We do this by organizing events where we develop games using a minority perspective as inspiration. During these game jams, people from different backgrounds come together for a weekend.
In the past few years, they made games around the following themes: LGBTQ+, ethnical backgrounds, religion, folklore, and refugees.
During the game jams, developers cared about the representation of others. Now is the time to celebrate the diversity of the game developers themselves, because the industry consists of more than just straight men. 17 percent is women, 3 percent identifies as ‘other’, and there are special events for LGBTQ+ developers. We see an increase in developers with non-normative genders and sexual preferences. This diversity is visible: there are games about coming out as gay, about body dysmorphia, and about homosexual relationships.
The visibility of gay game developers is increasing as well. One of the first private groups on Facebook was created for gay game developers. With over 1400 members, this group is (fortunately) no longer ‘secret’. Additionally, gay developers unite in so-called Special Interest Groups with the international industry association IGDA, where they are currently the largest SIG.
This progress should be celebrated! We will show how colorful and inclusive the game industry is.
By joining the Canal Pride Utrecht 2018, we want to make a contribution to improve the representation of an industry that we love. We exchange our black t-shirts for colorful cosplay costumes, and we move our game design from the computer screen to an inclusive interaction with the spectators.
Will Mario and Luigi kiss? Or will Link finally come out as transgender? We’ll find out this summer in Utrecht, and perhaps more people will join our wonderful and increasingly inclusive industry.