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Mentorship Cheat Code: Raising Diverse Talent in the Games Industry

Jim Huntley  (Professor & Head of Marketing, USC Games)

Jenn Panattoni  (Head of Social Impact, Xbox, Microsoft)

Latoya Peterson  (CXO & Co-founder, Glow Up Games)

Kahlief Adams  (Founder, Spawn On Me)

Meggan Scavio  (President, Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS))

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 23

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Advocacy, Design

Format: Panel

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

The impact of mentorship on young game developers can be vital to long-term career growth. In fact, a study published by The National Mentoring Partnership reports young adults with mentors are 55% more likely to enroll in college and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

In this panel, a diverse group of industry professionals will share their experiences with mentorship, whether as mentor or mentee, on how it has helped shape their career in the games industry—as well as how mentorship can be an important factor to create a more diverse space.

The games industry still has room to grow with representing voices from all backgrounds and walks of life, and panelists will share their opinions on how mentorship can inspire the next generation of game developers, while being a viable path for underrepresented voices to be heard.


Attendees will gain a new understanding of the important role that mentorship plays in the games industry, especially for underrepresented groups. Attendees will also walk away with new tools for how to get involved with mentorship, or start a program of their own.

Intended Audience

This is for anyone who wants to break into the games industry or further their career, but is having trouble finding a good place to start. Industry professionals, educators, and others would also benefit from learning how structured mentorship can contribute to greater diversity.