Recording by AlterConf and Post Production by Confreaks
The Code Liberation Foundation was created in order to increase the number of women in game development. The games industry is currently incredibly unwelcoming toward women and people of color. During this session, Catt Small and Stacey Mulcahy will discuss why diversity in games is important, methods used to encourage women to program video games, and lessons learned during Code Liberation’s efforts to build a positive community of women in games.
In my year and a half working in the tech startup scene in New York City, I'm always surprised to learn that I'm almost always the sole native New Yorker on any team; specifically, from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States, the Bronx. Having learned to code from a fellow Bronxite who became a developer, a budding career in tech was literally the only chance I had to become upwardly mobile. In my talk I will explore the implications of a the dearth of talented individuals across communities of color & low-income areas in the tech industry, and how little exposure to startups and the tech industry is shutting out generations of young people of color from upward mobility and an industry that creates products that many of them use in their day-to-day lives.
The Nigerian tech scene is booming. With increased access to mobile technology and connected cities, West African designers and developers are creating unique solutions to literacy, mobile apps, and games. This talk will look at some success stories, such as Genii games and CcHub, and offer ways that Western tech communities can find common cause with this community. There are so many amazing people doing amazing things there, I just want to show another community what is happening, and offer some ideas on what it means to be an African with a foot in both worlds.
Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have been a big boon to allowing creators who wanted to work around the publisher system to get projects off the ground. We have seen the resurgence of old, beloved and once dormant series', and the return to creating games in genres that were long thought dead. But there was a problem initially that even in this new space, there was a lack of ethnic, racial and gender diversity in the makeup of creators and the protagonists of a large swath of games that were funded. In the last year, however, several key projects have been funded on Kickstarter that have shown that Kickstarter can really be a path toward helping diverse voices get their projects made. From fan favorites like Shantae, to the unknown Catacomb Kids and the recent new project Sunset by renowned developer Tale of Tales, this talk will analyze a few projects that have helped push the needle and shown that under represented voices can find success in the crowdfunding sphere and why that is so valuable.
Deafness is an invisible disability in the hearing world. Being deaf in a tech company often means isolation and fundamental communication problems. Solving these problems impact company culture as a whole, especially in regards to remote workers. We'll also discuss common misconceptions about people who are deaf, and shine light on aspects of deafness we often don't consider.
Learn about how to respectfully use indigenous cultures in your games from a Native American making games (present tense).
Content warning: presents a few statistics on sexual harassment, assault, and violence against Native Americans as well as sexualization in media.
In the U.S., a country literally "built for white men," (Khadijah White, Rutgers) imperialism and colonialism cast a long shadow on the economic drivers of business and technology. Influenced by experiences of micro-discrimination at MIT Media Lab and my response in working on its Diversity Committee, I've started a long-term project to explore the imperialist shadow on U.S. startups and to consider if diversity is considered an inessential luxury in the tech economy.
We all recognize the need for more diversity in games and the gaming community, but how can we make that happen? Chris Algoo will share his experiences creating diversity-focused Game Jams and video games, and offer some tips for games and events of your own. Questions afterward are highly encouraged!
This talk will focus on the role of gaming in mental, physical, and social rehabilitation. Sharing a combination of research and personal experience, the talk will examine the benefits of gaming for rehabilitation, what games are doing well, and how we need to go forward in both our games and our gaming culture.