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Innovation Agents: Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President at Electronic Arts

if (window.location.pathname.match(“tag”)){} else {document.write(“<\/script><\/a><\/noscript><\/span>”);} The gaming vet who fell in love with The Sims years ago–then went on to create the game’s latest, most successful iterations–talks about the importance of listening to users and always respecting the idea of playfulness.

Lucy Bradshaw has a gaming obsession–she once played a marathon Sim City session that ended at 4 a.m. After graduating with a psych degree from the University of Michigan, she started moving her way up through the gaming industry–at Activision, and later EA. Today, she’s leading the team responsible for the latest version of the game she originally fell in love with: The Sims, which has sold 100 million copies worldwide, and later, Spore.

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A playful state of mind and work atmosphere has always been a key to her success at EA and in the gaming industry as a whole. “Players want to express themselves. That’s a whole new way in which the bar has been raised,” Bradshaw says. “How can I make that real to me, instead of a sort of nameless, faceless world?”

Today, she encourages young people to get into gaming by building their own little Flash games and sharing their experiences.

“For me, this job is one of those things that’s just continually intriguing. You’re always learning.”

This interview is part of a series about the paths that innovators took to get where they are today. See more Innovation Agents.

Video produced by Amanda Holt of Shatterbox.

About the author

I'm the executive editor of Fast Company and Co.Design.

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