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GamesBeat Summit 2021: Laura Miele takes Visionary Award and Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda gets Up and Comer Award

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We’re excited to announce the winners of the GamesBeat Summit 2021 Visionary Awards. The Visionary Award went to Laura Miele, chief studios officer at Electronic Arts, while the Up and Comer Award was awarded to Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda.

Tammy McDonald, CEO of Axis Game Factory/Heavy H20, served as the host for our fourth annual Visionary Awards event at the close of our summit. The GamesBeat Visionary Awards started in 2018 as a way to honor game industry leaders who showed real vision for the future.

Our past winners for this award include Rand Miller, cofounder of Cyan and co-creator of Myst; Ted Price, founder of Insomniac Games; and John Smedley, studio head at Amazon Game Studios San Diego. Our panel of judges included past winners such as Miller, Price, Smedley, and Crevoshay. Other judges included me, Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat, and Don Daglow, game developer, author, senior director for strategic partnerships at the Strong, and president of the AIAS Foundation.

Above: Geoff Keighley, Vince Zampella and Brett Sperry present the Visionary Award to Laura Miele of Electronic Arts.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Geoff Keighley, creator of The Game Awards, gave the award to Miele. Keighley surprised Miele by introducing a couple of her good friends and colleagues from years past. And her friends Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, and Brett Sperry, cofounder of Westwood Studios, offered their support for Miele.

Above: Alanah Pearce of Sony Santa Monica Studios.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

We also presented our second annual Up and Comer Award to Zinda. Our past winner for this award was Eve Crevoshay (Kre-vo-shay) of Take This. This award honors someone who is an up-and-comer when it comes to achievements in the game industry. It isn’t based on age or experience in the game industry. Rather, it recognizes that the biggest potential of the honoree lies ahead of them.

Alanah Pearce, a streamer and a writer for Sony Santa Monica, presented the award to Zinda. Zinda started her content creation journey on Twitch a little under a year ago. She has since moved into leadership in the space for promoting community curation and digital inclusion aligned with activism and charity in the games space. As the founder of the Radically Kind Gamers, she hopes to continue to help promote kindness the industry.

Above: Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda of Radically Kind Gamers accepts the Up and Comer Award.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Crevoshay of Take This wrote, “I was very pleased to vote for ZombaeKillz because my work with her has impressed me so much. She is an excellent spokesperson for kindness, persistence, resilience, and humor on Twitch, and has been responsible for some excellent ‘firsts’ in gaming.”

In her emotional acceptance speech, Zinda said she was figuring out all of the ways to be radically kind in a world that hates you, as she has experienced as a Black woman.

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