Centipede Creator To Keynote Women's Conference

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Women in Games International (WIGI), a non-profit organization in the interactive entertainment industry, is pleased to announce the keynote speaker for their upcoming conference, titled "She's Got Game," scheduled for Saturday, September 8, 11 am to 5 pm in Austin, Texas.

For this stellar event, Women in Games International is teaming up with the Austin Game Developers Conference, September 5-7, presented by CMP Game Group, to explore both the past and present experiences of the women working in the industry. "She's Got Game" offers a forum for discussing industry trends in workplace diversity and the general state of the industry from a career perspective, now and in the future.

The keynote speaker is Dona Bailey, creator of the Centipede video game, one of the first videogames to incorporate artificial intelligence. From her early days on Centipede to her current work with students at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Dona C. Bailey will take a look at where video games have been, where they are now and in which direction she'd like to see them develop. "These events have been increasingly successful thanks to the high caliber of speakers we've been able to deliver year after year," said Tamir Nadav, WIGI Steering Committee Member and Program Chair. "Each one brings a seasoned and unique perspective to how we look at the industry. Dona is no exception."

The event will also offer the following panel discussion, "Diversity Equals Dollars: Why having a diverse development team is good for your bottom line." Industry experts will discuss how workplace diversity and environments have evolved in the games industry over the last 2 decades, what the experience is like now for people entering the industry, and why diversity equals profitability.

Fiona Cherbak, WIGI Steering Committee Member and Strategic Alliances Chair, expresses her thoughts on the conference theme and topics. "We know that there have been certain, significant changes in the industry over the last two decades, especially in relation to workplace diversity and understanding how a diverse workplace affects game product success in the marketplace. The WIGI-Austin conference is proving to be a timely, well-positioned opportunity to focus on this evolution and find out how we can leverage this knowledge for both the current and next generation of game industry workers, and the game players who buy their products."

Another featured panel will be "Her Virtual Life: Women and Online Games." With the statistics showing that MMO's are the second largest market for women gamers, industry experts will address how game developers can utilize this information to expand MMO content and game play. Roundtable discussions will include topics such as "Attracting and Retaining Female Players in Virtual Worlds,""Looking Good on Paper," "Handing Your Daughter the Controller." "Making Good Industry Connections," and more.

This year's WIGI series sponsors include Electronic Arts, ECD Systems, Game Developers Conference (GDC), GameDocs, GameRecruiter.com, Girls in Games, International Game Developers Association (IGDA), Mary-Margaret, ThemePark Studios, WomenGamers.com, Women in Games U.K., Women in Technology International and BusinessWire.

The conference is being held Saturday, September 8, 2007, from 11 am to 5 pm at the Austin Convention Center. Attendance is $55 for general attendees, $40 for WIGI members and $30 for students with I.D. AGDC pass holders will be admitted for no charge, but must pre-register. Space is limited, so interested attendees are encouraged to secure their spot by registering online today at www.womeningamesinternational.org.

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