that and had day passes it’d be fantastic for justifying it to managers, more people to come.
  • Can also do the entire conference if you wanted.
  • More structure would be better, and is what expected.
    • There isn’t any specific themes noted in the program but there are some some themes. The submitter had to choose the theme in most cases (since no papers were submitted).
    • Probably specifically end up with two separate days if the content is split up, very few would stay for both.

For academic publishing (which would boost the academic side) it is hard to find a publication to use. Without having an already started this, there is no precedent for doing it. Can self-publish but it’s not got the prestige.

  • A special one to encompass the last few years?
  • 5 or 6 from the 20 presentations perhaps.

Maybe have “Girls in Games” Meet “Women in Games” – as a point to get teenagers involved.

  • Hard to do and organise – go around the country!
  • A week per region perhaps.
  • Funding from the companies (see above for problems).
  • Some visibility online would be a good idea. A page online people keep looking at. Companies and individuals see the point – companies for the advertising at least.

Sister organisation with the American organisation

  • Get help from them, contacts! Big American publishers perhaps “don’t care” about the UK.
  • WIGI has a influence at GDC mainly, with regional meetings.
    • Maybe get it annexed as part of the Edinburgh festival.
    • Possibly not too good – smaller independents don’t always go, it’s more consumer focused.

Thoughts on the Facebook group?

  • Facebook can only get so far.
  • You join the group! Then really nothing. Hard to see updates, never tells you when a group is updated
  • Have regular updates on the WIG blog
  • Mentors? finding them, making the group help to get them available.

  • Additionally next year could discuss how it worked or didn’t.
  • Help attract more students to the conference.

Forums, mailing lists and blog comments (any one!) for more interaction are required. More frequent updates.

  • Problem of time – people don’t have it to work on the moderation aspect, which is definitely required.
  • Get students who have tons of time to help perhaps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website and journal of Andrew Armstrong