Visionary Awards honor Microsoft’s Sarah Bond and Arkane’s Dinga Bakaba

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The two leaders who excel in gameplay, diversity and gaming as a business are the winners of this year’s Visionary Awards and our Up and Waist Awards at the GamesBeat Summit 2022 event.

This year, our committee of 10 industry judges honored Sarah Bond, corporate vice president of Microsoft, and Dinga Bakaba, studio head of Arcan Leon, Bethesda’s division, for our Visionary Award and Up and Commerce Award, respectively.

Tammy MacDonald, CEO of Axis Game Factory and venture partner for Griffin Gaming Partners, hosted the awards, which began in 2018 as a way to honor industry leaders with a vision for the future.

Our past winners for the Visionary Award include Rand Miller, co-founder of Sion and co-creator of Myst; Ted Price, founder of Insomniac Games; John Smedley, Studio Head at Amazon Game Studio San Diego; And Laura Miley, top gaming executive at Electronic Arts.

Eve Cravoshay and Natasha “Tech Zombieckles” from Tech This were our past winners for Zinda’s Up and Waist Award. When it comes to achievements in the sports industry, this award honors a person who is up-and-down. It is not based on age or experience in the game industry. Instead, he recognizes that the greatest potential for honor is ahead of him.

This year’s panel of judges includes past winners such as Eve Crevoshy, Ted Price and Natasha Zinda. Other judges include Tammy MacDonald, Dean Takahashi, Shelley Andagan, Don Daglo, Kathy Simpson and Evan Fernandes Lobo.

And this year we have a prize that will immortalize the winners in digital form. Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage, has offered “Metastage” to our winners. That means he will use his company’s volumetric capture stage in Los Angeles (or later Vancouver) to capture our winners in full 3D animated imagery.

Sarah Bond

Sarah Bond is the corporate vice president at Microsoft Xbox.
Sarah Bond is the corporate vice president at Microsoft Xbox.

For our first winner, Sarah Bond, Game Creator Experience at Microsoft and Vice President of Ecosystem, we have a quote from one of our judges, Natasha “Zombakills” Zinda, who said:

“Sarah Bond continues to move forward with purpose and vision through the game industry. She has developed a gaming experience that is as advanced as it is diverse. Through her contributions to Xbox, we are able to see the future of gaming reflected in guidance and leadership. Recognizing Sarah for her hard work was a clear choice when considering someone in the game space who has consistently made her dream work a reality. Sarah is paving the way for a gaming culture that is rich in experience and has depth in its various partnerships. “

We also have a video presentation of Unity CEO John Riccitello with some words about Sarah, which you can see in the video.

“Yes, her achievements prove that she has intelligence, brain and drive,” said Recitillo. “I came here to say that she has a heart too. She is the perfect package. ”

In his acknowledgment speech, Bond said, “I am extremely humbled and proud to accept this award.”

She added, “In life, we all have the power to imagine and dream of a better world. And I see myself doing a lot these days, especially everything we’ve been going through and going through these last two years. “But what I want to talk about today is how I believe we can actually move towards creating a better world by dreaming,” she said. “And the game plays a major role in making that possible and everyone who makes the games. I believe that empathy is the foundation of a better world. ”

“In the modern world, we can have global relations,” she said. But bonding with people is as difficult as we once did in towns and villages. She said sports have a unique power to bring people into the whole journey of empathy.

“I think of games like Tell Me Why that lets us walk in someone else’s shoes and experience emotional insights into their perspective. In the case of Tell Me Why, Trans Men’s perspective knows the entertainment we use. It has a profound effect on what we think and feel, “Bond said.” And sports can allow us to join that huge divide. When we think about it, you complete a quest Get out of the dungeon, build a city, do it with someone you’ve never met, live on the other side of the world, and it doesn’t really matter, their gender, their culture, their abilities, their language. It doesn’t matter in the game. And more than anything, you can have that shared sense of accomplishment with someone. And it’s really necessary to break down barriers and build a real deep human connection. “

The game is a sympathetic multiplayer, she said.

“If we open the tent and involve everyone, if we empower everyone who wants to be creators, if we play together and empathize with each other’s humanity, if we do this, we will create a better world,” Bond said. “And I believe that the world we all dream of will be the best.”

Dinga Bakaba

Dinga Bakaba is the studio director of Arcane Leon and the creative director at Deathloop.

Harvey Smith, head of Arken Austin, talked about meeting Bakaba as a job candidate and his abilities as a game creator. Smith said he worked with Bakaba for eight years on titles such as Dishonord DLC, Dishonord 2 and Dishonord: Death of the Outsider.

“There is no one as hard as Dinga or as smart as Dinga. And just knowing that he is being accepted for it and for himself, is a reward for the people around him who work with him, “said Smith.” After Deathloop’s success. And this acceptance is well deserved. “

He added, “How difficult it is to rediscover the games that Arken makes and for the epidemic to fall, and to send us all home and really throw the world into a tailspin. And yet, during that time, creating a game like Deathloop, which is a masterpiece. And I admire Dinga’s work on Deathloop with Sebastian Mitten and Dana Nightingale and everyone else who has worked on Death Loop – it’s just incredible. So I’m just going to close by saying that it’s an honor to accept Dinga this way. He has gone through a lot of adversity to get to where he is. He has worked so hard. And with all that, with style, with humor, with strength, with compassion for those around him. That’s exactly what the sports industry needs more. “

In his tribute to Bakaba, Zinda said:

“Dinga Bakaba has made an impression in gaming and there is no denying that it will make immersive games in this space for a long time to come. Dinga has been helping to tell incredible stories and has now taken the lead at Arcan Lyon as a studio / co-director. Dinga has the ability to tell new stories and see new ways to enrich the playground. And the game is on the cutting edge of creation. It was an easy choice to identify the work we have seen them do and the work we know they will do. We can’t wait to see where his vision takes him. “

In his acknowledgment speech, Bacaba, head of Arcan Leon Studios in France and creative director of Deathloop, thanked everyone who helped pave the way for him when there were many obstacles.

‘I am really honored and happy to receive this award. Not just because up and waist make me young and sexy. But also because I like the idea that my best work with the team at Arcana is ahead, “Bakaba said.” My career is full of people who tell me that I was very ambitious. Don’t come, or I should get back in line. And I know a lot of game developers and students are listening to the same tunes that we’re talking about, “Bakaba said.” I was really lucky that some people believed in me. Tough challenges will force you to do your best, but it is very important to have your back when you have to make tough decisions. Also, I thank my subsequent teams who helped me develop as a person, a game developer and a leader. , Because for introverts like me, I had to set some soft skills that aren’t innate. And I’m really thankful that people called me when my character and my behavior weren’t in harmony.

It also had a message for game developers.

“For all the aspiring developers, and those who are making their way into the industry, please do not underestimate the value of mentors, colleagues and reports. When they push you out of the comfort zone with respect and philanthropy, they will keep you honest as an individual and on the edge of your abilities as a developer, “he said.

And he thanked his gamers.

“Thank you so much for reminding me every day why it’s valuable. Your smile is your memory, your thoughts, you ask for your criticism, the fuel of my passion, and quite frankly, my personal happiness, “Bakaba said.” So go back to this wonderful award. That if my best work is ahead of me, it’s thanks to the wonderful people I’ve worked with and worked with, and for whom we create wonderful creations that challenge the impossible and what we call video games. Players. ”

Please join us to congratulate Bond and Bakaba on their due rewards.

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