The breakfast of DeanBeat: Women in Gaming opens a diverse program at the GamesBeat Summit 2022

GamesBeat Summit 2022 returns April 26-28 with its largest event for leading gaming companies. Reserve your place here!

I’m glad we’ve finished recruiting our 124 speakers for our 55 sessions at the GamesBeat Summit 2022 event on April 26-28. And I’m even happier that there will be a real breakfast at our fourth Women in Gaming Breakfast. That’s because it’s the first time we’re doing this in a physical location – at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. (You can sign up here with a 50% discount code Dean.)

Andrea Rene from What’s Good Games will host the day and will host an off-the-record session on ‘Engineering Inlusivity’ over breakfast. It will take place on April 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The session is about how to turn inclusivity into an asset and spread it throughout the workplace.

The panel includes Tanya Watson, COO of Bad Robot; Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage; Francisca F. Phillips, global leader of belonging and growth at Jam City; and Margaret Wallace, Games and Metaverse perform at Prasaga. I am very happy that Prasaga sponsored the breakfast. Here you can register for the Women in Gaming Breakfast.

Andrea Rene is co-founder of What's Good Games.
Andrea Rene is co-founder of What’s Good Games.

While the entire event celebrates the core of the games industry, GamesBeat Summit 2022 will address topics such as diversity, mental health and inclusion. About 50.4% of our 125 speakers come from diverse backgrounds. We have achieved this diversity goal for our last three conferences.

Women in video game voice acting

Jennifer Hale voiced Commander Shepard in Mass Effect.

Our sessions include explorations of diversity in different parts of the industry. We will be hosting a panel discussion (online session on April 27th at 1:15pm) on the evolution of video game acting from a female perspective – on the representation and inclusion of women in games and how the roles have evolved over the years changed and improved.

Julia Bianco Schoeffling will moderate this panel and it will feature Cissy Jones (Firewatch’s Delilah), Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard) and Anjali Bhimani (Overwatch’s Symmetra).

Building the Mindful Metaverse

Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp.
Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp.

Nanea Reeves is no stranger to both the practice of mindfulness and meditation, and the technological advances that have created the metaverse. As CEO of Tripp, she helped develop the Tripp virtual reality app, designed to inspire feelings of calm and awe.

In her talk (April 26 at 1:30 p.m.), she will discuss the future of how Metaverse technology can be applied to meditation practices, with the goal of building an environment of thoughtful well-being by not just embracing technology to get there but by being at the forefront and using progress to play an important role in personal growth.

Our visionary awards

Tammy McDonald talks about her husband Matt, a game developer who committed suicide.
Tammy McDonald from Axis Game Factory/Griffin Gaming Partners.

The GamesBeat Visionary Awards will air April 27 at 4:35 p.m. We created this award in 2018 to honor gaming industry leaders who have shown real vision for the future. We added the Up and Comer Award to honor someone whose accomplishments are ahead of them.

Last year’s Visionary Award winner went to Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer at Electronic Arts; and the Up and Comer Award went to Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda, a content creator and streamer.

Tammy McDonald from Axis Game Factory/Griffin Gaming Partners will once again host our awards. We have a special award this year and have chosen two very special people for the award. We had an industry-wide panel of judges—including three past winners—select the winners.

Virtual reception

Meetaverse will be hosting a GamesBeat reception on April 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In partnership with Ivan Lobos Meetaverse, the games industry’s social VR hub, GamesBeat will host a virtual reception where our attendees can hang out “face-to-face” in VR with fellow games industry peers.

This immersive social event will take place in a brand new location specially created for the GamesBeat Summit in AltspaceVR. Attendees will enjoy a program of activities including a guided tour of the Architects Drawing Video Games cultural exhibit created by the Arquia Foundation in partnership with Meetaverse; and a panel discussion on the potential of games as social networks, featuring the avatars of Dean Takahashi (GamesBeat), Aleisia Laidaker (consultant at The Mill and former Director of Experience at Magic Leap) and Philip Rosedale, founder of Linden Lab, creator of Second Life . We will also have other special guests.

If you would like to attend, please ensure you have a working AltspaceVR account prior to the event and that you have registered your professional information and AltspaceVR username in the RSVP link here before April 26, 2022. And don’t forget to make your avatars fancy.

Games for women

Ariella Lehrer is the CEO of Legacy Games.

This session, taking place on April 28th at 12:20 p.m., will highlight a rapidly growing part of gambling. Games designed for women have been an underserved market for much of gaming’s history.

But the times have changed. Thanks to free-to-play games, 10x more people have been introduced to gaming, while casual gaming has grown in importance as mobile gaming continues to thrive. More women than ever are playing games every day. More and more game studios are targeting female audiences—or at least paying more attention to the fact that women make up a large portion of mainstream game audiences. Some of these studios are founded by women.

M2 Research’s Wanda Meloni will moderate a panel with Jill Wilson, CEO of Robin Games; Susan Cummings, CEO of Tiny Rebel Games; Julia Palatovska, CEO of Dorian; and Ariella Lehrer, CEO of Legacy Games.

Tencent/Level Infinite and the global gaming market

Michelle Liu is a vice president at Tencent.
Michelle Liu is CEO of Tencent Global Games.

Our session (April 27 at 4:05 p.m.) features one of the most powerful women in the gaming industry – and one who wasn’t particularly well known in the industry.

Tencent Games Global CEO Michelle Liu joins GamesBeat for the first time to discuss her role in managing Tencent’s game publishing business and its new Level Infinite brand. She will explore Tencent’s thoughts on games as a whole, the company’s approach to global publishing, how it works with its diverse group of studios and development teams, and more. Andrea Rene from What’s Good Games will moderate a conversation with her about Tencent’s role in the global games business and its new publishing brand Level Infinite.

Shame! Shame! Personal reflections on DEI, #MeToo and the future of gaming

Jane Chung Hoffacker is CEO of Incredible Dream.
Jane Chung Hoffacker is CEO of Incredible Dream.

Jane Chung Hoffacker helped us craft this confidential, face-to-face roundtable on April 26 at 12 noon. Female leaders will share their perspective on four years after the #MeToo movement started in games. What has changed?

What has proven effective in achieving more diversity, equity and inclusion? What has changed on a personal level? How do we increase investment in women and minorities in gaming? And what role does shame play in making us vulnerable and bringing about change? GamesBeat reporter Rachel Kaser will moderate this session with Incredible Dream CEO Jane Chung Hoffacker; Kamini Tiwari, Vice President of Social Impact at Humble Bundle; Shail Mehta, CEO of The Last Gameboard; and Namrata Gandhi, chief financial officer at Amazon Games Studio.

Africa’s growing gaming industry

Kate Kallot is Head of Emerging Areas at Nvidia.

This upbeat roundtable (online session on April 28th at 3:00pm) will explore the state of gaming and game development in Africa from the perspective of some of the region’s best-known game publishers. Around 60% of the continent’s population is under the age of 25 and disposable incomes are increasing. High-speed internet connections are proliferating and Africa will have more than 680 million mobile phone users by 2025. We’ll talk about the limits of gaming from people driving growth.

Kate Kallot, Head of Emerging Areas at Nvidia, will moderate the session with Cordel Robbin-Coker, co-founder and CEO of Carry1st, which raised a $20 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz; Jay Shapiro from Usiku Games; and Lual Mayen, CEO of Junub Games/Lual Mayen Foundation.

How leaders can transform systems to improve mental health

Swatee Surve is CEO of Litesprite.
Swatee Surve is CEO of Litesprite.

And I’m pleased to host this unofficial roundtable (April 28 at 11:50 am) to encourage industry leaders to do more for mental health.

For a long time, the solution to mental health issues has been the recommendation that employees practice “self-sufficiency”. But that doesn’t always work, and companies can be more proactive in providing care. Is it time for a corporate wellness officer? And what else can we do to better support our employees? This roundtable will discuss ideas for game companies to do better.

Litesprite CEO, Swatee Surve, will moderate the session with participation from Mark Chandler, Founder of the International Games Summit on Mental Health Awareness; and Raphael “Dr. B” Boccamazzo, Clinical Director of Take This. These are some very wise people who believe that we can improve our safety net in gaming.

Building diversity and equity in the gaming industry through the college

This session on April 28 at 11:50 am will show a different path to diversity. Just as filmmaking is much more than optics and lighting, making games is not limited to coding and animation. Slowly, game developer curricula are expanding beyond traditional technical skills and incorporating diversity and inclusivity as essential creative tools. How are these values ​​learned? How can learning institutions effectively contribute to a more diverse industry?

Gonzalo Frasca, Chief Evangelist Officer at DragonBox (Kahoot!), will moderate this session. Attendees include Gina Jackson OBE, Founder, GameDev Bootcamps; Carolina Cruz-Neira, professor at the Computer Science University of Central Florida; and Jim Huntley, professor of gaming programming at USC Games. Los Trojans.

GamesBeat’s creed in gaming industry coverage is “where passion meets business”. What does that mean? We want to tell you how important news is to you – not only as a decision maker in a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn more about and enjoy engaging with the industry. Learn more about membership. The breakfast of DeanBeat: Women in Gaming opens a diverse program at the GamesBeat Summit 2022

Chris Barrese

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