Sunday Loot: Initiatives to Improve the Gaming Industry

Dragon Age

Happy Sunday, friends! We hope this post finds you well today. For anyone new around these parts (welcome!), every week we serve up all the super neat projects people are working on in the gaming industry. In particular, we like to boost the initiatives that promote safe spaces, accessible and inclusive content, and anything that challenges the prevailing status quo in games culture. So far, we’ve covered everything from indie games in development, diverse podcasts, and even job opportunities! With your help, we can keep rolling out our Sunday Loot series in our continued effort to make the gaming industry a better place.

Now, if you follow us on social media (links in the sidebar!), you already know we enthusiastically support the work of Black Girls Code, Black Girl NerdsGirls Make GamesGirls Who Code, and Women Who Code—just to name only a few. But did you know about the following spaces making a difference in smaller corners of the internet? We’ve been keeping our eye on them, and we feel it’s about time to share that loot with you!

As always, if you know of an inclusive gaming space or games project you’d love to see promoted on our Sunday Loot series, drop us a comment below or check out our contact list! We’d love to hear from you, especially about new and exciting spaces where all gamers can hang out. ✌

Gamemoir

Gamemoir

Initially, I was made aware of the Gamemoir space by Anastasia, a columnist for that publication as well as a contributor on the FemHype team. If you’re looking for a video game website that provides thoughtful commentary within a safe space, I’d highly recommend that you give them a follow. From what I’ve seen so far, their work is consistently insightful and super entertaining! They cover everything from representation, LGBTQIA+ experiences, and even “Geek Chic,” because I totally need more reasons to spend money on merchandise.

What’s really refreshing to see from a space in games culture, however, is the fact that they “advocate content that is honest and free of hateful speech,” and actually make good on that. I can’t count the number of times a website has falsely promoted inclusivity in an effort to jump on the perceived bandwagon. If we want to see more spaces like ours crop up in the gaming industry, we should be promoting the work of Gamemoir and others like it!

IndieCade

Gaming For Everyone

Although IndieCade itself is certainly well-known, I haven’t seen much discussion about this new project—and that’s a shame! Presented by Intel, the “Gaming For Everyone Pavilion” is an effort to feature the hard work of indie developers who are dedicated to changing the industry for the better. Not one to mince words, the IndieCade team is literally at the forefront of the rallying call to diversify the industry:

“As a way of supporting these great efforts, we will be featuring up to 10 organizations, groups, or individuals that focus on initiatives promoting underrepresented groups and their presence in gaming and game development. This includes efforts focused on gender, race, ethnicity, age, disabilities, and much more.”

You have until September 15th to apply! No matter how far along you are in your projects, I sincerely hope that you click the link below and consider submitting your work. This is a massive opportunity for anyone involved in the movement to create more positive, inclusive games and spaces for all. Thank you so much to IndieCade for taking the initiative and leading the charge!

PrettyBrownNerdy

Pretty Brown & Nerdy

I’ve personally been waiting for an opportunity to officially fangirl over this group for literally, like, months. “Pretty Brown & Nerdy” are a team of three women (@CheyenneYoutube, @afroeccentrix, and @moco_latte2) who chat about all things geek from their perspectives. They’re gaining YouTube subscribers by the minute for their insightful commentary and welcoming atmosphere, while at the same time, challenging the industry to do better. And what’s more! The team attends many conventions, so you can keep up to date on all their latest faves.

Right now, you should check out their “Shades of Cosplay” documentary, where four cosplayers share their experiences when dealing with racism in geek culture and the geek community. It clocks in at just under 30 minutes and answers the larger question: “Why does it seem like in this hobby of nerds that there’s always an outcast?” It’s creative content like this that truly elevates “Pretty Brown & Nerdy” as a geek space, and I sincerely hope you take time out to listen and support their efforts!

Yes We Code

Yes We Code

When we saw the hashtag  pop up on our Twitter feed, you can bet we stopped scrolling. Yes We Code is an absolutely incredible organization that “helps train 100,000 low-opportunity youth to code.” While other initiatives like this are still necessary in an industry that favors only one type of programmer, Yes We Code targets those who are disadvantaged in society and would otherwise not have access to these expensive resources and tools. Their “three-step pipeline” provides youth with coding lessons, then programs focused on job training, and finally, employment in the industry.

Let’s get real for a minute here. Many of us say we want more diversity in games. That’s great! But it’s about time we made an effort to support the initiatives that are actually working to make that a reality. We’ll never truly achieve the representation we deserve as gamers and as consumers until more marginalized people are, you know, actually involved in making video games. Yes We Code is at the forefront here, and we have a responsibility to support them—even if it’s just a follow on their social media pages! Tell them you appreciate what they’re doing. I can say from experience that it really helps to hear that.

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