Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeNewsCSR - Social ImpactKate Edwards, of Geogrify and SetJetters, on the state of the computer...

Kate Edwards, of Geogrify and SetJetters, on the state of the computer game industry

I was super excited to get a chance to speak with Kate Edwards, who wears multiple entrepreneurial hats in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. Kate is a Microsoft alumnus, an activist, and an organizer with deep roots in the computer game industry who speaks frequently and frankly at industry events.

As her LinkedIn profile explains, Kate is perhaps best known for “her culturalization work in the video game industry, and her award-winning industry advocacy efforts – including her former roles as Executive Director of the Global Game Jam (2019-2022) and as Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (2012-2017). She is also CXO and Co-Founder of SetJetters, an app focused on connecting tourists to global filming locations of their favorite films and TV shows, and CEO of Geogrify, a unique, niche consultancy that focuses on the geopolitical and cultural risks in digital content.

Kate has a lot to say about game development, the gaming industry, working conditions within this industry, and concern over how AI is likely to impact things now and in the future. We cover a lot of ground in our talk; topics include:

  • Kate’s experiences working in the gaming industry, which included work on popular games such as Halo, Fable, Age of Empires, Dragon Age, Modern Warfare, Mass Effect and others.
  • How Kate created a team at Microsoft to help the company navigate political and cultural risks, and later left to focus solely on video game development and consulting.
  • Why the topic of AI in the creative arts, including games, is a hot topic among game industry employees today.
  • How the SetJetters app helps fans find filming locations of their favorite TV shows and movies by providing a map and synchronizing scenes from the film with what the location looks like today.
  • Why fans that are attracted to filming locations while production is ongoing may either be embraced or encounter hostility form the film crew.
  • Kate’s experiences advocating for greater workplace diversity within the gaming industry and her role in the infamous “Gamergate” episode of 2014.
  • Why mental health issues are endemic in the game industry but are seldom mentioned or addressed.
  • How the game industry is characterized by a lack of empathy and understanding among gaming industry managers, which can lead to poor decision-making and unrealistic schedules.
  • Why recent layoffs and RIFs (Reductions in Force) in the gaming industry are largely the fault of management, which scaled hiring too quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Related Articles