7 pm, Friday, September 25th, Auditorium 140:
"Choose your Character"
"Tech feminist Brianna Wu has been a powerful voice for women in the game
industry. Since being targeted by GamerGate, a misogynistic hate movement,
she's been the target of unprecedented death threats, rape threats and
harassment. In this powerful talk, she discusses the origins of her studio
Giant Spacekat, their vision for games, and how she stays true to what she
Brianna Wu is the Keynote Speaker for the 2015 Mechademia Conference on
Gender and Gaming.
Brianna Wu is head of development at Giant Spacekat, a prominent game
development team in the industry with female leadership. She is also a
well-known public speaker on issues affecting women in tech. She rose to be
one of the most prominent women in game development in 2014 after being
subjected to threats on her life from GamerGate.
Even at an early age, Wu took a strong interest in entrepreneurship. She
had businesses at 15 out of her parents’ garage, modifying cars and
computers. At the age of 19, she dropped out of college to produce a
$200,000 animated pilot — renting a house and turning it into a production
In 2010, Wu was excited by the launch of mobile Unreal for iOS, and decided
to launch a company to make games with the technology. This was the birth
of Giant Spacekat. Wu had no previous experience in Unreal but assembled
capital and a team, and spent most of early 2011 teaching herself 3D
programs such as Maya and Unreal. She also became an expert in Kismet and
Wu has described herself as, “barely a feminist” when she started the
company in 2010. She wanted to create games with strong female characters,
but believed it was best to “just do a good job and don’t make a big deal
out of it.”
Working in the game industry, Wu found herself frequently frustrated by
what she described as the “boys club” mentality in games, which was much
worse than any of the other industries she’d worked in. This was reflected
in the tone of their first game Revolution 60, which featured an all-female
cast of special operatives, in a game many describe as having strong
feminist overtones. Revolution 60 shipped in July of 2014 to critically
acclaimed reviews from Macworld, Kotaku, Gamebreaker, 148Apps, and others.
A sequel is currently in the works.
In 2014 Wu also launched Isometric, a games podcast with a majority of
women voicing their perspective. This was quickly picked up by the
prominent 5by5 network and quickly became one of the most listened-to
podcasts in games. She also hosts Rocket on Relay.FM.