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Wednesday, October 25 • 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Closing Keynote

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Having spent 5 years as Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), Kate Edwards gained a very unique and rather rare perspective on the global game industry. This insight was forged from countless interactions with every kind of game developer, from a vast variety of cultures and geographies, speaking with everyone from solo indie developers to massive AAA studios, engaging government officials around the world, as well as other advocacy-focused non-profits. And of course, she also interacted with the general public on a constant basis to observe and understand their perception of games. Kate accepted the mission in 2012 of running the global IGDA based on her belief in the value of a strong developer community, but even more so from her conviction that the game industry must speak up and have a stronger voice. Over the course of her 5 years of leadership, she became even more emboldened and determined while simultaneously more frustrated and, frankly, full of rage. Why? In essence, Kate has witnessed a game industry that has exploded and become a true cultural and economic force in global society, while also experiencing firsthand that we as game creators still do not receive the respect we've earned and deserve as a creative art form and as leaders in evolving what it means for people to be entertained. In short, we've lost control of the narrative of who we are as game development professionals and what we produce, and we've been essentially at the whim of a meme or negative stereotype that perpetuates to this day in mainstream media and in the general public eye. While it has been changing slowly for the better, the reality is that we as an industry haven't commanded the attention and shaped the narrative. Is that possible? Absolutely. The fallacy is that many assume that our various trade associations have been doing this all along but Kate argues that while they certainly have a vital role to play in industry representation – particularly for government lobbying, true emergence of the game industry as a creative force must begin with every one of us. We must individually and collectively find our courage to stand up, speak out, and help to shape our own narrative here and now – and not wait for the inevitable generational shift in perception that may come in a decade or two.

avatar for Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards is the CEO and principal consultant of Geogrify, a Seattle-based consultancy for content culturalization and is the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). In addition to being an outspoken advocate and industry leader that serves... Read More →

Wednesday October 25, 2017 4:30pm - 6:00pm AEDT
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center