The first-ever Gamasutra 20, honoring the Top 20 women working in the video game industry today, has taken a peer-based approach to this important task, with Gamasutra editors working alongside industry notables to highlight the most vital personalities in the field.
Some of these women are also industry veterans, and others are newcomers, dazzling the gaming world with their novel energy and creativity.
In deciding who would make the list, the 2008 panel strove to include women from all parts of the industry -- from development, to marketing, to writing -- and to represent many different talents, both old and new.
Specifically, the panel wanted to highlight the women who are important to the gaming now, those who have a crucial hand in shaping video games as we know them today. Please note that this list is unranked - there is no particular order, and all of the featured women are equally important to the business.
To those people who think that women don't play an important role in the game industry, this panel would like to say just how hard it was to pick these 20 names.
So many more hard-working, dedicated women could have been included -- not only core developers, like designers, but also artists, PR agents, and writers. After looking closely at the often-ignored female faces of gaming, their presence really is astounding.
[Joining journalist Bonnie Ruberg to help comment on the Gamasutra 20 were veteran game designers Brenda Brathwaite and Sheri Graner Ray - who appear on the list, but were nominated by others. Both have over fifteen years experience in the industry.
The panel put their heads together to choose the most important women of the year. After picking candidates (with measures in place to ensure fairness and no self-voting), Graner Ray and Brathwaite spoke about the women nominated -- what made them influential, exciting, and even inspiring in her eyes.]