Twitter Hashtag Challenges Web On Who Makes Video Video games
Picture: JC Lau Whereas the online game trade is turning into extra various yearly, marginalized
Whereas the online game trade is turning into extra various yearly, marginalized recreation builders are nonetheless usually dismissed in skilled settings primarily based on their look. One developer began the hashtag #WhatAGameDevLooksLike after safety guards at a video games convention apparently stopped her no fewer than thrice, and now, that hashtag has turn into a beautiful demonstration of the truth that folks of all genders, races, and sexualities are concerned in each side of recreation improvement.
On March 18 2019, JC Lau—an trade veteran now at Harebrained Schemes–was scheduled to take part in a panel referred to as “Constructing An Inclusive Sport Studio Tradition” on the Sport Builders Convention in San Francisco. Whereas she was ready in line to choose up her badge, she claims that no fewer than three safety guards informed her that the road was just for audio system. She seen that the white males round her weren’t being questioned by safety. After the expertise, she realized that different ladies, non-People, and folks of colour had been topic to comparable remedy. As a response, she posted her selfie with #WhatAGameDevLooksLike and inspired others to do the identical.
The hashtag was so profitable that Lau has continued #WhatAGameDevLooksLike throughout this yr’s GDC (the in-person occasion was canceled the previous two years on account of covid-19). The hashtag is crammed with selfies from feminine, queer, and non-white builders. A number of of them discuss having labored in recreation improvement for a decade or extra.
Lau is optimistic in regards to the optimistic results the hashtag has had on the trade. Whereas it raises folks’s consciousness about how a lot variety already exists in recreation improvement and disrupts the picture of the “typical” recreation developer as a cis white man, it has additionally been a supply of camaraderie for marginalized builders in an trade that’s nonetheless very homogenous. Lau informed Kotaku:
#WhatAGameDevLooksLike has been a chance for folks to attach, empower, and have a good time one another and the range in our trade. I’ve acquired messages from individuals who have stated that they thought they had been the “just one” from a selected background, and have discovered others like themselves. It’s additionally been a approach for folks to have conversations about navigating this trade as an individual from a marginalized background, and to be impressed about the way forward for the trade.
Lau added that she had not skilled any issues with over-eager safety guards this yr, however that she’d heard tales of demoralizing remedy from some fellow GDC attendees. It’s clear that there’s nonetheless a whole lot of work to be executed to make sure that the general public notion of recreation builders matches the various actuality.
Correction: 3/25/2022 8:55 A.M. E.T.: The story beforehand misstated Lau’s place of employment in 2019. She labored at Harebrained Schemes.