Held just off the beaten path from the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft's Women in Gaming Awards is an annual event geared to honor the contributions of women from across the games industry. This year's nominations include Journey
developer Robin Hunicke and Tropes vs Women in Games creator Anita Sarkeesian.
"These awards are an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of women in gaming by the community that may otherwise go unnoticed," says organizer Karen Randhawa, speaking with Gamasutra. "They provide recognition for individual contributions, but also allow us to celebrate the success as a collective."
First held in 2008, the Women in Gaming awards has grown from an event for 70 people to more than 250, a reflection of the growing interest in representation and egalitarian hiring practices seen across the industry.
This year, the event is set to honor 14 nominees across its three awards categories, which highlight the work of newcomers, innovators, and public-facing ambassadors. Those nominees are:
Rising Star Award
- Anna Tito (Gameplay Engineer, KIXEYE)
- Dawn Rivers (Lighting Engineer, Harmonix)
- Olga Zinoveva (Producer, 343 Industries)
- Tamara Miner (Technical Program Manager, Riot)
Past awardees include Ouya brand evangelist Kellee Santiago and Ubisoft's Jade Raymond. An invite-only event, this year's awardees will be announced on Thursday, March 20th, just off-site from GDC. This year's mistress of ceremonies is games educator Colleen Macklin.
"We believe in promoting the inclusion and advancement of women in the games industry and technology as a whole," says Randhawa, who in addition to leading the WIG Awards event serves as a staffing consultant for Microsoft. "We hope that this event provides an enriching experience to the women who attend and continues to drive this community forward in tackling challenges as well as growing their representation."