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  • Inspiration abounds at the European Women in Games Conference 2011, London

    James Hakesley Photography

    Thursday September 22nd 2011 at NH Harrington Hall Hotel, London, some of the games industry’s most successful female achievers inspired other women seeking to enter the games industry and those wishing to progress their careers – at the annual European Women in Games Conference and Networking event.

    Women in Games Jobs founder David Smith was delighted, “Thank you to all who came today – doubling our expected turn out for this, our first Conference event. Thanks to our keynote speaker Fiona Sperry, Studio Director and VP, of EA Criterion Games, and Jude Ower, CEO of The PlayMob. Both of who shared key career insights and inspirations which I am sure everyone here today appreciates greatly.”

    Fiona Sperry’s down to earth and frank story of her career journey centred on her fundamental belief that quality brings success. Of this, Fiona said, “Perform well and you should be rewarded for it. Take responsibility for your journey and do what you love – the one characteristic that winners share is that they care more than anyone else.”

    Jude Ower agreed with this and demonstrated her slightly different route into the games industry via educational games. She demonstrated how games can have an extraordinarily positive and real effect on people and the world around us by demonstrating their new core platform GiverBoard. This connects games to charities, allowing game play to be used to donate money to real world charities. Already showing huge success with its first campaign and appreciation and support from the gaming community we are sure to see more of this from The PlayMob.

    Professional Enterprise Coach, Andrew Tilling of Preseli Partnerships took the attendees on a more personal journey, helping every attendee to clarify their thinking on where they are at now and to examine where they want to be. He introduced the meanings of success and ways of reframing obstacles whilst always keeping an eye on your goal.

    A quick fire Q&A session followed with a panel of games experts including Antonia Cullum, Talent Manager, Natural Selection; Ali Bergstrom-Allen, Senior Producer, Sony Computer Entertainment; Maggie Berry, MD, Women in Technology; Louise Murray, Head of Fable Franchise, Lionhead Studios; and Prof. Dr. Linda Breitlauch, Professor of Games Design at Media Design University of Applied Sciences, Germany. All took a variety of questions encouraging different approaches of getting into and progressing to the top of the games industry. Topics were raised on how best to present your CV and how to make the most of networking opportunities. It seems clear that male or female is you have passion and talent you can go far.

    An exciting finale to the Conference was announcement and presentation by Alison Cressey, former Europe GM at Activision, of the newly launched Hall of Fame Awards which this year went to Frederique Doumic, CEO of OUAT Entertainment and Louise Murray, Lionhead Studios. The Hall of Fame will now grow year on year to celebrate the achievement of women across the industry.

    A special thanks goes to Ginger Graham, Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager for Electronic Arts who came over from the US, especially for the Conference. A key sponsor, they support the bringing of their organisation into alignment with the diversity of their customers and game players. Ginger said, “EA knows the importance of reaching and supporting top talent on a global scale. We are very proud to sponsor the Women in Games Jobs luncheon which will provide an intimate venue for collaboration, networking and sharing best practices.”

    Interactive Selection, global games recruiter, sponsored drinks after the main conference ended giving the delegates a further chance for the networking necessary to succeed in the games business.

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