GamesBeat: You’ll probably know this better by the end of the week, but in these #1ReasonToBe sessions, what is the object? What are some of the things you’d like to see these head toward?

Edwards: Number one is more dialogue. That’s one of the reasons why we pushed heavily. We have Anita Sarkeesian giving her talk. The EA_spouse talk. All of these are important for continuing dialogue, especially in a forum like GDC. We have not seen talks like that very explicitly at GDC before, or they’ve been buried in different tracks or characterized as something else. These are meant to be explicitly about the topic, so I’m hoping to see more dialogue. That’s my number one goal. If we can get discussion going and get awareness building so that people who can effect change can start thinking about these issues, if they can take away the notion that maybe they should think about this in their companies and start looking from a qualitative perspective at their companies — start asking women, “Do you feel like there’s sexism here? How do you feel working here?” — I think that to me, is progress.

Jordan CaseyGamesBeat: Even with a lot of these issues, it seems like there isn’t a better time to be a game designer in a lot of ways. You can be an indie that makes a game all alone and hits the top of the App Store. I’ve seen a lot of these stories about kids — a 13-year-old makes an app. Do you agree with that perception, that things have never been so good?

Edwards: It depends. If you talk with people like Richard Garriott or Ed Fries or other people who are steeped in the 8-bit world and all the nostalgia for that era…. [Laughs] Obviously Richard said some things recently that were interesting. I’m not going to speak to that. He already issued his rebuttal to what he said. But the perception is interesting.


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In a lot of ways, it’s a very good time to be a game designer because you have options. Most artists that I know, whether they’re a game designer or a painter or a filmmaker, say that having options is one of the things that you want as a creative person. The ability is there to have so many different ways to express yourself through a game — do it in Unity, join a triple-A studio, whatever you want to do. It’s going to keep evolving, but I think the ability to have so many options is something that didn’t exist before. To me, that makes it better. It’s only going to get better. Stuff is going to come out as far as distribution and development that we still have not thought of yet. As long as it keeps going in that positive direction, it’s a good thing.

GamesBeat: Here’s where I wish the measurement was better. Sometimes having a successful app seems like winning the lottery. How are most people faring, though? I don’t really have a clue on that.

Edwards: I wish I knew as well. We have two different lotteries going on — the Kickstarter lottery and the App Store lottery. Both of them are very tenuous in terms of predictability.

GamesBeat: But that’s more lotteries than we’ve had before.

Edwards: [Laughs] That’s true. Unless you’re working on the next Modern Warfare or Halo or something where you know it’s going to make money, but that’s not “your” money.

GamesBeat: Is anything else interesting happening this week?

Edwards: We’re very proud of the advocacy track and all the topics we’re highlighting there. It’s a good milestone not only for GDC, but for the IGDA. It’s great that [GDC event owner] UBM is allowing that track to go forward. They recognize that these issues need to be discussed. It underscores, for the IGDA, our mission of advocacy in addition to professional development. Being able to be seen is one of the things we do. As we’re trying to evolve our own organization, one of the things we want to do a better job of is taking a lot of the brain trust in our special interest groups — the writing SIG, the diversity SIG, the women in games SIG — and make that more explicit and overt, through our website and other means, so that people know what we’re doing. They know the issues that we’re tackling.

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