The nonprofit organization Women in Games is expanding its annual conference into a virtual festival this year. The Women in Games Festival 2021 will take place September 6  – 18, and feature a two-day conference, a global award show, a week-long game jam, and an esports tournament.

The free launch event will kick things off on the evening of September 6, followed by the Women in Games Conference. The conference will feature speakers, fireside chats, and panels, and focus on community, industry, educations, and policy. Virtual expo booths will be available for networking groups and studios. Tickets are $25 and will be available soon.

The Side Quest Games Jam will run from September 8 – 15, and include livestreams with professional developers. The esports tournament returns for its sophomore year on September 11 -12, and the conference will culminate with the Women in Games Awards on September 18. The awards now includes Video Game Awards, Community Awards, Education Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Gaming & Esports Awards. Finalists will be announced on August 13.

The Women in Games Conference is also open to hosting satellite events and sponsorships opportunities. Interested parties can reach out via email.

“The Women in Games Festival is a hugely important event in the calendar for highlighting gender diversity across games and esports around the world,” said Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO, Women in Games. “The Festival is the only one of its kind and is celebrated for bringing women and allies together for two weeks of learning and inspiration. We urge as many individuals and organizations as possible to get involved and look forward to seeing many of you in September.”

Women in Games has been around for over a decade, encouraging, networking, and establishing women in the gaming and esports industries, where they are still vastly underrepresented. According to the Women in in Games website, the number of women working in the games industry has risen from 6% to 22% over the last decade, but still has a long ways to go.

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Eric has been writing for over five years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.