My day-to-day job includes advising clients on a range of non-contentious intellectual property matters such as licences, influencer agreements, merchandise agreements, collaboration agreements and branding advice. I also act for streamers in the video games industry. Although I am not a developer or work directly in the industry, I work with many people in the industry both in my professional and personal capacity.
I’ve been a gamer since the age of seven. I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a type of childhood cancer when I was seven and my Dad brought me a Gameboy and (ironically) a copy of Doctor Mario. I have been hooked ever since. My favourite game is Assassin’s Creed, and in 2012 I started tweeting about how much I loved the game. I started to build a community and this was noticed by Ubisoft, the developer of the game. I was appointed as a brand ambassador in 2012 and was part of the Mentor’s Guild from 2017 till 2022. I’m now a “Star Player” for Assassin’s Creed.
In Summer 2020, Ubisoft made headlines for allegations of sexual misconduct against its employees and their ongoing reluctance to offer a fixed, woman protagonist in their main releases. This turns out to be an industry wide problem, and I became increasingly frustrated with male dominance and lack of women’s representation in the franchise.
I then decided to act and formed AC Sisterhood in August 2020 which is a community-led movement with the goal of highlighting, appreciating and supporting women and minorities in the Assassin’s Creed universe, the community and development teams. The movement is not just for women and men and other genders, those who are non-binary can also support the cause. It’s open to all who stand by its message.
The Sisterhood aims to unite and create a “warm and inviting environment” for supporters. We have created a Discord Server, an instant messaging platform designed to create communities, which is heavily moderated so that we have a safe space away from toxicity and online harassment, which many women suffer, so much so that some avoid mentioning that they’re players.
I believe that some of the skills that I have obtained from gaming over the years and from my involvement as a brand ambassador and founder of AC Sisterhood are transferable to my current role in the following ways.
The games industry is a rapidly evolving industry so understanding how the industry works and the ability to adapt and understand changes in technology and trends is incredibly important. You also need the ability to try and predict change and understand how such changes may impact your clients.
Communication skills are important in any role, but in my career having the ability to clearly communicate advice to clients in an understandable manner is so important. Gaming over the years has helped me here – playing multiplayer games where you have to lead and communicate instructions clearly to achieve an objective helps build this important skill. Ensuring that the goals of ACSisterhood are clearly communicated also helped build this skill.
Multiplayer games often present opportunities for certain players to “take the lead” of a team. The leader will usually dictate the strategy for the gameplay and will often give commands to other players in the team as well as assisting other players. Sometimes even small messages of encouragement to your team during gameplay help to boost morale! Again, this is a transferable skill to the “real world” as these same skills are needed in leadership environments.
Being a woman of colour in the legal profession and in the gaming space can at times feel really intimidating – particularly when there aren’t many people that look like you. I’ve learned over the years to challenge behaviours and to use my voice to open up important conversations that may be uncomfortable (as I have done with AC Sisterhood). The ability to adapt to stress and difficult scenarios is applicable to any role, but this is an essential skill for demanding jobs, such as mine.
Most video games include an element of problem solving. Playing games that involve this mechanic builds on your ability to think critically and quickly.
Lots of games include an element of strategy. If you take Assassin’s Creed as an example, a core gameplay mechanic is stealth. You need to be able to move from A to B without being detected and working out how to do this involves strategy. Strategic thinking is important for any job, particularly in my professional role where I need to come up with strategies to help solve legal problems.
Arguably not a traditional skill per se but it is really important to have the confidence to bring your whole self to work and be authentic. This may not be something that happens overnight, but it comes over time as confidence is built.