Building Betters Worlds through Game Culturalization
With over 30 years of experience in digital media as a geographer and culturalization strategist, and 27+ years in games, Kate Edwards has been involved in the creation of many games, including major titles such as Halo, Fable, Age of Empires, Mass Effect, Call of Duty, and many, many others. She has seen it all when it comes to geopolitical and cultural issues that are often overlooked in content creation and can negatively impact the ability of content to be accepted overseas, and she has seen designers miss opportunities to create more robust worlds that engage the players from diverse cultural backgrounds. Kate will discuss the field of content culturalization, how it differs from localization, and how it can assist game creators with building game worlds that account for a wider range of cultural and geopolitical considerations.
Kate Edwards is the Executive Director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the CEO and principal consultant of Geogrify, a consultancy which pioneered content culturalization. She is also a Board Member of Take This and is the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) from 2012 to 2017. In addition to being an award-winning advocate who serves in several advisory roles, she is a geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LEGO, and many other companies. Fortune magazine named her as one of the „10 most powerful women“ in the game industry in 2013 and in 2014 was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of their six People of the Year. Besides being recently awarded by Reboot Develop, IndieCade, and GameRome for her advocacy work in the global game industry, she has been honored with the Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC 2020. She is also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play.