Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Cristina Amaya, President at Latinx in Gaming and Director at DreamHack Festivals, America. She gives us insights into unique marketing activation events and her work in supporting a more diverse global gaming culture.
Read more about Cristina in this interview:
Hi Cristina! Could you give us insights into your work at Latinx in Gaming?

I started Latinx in Gaming alongside co-founders Juan Vaca, Elaine Gomez, Judith Barbosa & Joe Tirado after I had noticed that Latine/x/o’s never had set representation at events which were things like happy hours or maybe panels. We started with a panel at GDC in 2018 entitled “Latinx in Gaming you belong here”. From there we grew and now we focus on getting latines hired.We just finished our career fair, we plan on having networking happy hours & providing scholarships for folks.

Talking about how many people work in the gaming industry that are Latinx, unfortunately a lot of the top companies that do this research don’t have up-to-date stats since 2017 with the Latam federation having the most recent survey done in 2018 and ourselves having done a report in 2020. What I will say is larger companies usually have between 2 – 5% that consider themselves Latinx/Latine which is a pretty low number and sometimes even non-existent in certain companies and entities. I think that a lot of Latinx/Latine folks stopped pursuing gaming as a career for a lot of reasons and not just education. I think not seeing yourself in the career makes it hard for you to imagine that profession. Gaming as a hobby too is expensive, so being up to date or being able to travel to gaming events or shows can be pretty difficult. Finally, there can be a stigma especially in LATAM that working in gaming isn’t a real career which can stop people from actively pursuing it especially without parental or guardian support.

If you’re a student looking to get into the gaming industry we do have grants and scholarship programs that can help uplevel students. We also have networking opportunities available to students during hispanic heritage month in September. Feel free to reach out!

Where do you start when it comes to organizing the next US DreamHack festival?

I don’t want to take credit for years of work here. I just started with DreamHack and the teams have worked hard to get them running without me before this. How I hope to start any event is important though! An event starts with a vision & goals. The vision gives us a shared “north star” for us to follow when we make decisions. Our goals will feed into a vision, these goals are usually nebulous but have more concrete truths to them. From that we can start with an event creation process.

DreamHack has a lot of challenges, when you’re running it you need to make sure you’re accounting for so many different things. This could range from making sure your partners (such as Monster or Intel) have enough space to activate all the way to making sure that everyone has their flights booked on time. We have on average 15K attendees but we’re always looking to grow and expand the show.

What was the most creative or special marketing event that you’ve been part of?

I am really lucky to have worked on some really cool projects in my time. I think that it’s hard to pick a favorite but one of my favorite teams I worked with was the Google Stadia team thanks to my contractor, Adecco. 

Stadia’s launch event was the Stadia Holiday Pop Up which focused on doing launch activations around Paris, London and Los Angeles for a full day. The event showed Stadia’s capabilities and was a “home for the holidays” themed pop up with fun blankets, cozy region focused items and other similar features.

The team were sharp, savvy and hungry to create incredible things. Our launch event for the product was filled with our joy for creating a great activation.

Thanks for this interview, Cristina!

Cristina’s links: LinkedInLatinx in GamingDreamHack

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann