AWS for Games announces ‘Girls in Games’ Jam, in collaboration with Game Jolt
By Tabitha Graves: The opinions and views expressed in this post are my own.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Game Jolt are excited to announce an upcoming event inspired by diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility initiatives in the games industry.
Speaking as a person who identifies as a woman, watching Samus take her helmet off has always reminded me of how women are viewed in the games industry. The mere fact that I am a woman feels like a talking point. When attending game events, I am instantly reminded of my differences and question my sense of belonging when I get asked questions like, “do you even play games?” My peers who identify as men tell me they never experience this. The way we move beyond these stigmas and overcome unconscious bias is through representation.
Representation in games is twofold: bringing forward the many talents of the incredible people making games, and showcasing more diverse main characters and protagonists from underrepresented communities. By providing a platform for diversity and celebrating equity, inclusion, and accessibility, we encourage a future in which women see themselves represented in all of games, both on screen and off.
In pursuit of this goal, AWS is collaborating with Game Jolt, a woman-founded games social community platform, to host the virtual ‘Girls in Games’ Jam to highlight representation for girls and women in the games industry. While this jam is aimed for those early in their games career to participate, the content is open to all. We encourage everyone, especially those who identify as, or are allies of, girls, women, and non-binary people, to listen in on the stories, triumphs, and advice that our speakers will share.
The game jam will begin with a day of mentorship, featuring live 30-minute lightning talk sessions and 1-hour round table panels from game industry veterans including Bridget Collins (Lightforge Games), Jessie Wan (Electronic Arts), Kirsten Gavoni (Warner Bros Games), Kirsten Kane (Lightforge Games), Kristina Blanco (Studio Capital Management), Laura Puerto (Dreamhaven), Mary Kish (Twitch), Merilly Ruglas (PlayStation Visual Arts Studio), Mila Pavlin (Santa Monica Studio), Molly Pease (Metatheory), Nina Park (Metatheory), PJ Camp Malik (PlayStation), Rachel Franklin (Electronic Arts), Rachel Barnum (Amazon Games), Sara Eggers (Sucker Punch Productions), Shelby Kolb (Sony), Shelby Moledina (Double Loop Games), Victoria Tran (Innersloth), women from AWS for Games and more. Upon entry into the jam, participants can team up or fly solo and be tasked with creating a game pitch deck featuring a girl and/or woman as the protagonist. All participants will have the opportunity to learn the process of creating a game pitch deck and be empowered by other talented women involved in the different aspects of game creation. The goal is to provide a day of inspiration while showcasing a variety of different paths forward into the games industry, allowing participants to turn that passion into a concept through a game pitch.
All participants in the game jam can receive up to $100 in AWS Promotional Credits*. There will be three winning teams chosen by Game Jolt, who will each win $500 in cash and an opportunity to pitch their game to an esteemed publishing panel featuring inspiring women, such as Amy Morhaime (Dreamhaven), Cat Varner (Dreamhaven), Elizabeth Simmons (San Diego Studio), Jesyca Durchin (Warner Bros. Games), Leanne Loombe (Netflix), and Shawne Benson (Sony Interactive Entertainment). This will give the winners an exclusive opportunity to receive feedback from women with game publishing and investment experience.
This game jam is a culmination of many years of experience and stories from incredible women to pave a way for more women to participate in this fantastic world of making games. We are thrilled to work with Game Jolt on this important initiative and excited to see women be represented so proudly in games.
To register or for more information about the event, please visit the Game Jolt ‘Girls in Games’ Jam website. Registration is now live and will be open until August 5th.
AWS will be hosting an in-person ‘Women in Games’ reception to close out the game jam on August 18th in Anaheim, California at Modern Times Brewery. Come celebrate with us and share stories with incredible women and allies in games! RSVP for the celebration today!