Halo 2, Steve Ballmer, IGDA, Gamergate, Star Wars, Diversity and Inclusion, Networking, Going Solo, Cloudpunk, and Developer Leverage with Kate Edwards of Geogrify and the Global Game Jam


Manage episode 286118599 series 2477672
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I welcome Kate Edwards, game industry pioneer at Geogrify and Executive Director of the Global Game Jam. We start by discussing COVID-19 totally changing everything for her speaking and traveling work along with the Global Game Jam (recorded before the event). We then talk about her culturalization consulting and public speaking projects keeping her even busier now.

Listen to her origin story about arcades, wanting to be an astronaut, Star Wars, going into Industrial Design, and grad school at the HITLab in Seattle. Hear how being a Cartographer started her career at Microsoft and translated into a new role as a Geopolitical Specialist. We then talk about consulting for Google, joining then leading the IGDA, Gamergate threats, 50 over 50 list, and mental health advocacy.

We reflect on lessons learned over time, marketing yourself, imposter syndrome, networking, finding a mentor strategy, and future meetups. Listen to ideas for those working now, parallel career paths, autonomy, bad managers, and her love for Halo. Hear about working on Age of Empires, BioWare projects, the long road left with Diversity and Inclusion, and developer leverage against being exploited. We then explore games as human narrative, VR’s challenges, democratized dev tools, Tehran game dev, and the global game community.

We then wrap up with a challenging situation back on Halo 2, games she’s playing now, how to find online, Mark Twain, not always comparing yourself to others, mentors, and having that creative drive to always get better.


Kate Edwards is a 27+ year veteran and an outspoken, award-winning advocate of the game industry and the Executive Director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). She is also a professional geographer and corporate strategist who pioneered and specializes in content culturalization. Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Ubisoft, LEGO, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other companies. She was also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play, and was most recently honored with the Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC 2020

Show Links:

Global Game Jam


Thomas Furness interview



Steve Baller “Developers!”


‘50 Over 50’

Take This

Safe In Our World

Age of Empires

Google’s Union

Tehran Game Event

Halo 2

Whirling Dervish


Connect Links:

Kate on Twitter

Kate on LinkedIn

Geogrify website

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