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#1ReasontoBe panel returns to GDC this year

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The #1ReasontoBe panel celebrating women in the video game industry is returning to the Game Developers Conference this year, reports Gamasutra.

The panel was inspired by the #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe hashtags that took Twitter by storm last year, sparking discussion of women's presence and influence within the industry and why they choose to work in games. Panelists will discuss the rewards and challenges of working in the industry and explore ways to make it more inclusive in the future.

This year's panel will be hosted by two returning panelists, veteran designer Brenda Romero and journalist Leigh Alexander. They will be accompanied by Double Fine Productions' Anna Kipnis, PETlab co-founder and director Colleen Macklin, designer Deirdra "Squinky" Kiai, director and producer Laralyn McWilliams and designer Lauren Scott.

"Last year, the panel was a huge success, far more than the sum of its parts," Romero told Gamasutra. "It ended up being hugely inspirational and fun for everyone who was there — including the speakers! We were grateful to be asked to host the panel last year, and we're excited to bring a new slate of inspirational people to explore the #1ReasonToBe!"

Last year's panel also included Microsoft Studios game designer Kim McAuliffe, Funomena founder Robin Hunicke, Storm8 game designer Elizabeth Sampat and writer Mattie Brice. The panel is currently available to watch for free through the GDC Vault.