Today we celebrate the Top 30 Women in Games and will find our who has won the six award categories.
The Women in Games Awards take place later today at the Hamyard Hotel, London. Tickets cost just £49 and are available by simply clicking here. The awards, held in conjunction with the Women in Games (WIGJ) body and sponsored by Facebook, will shine the spotlight on the most influential and inspirational women in the UK games industry.
Here we take a look at those in the running for the Rising Star award…
Rosemary Buahin – Head of Trade Marketing, PlayStation
Working in video games was Buahin’s first ‘proper’ job after university, and she claims she fell into the industry by accident. She began her career at Eidos, taking in stints at NovaLogic and Acclaim along the way before she joined PlayStation in 2004 as trade marketing manager. She left Sony to take a similar role at Warner Bros in 2008, but headed back to PlayStation as head of trade marketing in 2011. A very popular character in the business, Buahin has also picked up many awards on behalf of the companies she has worked for.
Ann Hurley, Head of Games Business Development, Testronic
Hurley has over 20 year’s experience in games sector, specialising in sales, marketing and business development, her career taking in publishing, distribution, mobile and QA/localization. She was a winner of the EU Women in Games awards 2012. “She is utterly inspirational and a fantastic role model and has shaped the careers of many, including mine,” commented one of the WIGJ committee at the time.
Diane Hutchinson – Founder, Girlgamersuk
As someone who followed technology and gaming closely since she was a young girl, a move into the games industry always seemed a natural fit for Diane Hutchinson.
Such a transition came when she began to produce video reviews for iPhone games. As a result of the quality of her work, she was then invited to run a gaming website – before starting her very own site, GirlGamersUK, in 2009. A great source of pride for Hutchinson, GirlGamersUK – for which the motto is ‘It’s not all cooking and pony training!’ – has evolved with the constantly shift games industry.
Samantha Kingston – Co Founder, Virtual Umbrella, also set up VR Girls UK
Over the last year or so, Kingston has turned a small idea of creating a company into a working lifestyle, moving from success to success. In that time, she has worked on some great projects and has really put her flag in the ground when it comes to getting Virtual Umbrella's name out into the world whilst also empowering and supporting women in the Virtual Reality industry. She has now set up a group called VR Girls UK. Finally in the first few weeks of 2016 she was nominated for a Venus Award and is now a semi-finalist for the ‘New Business’ category. She is a nominee for BIMA's (British Interactive Media Association) Hot 100 award.
Tanya Laird – Mentor/Advisor/Lecturer, Digital Jam
Laird has been working in the digital industry across entertainment IP and innovation for the last ten years, working primarily with global gaming and entertainment franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel and Moshi Monsters. Laird also provides mentoring and consultancy to new tech startups across a wide variety of business incubators and accelerators including MassChallenge, Level 39, Wayra, Wayra Ultd, Oxygen Accelerator (out of Google Campus), The New Entrepreneurs Foundation and The School of Communication Arts 2.0. She is a judge for the Future8 awards and an adviser for Power to the Pixel. Laird regularly lectures and has appeared as a speaker for Raindance, the BFI (Filmonomics program), TIGA and BVE.
Katherine Parrott – Assistant Games Buyer, Argos
Parrott has been working for Argos in video games for three years. She has made a significant impact with publishers such as EA, Take 2, Sony. Although not a gamer Parrott has brought a good level of skills, thinking hard about the consumer and what messages really matter when Argos communicates with them. According to her colleagues, “she has driven our dedicated gaming flyers and these have grown from a once a year proposition to become a near permanent fixture”.
Clair Radford – Sony Brand Manager, Centresoft
Nominated by senior staff at Centresoft due to her stand-out performance at the company, Radford has been the Sony brand manager at Centresoft for three years.
Kerry Turner – Founder, Make Play Code
As well as being a programmer - both freelance and for multiple studios - Turner is described as being incredibly supportive of others. Along with talking about her work, how she got into the industry and her experimental projects at events like GDC and Unite, Turner founded Make Play Code - a short course, exclusively for women (and those who identify as), teaching how to make a short game in Unity, for free. It covers all the basics for making a 'Myst'-like exploration game including some Java code. Kerry also helps organise and run Brighton Indies, a casual meet up for developers in the Brighton area.
Michelle Tilley – Senior Release Manager, PlayStation
Tilley was nominated for these awards by a number of her clients and colleagues, with her support and guidance being highlighted. Said one: “The impact that she provides within her Release Management role has such a huge bearing on the success of a title, and the importance of her work cannot be understated.”
Tilley is a key member of Sony’s Blue Ribbon team, which is focused on making the working environment a better place for all. She is also a mentor to many of her colleagues. Meanwhile, she regularly organizes and completes charity events, getting others involved in order to raise as much money and awareness as possible.