Games can often be seen as lacking cultural impact. They're written off as digital toys and dismissed as playthings.
Kate Edwards is a 27+ year veteran of - and an outspoken, award-winning advocate for - the global games industry. She is the founder and principal consultant of Geogrify, executive director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the former executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).
Kate is also a geographer and content strategist who pioneered the field of 'game culturalisation'.
Following 13 years at Microsoft, she’s consulted on projects for BioWare, Ubisoft, LEGO, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many other companies.
She was profiled in the 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play, and was most recently honoured with the ambassador award at the Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC 2020.
Tell us more about your work with Geogrify.
Game culturalisation bridges the realms of social science, information technology and creative media arts.
Our primary mission is to maximize the geographic distribution of your digital content while minimizing the potential geopolitical and cultural impacts that may arise in the local market. This is achieved through both high-level content culturalisation strategies as well as hands-on content review services.
Games are the current evolution of human narrative, and defining how we will transfer stories from one generation to another.
Geogrify pioneered game culturalisation almost 30 years ago and continues to help many well-known companies and franchises with cultural and geopolitical issues to help them maximize the global reach of their content.
What inspired you to join the games industry?
Games are the current evolution of human narrative, and defining how we will transfer stories from one generation to another; it's the perfect confluence of creativity, culture and technology.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in gaming?
Focus on what you do best and strive to improve upon that; "Comparison is the death of joy". Seek out mentors to guide you, don't be prideful or arrogant - be open to always improving your skills.
What impact has the last 12 months had on the global games industry?
The pandemic proved, beyond all public doubt, that games are here, they are mainstream, and they are a viable form of entertainment.
What key trends do you see emerging in the next 12 months?
Even more rapid and greater visibility of games in the public sphere, further emerging from "geekdom" to become very mainstream.
How has the games industry changed since you started?
It's far, far larger than it was when I originally joined. It's now considered a 'real' job.
It's thankfully much more diverse, but we still have a long, long way to go.
You're taking part in the next Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7 event. What are you most looking forward to?
Networking with fellow colleagues.
Kate is a taking part in Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7 which takes place from July 12th - 16th 2021.
Find out more and book your ticket now.