Thoughts on Recent News & Gaming
Maybe we’re preaching to the choir, but 2020 has felt pretty rough, with this past month feeling especially so. Just logging into social media brings up a constantly updating stream of new things to worry about.
We took a media break for a bit around the beginning of June to process our thoughts and emotions and also to give more important voices space to be heard. There aren’t a lot of easy or immediate answers.
[Jimmy: Let's all take time to listen to those who have been disenfranchised for so long, equality starts with us. I'm glad Jackie has written this post, look to the bottom for ways you can help.]
We’re still learning how best to lend our support and to promote unity in a time that seems bent on ripping us all apart. As soon as we learn about one injustice, another seems to pop into its spot. Hong Kong, Covid, Black Lives Matter, Transphobia, Pride, sexual harassment/assault in the gaming industry, etc.
What can we do?
I’ve always been raised on the idea that to solve bigger problems, we need to focus on breaking off pieces and fixing those first. With that in mind, I’m focusing this post on the immediate problems relating to the environment that we’re closest to, gaming.
My experience in the indie gaming community has been nothing but positive so far. Going to PAX East 2020 back in March and repping our game at Indie MEGABOOTH is honestly one of the highlights of the past year, if not 5! That said, I recognize that not everybody has had that experience.
So how can we support our peers?
Listen - When somebody says they’re being treated unfairly, or that they’re hurting, practice active listening. Hear/see their story.
Amplify - Don’t let their stories be forgotten, support them when they’re telling their story.
Play games that support diversity - Vote with your dollar!
Be kind - We need to cut back on the hurtful words that can be thrown around in the heat of the moment. Language is ever-evolving, we no longer speak like we’re in the 16th century, we can choose better words to convey our feelings.
I also did some research and found this list of organizations that help to promote diversity in gaming.
Game Devs of Color Expo - “The Game Devs of Color Expo is a space meant to enlighten and unite, and is open to people of all genders, races, abilities, sexual orientations, and religions. We are committed to ensuring that this event is inclusive to all. The venue is wheelchair accessible, live captions will be displayed for all talks and presentations, and gender-neutral restrooms will be available.”
POC in Play - “POC in Play is an independent organisation creating a range of initiatives and programme of events designed to increase the visibility and representation of People of Colour in the video games industry. We aim to work with industry, educators and other diversity organisations to create more opportunities for all.”
I Need Diverse Games - “I Need Diverse Games via all associated platforms and members; including but not limited to: twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other mediums seeks to bring projects, works and research by marginalized folks to light. We also seek to discuss, analyze and critique identity and culture in video games through a multi-faceted lens rooted in intersectionality”
Black Girl Gamers - “Heightening Black Women's voices in gaming. Advocates for D&I. Home to the Black Girl Gamers global community of over 6k members.”
Black Game Developers - List of Black Game Developers by skillset and location.
Tabletop Gaymers - “Tabletop Gaymers Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to address homophobia in the tabletop gaming community by providing educational, social, and networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) “gaymers” and allies.”
GaymerX - “GaymerX advocates for more and better LGBTQ+ representation in game content and in staff at major studios. They also assist game developers in attending major game development conferences, allowing them to make connections and find jobs in the industry. And perhaps what they’re most well-known for, GaymerX hosts gaming conventions, showcasing LGBTQ+ game creators, gaming content, and speakers. The conventions provide a safe space for gamers of all genders, races, ethnicities, abilities, and orientations to come together and do what they love the most, game.”
Gayming Mag - Online magazine geared towards LGBT+ about gaming.
AnyKey - "AnyKey is an advocacy group that supports diversity, inclusion, and equity in competitive gaming. We amplify, connect, and empower marginalized players and their allies through research and strategic initiatives."
Girls Make Games - “Girls Make Games is a series of summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of designers, creators, and engineers.”
Girls Who Code - “We're reaching girls around the world and are on track to close the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs by 2027.”
These are obviously just brushing the surface of organizations out there. If there are any that are close to your heart, please let us know. We should work together to share as much info as possible!