Talking about Gaming & Women in Tech in an interview with the SVP of Gaming Tribe, Kimberly Vizurraga. She was instrumental in the development of the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), the world’s first international professional esports organisation. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Marketing for the Adrenaline Vault, one of the most popular video gaming publications on the Web in the 1990’s.
1. What do you attribute to the massive success of Gaming Tribe?
I believe our success can be attributed to a very unique group of stakeholders that we have been lucky enough to attract—a growing community of Gaming Tribe members, who continually foster a welcoming and positive online community, a dedicated team of volunteers, the generous support from corporate partners, our extremely talented programmers, and, of course, innovative leadership.
2. How was the experience of growing from a social network community(Facebook) to an independent social network(Gaming Tribe)
The initial leap of faith to cross into uncharted waters can be scary, as it’s always easier to hold on to the shore we know. But sometimes the idea of what’s on the other side is too enticing to ignore.
We recognized intuitively that it was time to move forward with the development and launch of our own social media network solution…and so without hesitation we took that chance. As you might imagine there have been some anxious and exciting moments along the way, and we certainly could not have come this far this fast if it weren’t for the enthusiastic group of community members who essentially beta test the new features at Gaming Tribe. As Gaming Tribe is a community driven project, the feedback we receive from our members is invaluable in our development.
3. How important is the mobile vs. web debate for Gaming Tribe?
Our main focus in the context of mobile vs. web is to provide the absolute best Gaming Tribe experience we can, no matter what size screen or device a community member chooses to access us from. The integrity of the interface must be seamless and consistent from a phone, tablet, PC or TV. For this reason we developed and released our Responsive Web Design (RWD) last November and consider this feature to be an important and timely milestone in our evolution.
4. With Virtual Reality rising, how do you it affecting the gaming landscape?
Virtual Reality is a particularly exciting frontier that I fully expect will affect all aspects of the gaming landscape—from game play, hardware and software optimizations, to new products designed to enhance the immersive experience. We are already beginning to see new companies emerge in anticipation of this nascent industry.
Consequently, the innovations in gaming for VR will cross over into other applications further advancing opportunities in education, medicine, environmental, social science, and others. The lines that separate us in our beliefs and experiences will be challenged and blurred.
5. How important is analytics/data in building a social network?
Companies can become too indoctrinated with measurement and analytics because it is the dogma of business. We understand the importance of evaluation so we developed a number of unique assessment tools for our Gaming Tribe partners, but there are also very important aspects of social media that cannot easily be measured such as trust and community.
Because Gaming Tribe is an environment built on social exchange and interaction, there has to be room to explore, to have fun and be organic in communications. If a company is merely focused on measuring every keystroke and post, then they miss a great opportunity to interact with their fans in the most genuine manner. And those more natural exchanges are the ones that can be most impactful.
6. How do you see the role of women in the tech industry growing?
I am definitely excited to see the growing number of woman leaders in tech such as Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook, and Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos. But, of course, women remain underrepresented in technology, so I am glad to see that more attention is being given to this issue.
As the number of tech based jobs and strong competition for technical talent continues to increase, it is critical that parents and teachers of young girls encourage and emphasize the importance of math and science in school. There is amazing work being done to expose young girls to technology as a possible career path. Non-profit groups like, Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, and Rails Girls do a wonderful job of helping to close the gender gap in technology by providing tools and resources to young girls interested in opportunities in engineering and computing. Major Silicon Valley tech companies and other corporations are supporting these efforts to educate and change biases that still exist to increase the pipeline of qualified female employees, so I am very hopeful about the future of young woman in technology.