This seems to be an often controversial topic in the gaming world. Check the comment section in any gaming related news on representation of minorities in gaming and game development so you can get a glimpse of what I’m talking about. For many people, there’s a conspiracy going on, a political agenda, or a secret society plotting replace a group of people to favor another. Anyway, whatever your take on that might be, some institutions are aware of it and are currently trying to chime in.
The IGDA Foundation, for instance, has recently announced the Speaker Diversity Initiative, in recognition of the common lack of diversity among the ones that take the stage in game development events around the world. According to Jen MacLean, IGDA Foundation’s managing director, 78% of the people in the game industry identify themselves as men and this number is higher when it comes to the number of voices being heard in conferences.
That means IGDA is paying attention to the fact that people of color, women, and even the most varied spectrum of sexual orientations are left out and something can be done to improve that.
In a recent blog post, MacLean introduces the Speaker Diversity Initiative as a way to mitigate this problem and shed some light on underrepresented professionals that hardly make it to the stages of the game development events around the world. For that purpose, the initiative consists of the Speaker Diversity Network, for connecting developers to speaking opportunities, and the Speaker Diversity Grant, for removing the economic barriers preventing developers from traveling to the places where game development events usually take place.