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Women in Games: The Gamasutra 20

May 21, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 20 of 21 Next

Jessica Tams

Managing Director, Casual Games Association

Career overview

As the head of the Casual Games Association, an international organization for the professional casual games industry, Jessica Tams has been focusing on mentoring, business, and social networking with casual games for years.

She's also had firsthand experience in casual game development, publishing, and distribution at companies like FUN Technologies Company and Trymedia Systems. At FUN Technologies, Tams was responsible for the product portfolio, including website design and community offerings.

Before working in casual games, she oversaw externally published launch Xbox Live Aracade titles at Oberon Media's Seattle Studio. Earlier in her career, she spent five years as a software engineer, working on titles like Dungeon Siege and Gabriel Knight III.

Major accomplishments

The Casual Games Association, of which Tams is the managing director, incorporates more than 4,000 gaming executives, publishers, and developers.

The association also hosts annual conferences in Seattle, Kiev, and Amsterdam, publishes a magazine three times a year, and regularly puts out important research relating to casual games.


By drawing professional attention and respect to the field of casual games, Tams is also drawing attention and respect to a genre of gaming preferred by a large percentage of female players.

Her work has helped to legitimate a type of game different from hardcore titles, but just as vital for a less-than-traditional audience.

What her peers say

Brenda: "Jessica has more energy that anyone I know. She's been flying with the whole 'casual games' thing long before it came to the forefront of the industry's attention, and has put together whole conferences and even a magazine specifically devoted to the market. This early networking and attention to the possibility of the market was instrumental in making the casual games movement as strong it is."

Article Start Previous Page 20 of 21 Next

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