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Women's Game Conference Announces Keynote Speakers

Conference to take place September 9-10 in Austin, TX (August 18, 2004)

The Game Initiative, a leading producer of conferences and events for the computer and video game industry, announced today the keynote speakers for the first annual Women's Game Conference (WGC), taking place September 9-10, 2004 in Austin, Texas.

The conference opens on Thursday, September 9th with a keynote from Kathy Schoback, Vice President, Content Strategy, Infinium Labs. Kathy is also the chairperson for the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and the co-chair of the IGDA Business Committee. On September 10th conference attendees will hear from Friday keynoter Patricia Vance, President, Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

Separately, The Guildhall at SMU and will announce world's first "women's only" scholarship fund for game development education at Women's Game Conference.

As the content strategist for Infinium Labs' Phantom gaming service, Kathy Schoback oversees relationships with game publishers and developers worldwide, including title selection, prioritization, negotiations and lifecycle management. She has spent previous lifetimes at Eidos and Sega, as well as at the Game Developers Conference as part of the show management team. In addition to serving as IGDA chairperson, Kathy is also co-chair of the IGDA Business Committee.

Patricia Vance was appointed President of the ESRB in November 2002. Ms. Vance is a true interactive media veteran, having spent 18 years at Disney/ABC, where her management responsibilities spanned the ABC Internet Group (,,,,, Mr. Showbiz, Wall of Sound), video game and CD-ROM publishing (Creative Wonders, ABC Interactive, OT Sports), educational film and video distribution (including ABC News Interactive), direct response videocassette marketing, in-flight entertainment, home video and cable TV. Prior to ABC, when cable TV was in its infancy, Ms. Vance was responsible for planning movie acquisitions for The Movie Channel and MTV: Music Television. Ms. Vance also held senior management positions at The Princeton Review and She holds a BA in International Relations/Russian from Washington University in St. Louis.

A recent study by the Entertainment Software Association found that 39% of gamers are women. The Guildhall and hope the scholarship will encourage that same diversity to emerge in those pursuing careers in game development.

The Women's Game Conference takes place concurrently with the Austin Game Conference. WGC speakers include leaders in the game industry, representing game hardware manufacturers, developers, publishers, and educators. The conference program discusses the top issues facing women in the game industry including, gender inclusive game design, women as consumers of games and career paths for women. The full program can be found online at the conference web site

Conference sponsors include Activision,, The Guildhall at SMU, Business Wire, and and

Women's Game Conference 2004 Schedule

Thursday, September 9, 2004
9:00am - 9:45  Kathy Schoback, Vice President, Content Strategy, Infinium Labs
10:00am - 11:00  Identifying The Top Issues Facing Women in The Game Industry
11:30am - 12:30pm Getting to the Top: Senior Industry Decision-Makers Discuss Their Success
2:00pm - 3:00  Work Session on Top Issues
3:30pm - 4:30  Work Session and Report Out

Friday, September 10, 2004
9am - 9:45   Patricia Vance, President, Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
10:00 - 11:00  A Gamer's Life
11:30 - 12:30  The right Man For The Job Maybe Be A Woman
2:00pm - 3:00  It's What's Inside that counts: Content and the female audience
3:30pm - 4:30  Women in Game Journalism
4:30pm - 5:00  Closing remarks: Where do we go from here?

Attendees will hear from industry leaders and have the opportunity to network extensively at the Women's Game Conference. The casual nature of this event allows attendees an unprecedented opportunity to gain valuable contacts and explore new ways to expand the business and create a thriving the work environment. The conference is open to anyone interested in the game industry, including existing professionals, industry executives and persons interested in getting into the game business.

Confirmed Speakers Include:
Carrie Shepherd, Managing Editor, GMR
Cindy Lum, Managing Editor, Xbox Nation
Clarinda Merripen, Director of Operations, Cyberlore
Dana Jongewaard, Managing Editor, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine
Ellen Guon Beeman, Live Team Producer, The Matrix Online, Monolith Productions
Gordon Walton, Sony Online Entertainment, VP & Executive Producer
Hank Howie, President, Blue Fang Games
Jennifer Tsao, Managing Editor, Electronic Gaming Monthly
Kathy Schoback, Vice President, Content Strategy, Infinium Labs
Kiki Wolfkill, Microsoft
Kirsten Forbes, Producer, Radical Entertainment
Kristen Salvatore, Managing Editor, Computer Gaming World
Laura Fryer, Director, Advanced Technology Group, Microsoft Corp.
Linda Powers, HR Director, NCSoft
Margaret Wallace, CEO, Skunk Studios
Mia Consalvo, Assistant Professor, School of Telecommunications, Ohio University
Patricia Vance, President, Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
Raph Koster, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Online Entertainment
Sandra Powers, Turbine Entertainment
Shannon Loftis, Group Program Manager, Microsoft
Sheri Graner Ray, Steering Committee Chairperson, Senior Game Designer, Sony Online Entertainment
Tina Cruz, Director of Human Resources, Pandemic Studios
TL Taylor; Assistant Professor, IT University of Copenhagen

Early Registration for the two-day event is open and can be accessed by logging on to . Early registration for professionals prior to August 18 is $125. After August 18 the price is $145 for professionals. Onsite registration price is $175 for professionals. Early registration for students prior to August 18 is $85. After August 18 the price is $110 for students. Onsite registration price is $135 for students.

Conference Registration gains access to the WGC, technology pavilion and the Austin Game Developers Conference, the definitive multiplayer online game development conference, which runs concurrently.

Conference sponsors include Activision and Media partners include Business Wire and

About The Game Initiative.
The Game Initiative is a leading producer of conferences and events for professionals in the computer and video game industry. The Initiative is chartered with the growth of the industry through events, public awareness, information and supporting programs and serves the needs of companies and people involved in producing interactive entertainment software and hardware for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers and the Internet. Game Initiative events include the Austin Game Conference, the Women's Game Conference and the How to Break into the Game Industry national conference series. More information about the Game Initiative can be found at


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