Game industry shows diversity with their own boat at Utrecht Canal Pride
On June 16, Games [4Diversity] is joining the Utrecht Canal Pride, the LGBTQ parade on the canals of Utrecht in the Netherlands. It’s the first time in the world that the game industry joins a boat parade of the LGBTQ community.
Sloppy straight men with black t-shirts and long greasy hair – this is the stereotype image of a game developer, an image that the Games [4Diversity] Foundation wants to change. Throughout the years, they’ve been contributing to the improving representation and inclusion of socio-cultural minorities in popular culture. The foundation does this by organizing events where participants 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.
Diversity in the game industry
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. There’s 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 group.
Games [4Diversity] celebrates this progress and shows how colorful and inclusive the game industry is. By joining the Utrecht Canal Pride 2018, the foundation wants to make a contribution to improve the representation of the industry that they love. Black t-shirts are exchanged for colorful cosplay costumes, and their game design moves from the computer screen to an inclusive interaction with the spectators.
The Utrecht Canal Pride takes place on June 16 between 2pm, and 5pm on the Oudegracht in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Utrecht Canal Pride: http://www.utrechtcanalpride.nl/
For more information, please contact Eline Muijres, communications for Games [4Diversity]: firstname.lastname@example.org