The first spotlight in my series Professionals with Periods is Belinda Van Sickle, Gamedocs President/CEO and Women In Games International President & CEO.
Belinda Van Sickle started her video game career as a game manual copyist at Activision in 1997. She designed, edited, wrote and did layouts for Activision game manuals until 2005. While her main career was designing game manuals, in 1999, she helped create Ignited Minds, an advertising agency specializing in the video game industry.
Realizing her true potential for not just one or two companies but on a global scale, she left both Activision and Ignited Minds in 2005 to start her own company, Gamedocs, a service provider specializing in strategic and marketing consulting, packaging, localizations, web promotion and B-to-B materials. Her clients include Blizzard, Vivendi, Disney Interactive Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Konami, Midway and many other triple A and independent publishers.
As a professional in the video games industry, she decided to help other women in gaming , volunteering at Women in Games International in 2006 by managing and hosting the WIGI Linkedin group and the Community Mixer series. The Women in Games International committee must have liked her bubbling personality because she then became the CEO of WIGI, leading WIGI’s efforts towards encouraging and supporting women in gaming and promoting women’s achievements in the video game industry.
Belinda has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master’s in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Sonoma State University. She has spoken at other industry conferences such as Casual Connect and NAB. Belinda has been interviewed for several articles on the game industry for publications like Wired, GameSpot, GameCareerGuide, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. She has lectured at the University of Southern California, California State University-Fullerton, the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles, Westwood College and the Laguna College of Art and Design.
She’s been a hardcore
casual gamer for more than 20 years and loves hidden object games on the Macintosh, social games and mobile arcade titles.
Where does she find the time? I don’t know. She is gifted. She’s also one of my clients.
She recently spoke at the Game Developers Conference of 2013 on a WIGI panel for women in gaming about media stereotypes having a strong influence on young people and their decisions for life, love and careers. One of the main issues panelists discussed was the correlation between a lack of quality in female characters in game development and the lack of women in gaming influencing character quality.