Diversity, Tolerance, Progress

Diversi at Nordic Game 2015

– An industry for everyone makes greater games


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With this headline Diversi was present at the Nordic Game Conference for the first time, as the starting point of a long-term partnership.

We had several events lined up for the conference; a Diversity Mixer, a Diversi Panel AND, we sent female students from all over Scandinavia to NGC in an effort to bolster female representation throughout the industry, all made possible due to the sponsoring of Intel.

Diversi Mixer

We hosted the Diversity mixer in the “Game Arcade” aka “The Round Bar”. Many gathered under the banner of Diversity (quite literally since our Diversi/NG/Intel banners were in place) and the topic of #gamediversity was running hot. Exciting conversation and light hearted banter echoed through the locale and moods were bright.

The event attracted several speakers, among them David Smith, TIGA award winning Interactive Selection and Founder of Women in Games WIGJ as well as industry legend Nicole Lazzaro – Voted by Gamasutra as one of the Top 20 women working in video games, and Fast Company as one of the 100 most influential women in technology. Both of whom got to meet our student group.

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The Diversi Mixer at NGC’15.

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Diversi Panel

We wanted to underline that representation is important and, that sometimes the point is not to highlight under represented groups by having them talk about being a minority, but instead making sure they are there, skewing the balance and just talking about things in connection to their expertise and experience.
“The Diversi panel at Nordic Game 2015 features the theme “How can games make the world a better place?” The panel is hosted by Karin Ryding (Ozma Games) whom will be presenting the panelists and the theme. The goal is to highlight the brightness of our industry and the positive effect it can have on its consumers by letting the panel discuss what has been achieved so far. Participants represent a mix of AAA/indie/mobile/education sectors and provides interesting starting points of discussion, applying their target audience’s perspective as well as their experiences within the industry as we know it.”

 

Host

Karin Ryding – Creative Director and Founder, Ozma Games

Panelists

Annika Fogelgren – Producer for Candy Crush Soda, King
Ann Sofie Sydow – Project Manager, The Game Assembly, Member of the Board: Swedish Game Developer Association, Game City, Diversi
Åsa Roos– Senior UX Designer, Avalanche Studios, Author
Dajana Dimovska – CEO & Producer, Knapnok Games ApS
Rami Ismael – Chief Executive Business & Development Guy at indie game studio @Vlambeer

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From left to right: Åsa Roos, Ann-Sofie Sydow, Annika Fogelgren, Dajana Dimovska, Rami Ismail.

The Nordic Game Female Student Scholarship

We had the opportunity to send 14 female-identifying students from the Nordic region to NGC15, all expenses covered, in an effort to bolster the presence of women in the industry. The purpose was both to increase representation of women at industry events thereby giving them a stronger voice, and also to provide chances for networking and exchange of ideas. Students from following universities participated:

  • University of Tampere, Finland
  • Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
  • Future Games, Sweden
  • PlaygroundSquad, Sweden
  • University of Skövde, Sweden
  • Skövde University. Sweden
  • Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Dania Games, Denmark
  • Vallekilde Højskole, Denmark
  • Viden Djurs, Denmark
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Students of the Diversi Nordic Game Scholarship, made possible by Intel.

Tuesday

Introductions, Dinner at Sájvaa

On the eve of NGC15 we gathered at beautiful Sájvaa in central Malmö for some food and conversation. Everyone was welcomed to the city and introduced to the programme.

Several female industry professionals were invited to this event, we wanted the students to get a chance to ask them about their experiences from the industry and exchange advice in a bit more intimate and relaxed setting. It served as an introduction to each other and as well as a networking event.

Guests
Novi Flink – Game Designer at King
Adabelle Combrink – Programmer, Massive Entertainment, Ubisoft
Sonja (Kangas) Ängeslevaä – VP of Products at Other Group, Previously Senior Product Manager at Scoreloop and President of IGDA Finland
Ann-Sofie Sydow – Project Manager at the Game Assembly, Member of the Board: Swedish Game Developer Association, Game City, Diversi
Jenny Brusk – Senior Lecturer, Professor at Skövde University, Creator of Backpacker, Industry veteran

From left: Samson Wiklund, Siri Hallberg Söderström, and Gemma Thomson.

Dinner at Saijva, Malmö.

Wednesday

Information & Group Photo

A taxi picked the students up and saw them to the conference where everyone got to register and claim their conference passes. We had a look at the program and made recommendations for talks to attend, time was taken to answer practical questions about the conference and the venue.
Intel Meet & Greet

This took place at the expo floor where the Intel representatives took time to meet and chat with the students. As Florian presented Intel and expertly showcased gadgets curious passersby joined us to listen in.

Executive Round Table Meet & Greet

The executive round table during NGC is a yearly occurrence that takes place outside the regular conference venue. It’s an exclusive event that many try for years to gain access to. For our students, this was not the case!

Gathering at St Gertrud’s lovely conference centre our participants got a chance to mingle with some of the most influential people from the Scandinavian developer scene and ask them direct questions, benefiting from their experience and expertise.

Tobias Sjögren, EVP Business Development at Paradox Interactive and Albertina Sparrhult from Diversi took the time to introduce the programme and to highlight Intel as it’s sponsor.

Nordic Game Indie Night

One of the conference highlights and the hottest place to mingle and make new acquaintances, the Nordic Game Indie Party pulsates through out the summer night, sometimes till early morning and sunrise. New contacts are made, future colleagues are found.

We got the chance to introduce the students to several key people from the industry before they merged with the crowd and into the night.Our first day at Nordic Game was a great success!

Thursday

Meet & Greet with industry professionals

Our aim for this meet and greet was to gather an interesting mix of professionals that could give very substantial answers to questions that the students might have as pertaining to the industry and their career, and also to connect them with people who might serve as useful contacts in the future.

In a calm conference room we started off with an introduction of each guest, moved on to Q & A and finished off with coffee, pastries and open conversation. We think this event stands out as one of the highlights of the programme for the students.

Guests
Susana Meza Graham – Speaker at NGC15, Chief Operating Officer at Paradox Interactive
Oscar Clarke – Speaker at NGC15, Unity Technologies, GameFounders
Åsa Roos – Speaker at NGC15, Senior UX Designer at Avalanche Studios, Author
Rami Ismail – Speaker at NGC15, Founder, Strategic Director and Dev at Vlambeer
Annika Fogelgren – Speaker at NGC15 , Producer for Candy Crush Soda at King
Arja Martikainen – Senior Consultant Games Talent Acquisition at Barona IT Oy
Ella Svahn – Technical Artist, Tarsier Studios

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Q and A with industry proffessionals . From left to right: Annika Fogelren, Ella Svahn, Arja Martikainen, Rami Ismail, Oscar Clarke, Åsa Roos.

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Åsa Roos.

Nordic Game Awards, Gala Dinner & Party

The final stop for the Thursday was of course the awards themselves followed by the Gala Dinner where all the students received Nordic Game partner seats and got to wine and dine with the best and brightest of the Scandinavian games industry. This was followed up with the annual official Nordic Game Party, yet another splendid networking opportunity.

Friday

Gather for Reflections & Farewells

As a final spot on the program we gathered up on the Friday to reflect on our experiences and talk about the conference as well as the programme. The students expressed their gratitude very openly and we said heartfelt goodbyes.