A few months ago I wrote a blog post called “Women In The Gaming Space” (plix read it before you read the rest of this post). It was a response to things I’ve been thinking of for a long time, even since I started playing games a long time ago. It became a very re-tweeted post, and so far it has been read more than 300 times! For a blog with 30-70 views/day that’s quite a lot! People at game events even come to me and want to talk about the post, share their own experiences of being a minority or that they really want to see some kind of change about how women sometimes are treated as sexy candy in-game or at booths at press conferences.
So last week I summarized these things I’ve been thinking of, and posted it on Casual Connect’s Facebook page. I figured out the only way to hope for a change, was to make those with power aware of what I’m thinking. So here’s what happened:
My post at Casual Connect’s FB page. I know there’s some typos etc, but that was because it was straight from the heart and in the heat of the moment. If I had hesitated and read it trough several times, I don’t know if I had still had the guts to post it. I was seriously afraid of Internet trolls and the Saouron eye of hate that sometimes drown feminists like Anita Sarkeesian in a tsunami of hate and misogyny.
To my big surprise I got a response by Casual Connect, the post is still up one week later, and no trolls posted rape threats to me :O Let’s hope Casual Connect 2013 contains no naked chicks! The link to this post got liked around 25 times on my personal FB-page, and the tweet containing a link got re-tweeted around 10 times. A handful people even sent me a-mails and expressed their support. Thanks guys!
Drinking a cup of tea and thinking about all the game developer conferences I visited since I got in contact the game industry some years ago. I’m not gonna pretend I’m a veteran or anything, because I’m not. During the last weeks I met so many experienced and talented personalities working in the industry I realize how far I still have to go If I want to become good at this (the company where I’m working sent me and the CEO to the Nordic’s most important game event: the Nordic Game Conferance, last week).
But anyway, I made a small list of events and get-togethers I attended over the years. I like to order, name and label things in my life. Started thinking of my own path and how I got to where I am today, when I met with all the volunteers at Nordic Game Conf. Most of the volunteers are students studying at Malmö’s game developer school “The Game Assembly”. They get the chance to hand out their CVs, attend the lectures and help out at the conference for free when studying. I think it’s a good way of getting into the industry and get inspired by folks already working with game development. This year I noticed a lot of the companies giving lectures ending with announcing they have open positions. It seems like the industry in Sweden is growing and in need of new talent.
I’m very proud I started out as a volunteer back in the days myself. I especially remember the first time ever I attended the NGC and listened to Media Molecule giving a talk about how they prototyped their game “Little Big Planet”. That presentation was very, very inspirational and has left a deep mark in me. I dared to ask for the business card of the talker, and had it hanging on my wall for a couple of years (stalker warning anyone?!). It’s still one of the best business cards I’ve ever got (gonna take a picture of it and show you later). Its basically a hand-made old fashioned luggage tag of paper with the name, company and e-mail written on it, by hand. Reflects the whole LBP feeling of creativity and unique art direction.
Another very special memory is when me and our CEO went to Casual Connect for the first time ever. Casual Connect is held in Germany, Hamburg. We packed our stuff, flew to Germany from Sweden and on the flight down I put on my makeup. We morphed into party outfits, switched on to party mode and grabbed a cab to the big mingle as soon as we touched ground. It felt a bit like we were on a secret mission haha! When we went to Gamescom last year we arrived late at night and the taxi driver was really crazy, driving in 140 km/h on a highway in the dark. I just closed my eyes and prayed we would be OK. The other taxi driver we had that day talked about his time in prison and how he despised common traffic rules. I could see myself making headlines: game developers from Sweden axe murdered by German taxi driver.
A lot has happened since then, but every time I get the chance to go to these game events I try to put my best into them. I know I need to represent not only the games we made, but also the effort every single person on the team has put into what I’m showing a potentional business partner/investor or someone we want to hire. Since it’s a part of my job to go to these things and bring back observations of industry trends and contacts for the company I view it as work. But very fun work indeed.
Time to get ready for the first mingle party of the week!
Epic break fast is epic!
The view from the room was amazing!
For those of you who follows me on twitter.som/saxen8 you know that I went to the game developer conference Casual Connect in Hamburg, Germany this week. It was a business trip together with my boss Ola. Last year we went to CC we had a great time and met many interesting developers and companies. Photos from last year can be viewed over here. They are originally from Junebud’s own developer blog.
Since Junbud (the game company where I work as an associate producer) is focused on casual web and mobile games, Casual Connect is one of the most relevant events of the year for us. It’s a perfect way to get to know what’s happening in the industry and catch the gossip.
We stayed at the Radisson Blue hotel, connected to the conference halls. Really convenient to stay at a hotel that’s so close to all the lectures! I think it’s a good investment; you don’t need to hurry in the morning since the lectures stared at 10 am. Last year we had to walk for 40 minutes to get to the conference.
This year speakers for the conference included Google, Zynga, Bigpoint. Kotangent and many more. Usually Ola and I split up and make sure we cover as many lectures as possible, taking notes and photos of the power points. I have over 250 new photos in my iPhone of power point slides…Yay! Gonna publish more photos from day 2 and 3 later. Staying home today with a massive cold…
Some pictures from last year’s conference. Ola and me at that wierd nightclub last year in Hamburg. Belive it or not, but many deals are sealed at these places!
At the club, talking with other game developers.
Ola at the breakfast, day 2. We stayed at Arc Hotel Rubin in downtown Hamburg. Great place!
Ola at the lectures.
Taking notes and reading about the speakers.
Yo dawgs! Looks like I will attend the game developer conference Casual Connect in Hamburg next week, together with my bawss Ola. Last year was a blast! We’ve found out Casual Connect seems to be the the most relevant event for Junebud, since it’s focused on casual, social and mobile games. We are leaving on Monday night and returning Thursday afternoon. Friday is business as usual at the office and I will be preparing presentations of the content for the rest of the team once we get back to Sweden. I’m looking forward to the lectures, the mingle parties and the opportunities to meet peers. Time to make sure my business cards are up to date!