Speaker Spotlight: IDGA's Renee Gittins' advice on how to break into the games industry

PGC Digital #4 kicks off November 9th

Speaker Spotlight: IDGA's Renee Gittins' advice on how to break into the games industry

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital has returned once again, set to bring together some of the finest voices in the games industry and beyond.

PGC Digital #4 takes place on November 9th - 13th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

The conference spans across five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and a new and improved meeting system. For more details on PGC Digital and to book a ticket, head to the website.

Today's spotlight is on Renee Gittins, executive director at the International Game Developers Association. Gittins is a passionate advocate of improving diversity within the games industry, as well as a strong voice to connect all kinds of personalities working in the space. She is also the CEO of Stumbling Cat, developer of adventure crafting game, Potions: A Curious Tale. Gittins will be at PGC Digital #4 to present a talk on building the perfect team.

Tell us a bit about your company?

Renee Gittins: The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is the largest non-profit membership organization in the world serving all individuals who create games. The mission of the IGDA is to support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers.

As an international organization, the IGDA is a U.S.-based 501(c)6 non-profit professional association and a global network of collaborative projects and communities of individuals from all fields of game development - including programmers and producers, designers and artists, as well as writers, business people, QA team members, localization experts, and everyone else who participates in any way in the game development process. The IGDA brings together developers at key industry conferences, and in over 150 Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs), to improve their lives and their craft.

What does your role entail?

Supporting and empowering game developers around the world.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

Games are the most influential medium I have ever experienced. I love their stories, their emotion, and their creativity. When I learned that I could contribute to the creation of them, I knew I had to, but when I joined the industry and met the wonderful people within it, I knew I had truly found my place.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Take your passion and turn it into actions and results - build a portfolio, write a blog, give a talk, draft a white paper, develop a game. All of these actions will build your skills and the evidence of your competence.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Game developers have been able to adapt well in these challenging times. While we see mental stress, game delays, and other difficulties, we also see our community, our companies, and our friends coming together to help each other like never before.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

The game industry now is much more aware of its own failings - issues of overwork, discrimination, toxic culture, and instability. It is that recognition that has brought progress, but we are still improving.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

I am simply looking forward to learning from others.

Want more?

The full conference schedule is now live, featuring 16 tracks and over 200 expert speakers. You can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.

Register for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4 today!