Xbox’s Sarah Bond Discusses Being On Stage At E3 And Being Warned About Trolls

Xbox’s head of creator experience and ecosystem Sarah Bond has reflected on her 2019 E3 appearance in a recent interview, naming it as the most meaningful thing she’s done in her time at Microsoft. Speaking to Inverse, Bond recalls being warned about trolls, interactions backstage, and crying as she walked off the stage.

“I’d argue that wasn’t my best actual showcase performance, but that one was the most meaningful,” Bond explained. “We had never had a Black woman come up on stage before. Xbox wanted me to do it, but they were setting my expectations that it may be very rough. There’s days of rehearsals before the live show. At one point, someone who had worked on that show for 20 years told me, ‘We never thought we would see this. We’re so proud of you.'”

The games industry is known to struggle with diversity, especially when it comes to the people who are represented on stage at the biggest presentations and events. Bond explains how she was galvanized to do her part to change that perception by speaking at E3, then one of the biggest events in the industry’s calendar.

“I realized I didn’t get to be scared or nervous–that was a selfish feeling. I had to do it for everybody who has been told that they weren’t good enough, or they didn’t look right. I was going to do it for them. So I went out and did it,” Bond recalls. “I was not nervous. It was like I left my body. I started crying when I walked off stage. Because it was good. I didn’t let anybody down. I could be me. It shattered the perception that having me on stage was a compromise or a trade-off. That I’m going to do a worse job. Now, other women don’t have to deal with that. I’m most proud of the fact that I had a hand in changing that perception, so people won’t say stuff like that anymore.”

In the interview Bond also touched on other ways she’s chasing change in the games industry, including a discussion on the potential for AI to positively affect game development.

Add a Comment