Sunday Loot: Continuing the Discussion of Diversity in Games

Solstice

Happy Sunday, friends! We’re super happy that you had a bit of time in your busy day to join us again. Like last week, we wanted to dedicate our regularly scheduled post in order to boost the work of the people and projects that are pushing for more diversity. So many incredible, inspiring stories are being told through this medium, and we want to make absolutely sure that you know about them!

Today, we’re taking you on a journey through coding classes, funding opportunities, breakout games, and much more. Everything listed here has the ability to further the discussion of how we can achieve visibility for more talented and diverse folks in the industry. If that’s something you’re as passionate as we are about, you’ve come to the right place!

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. ✌

Characters

Creating Your Fantasy Self

“This thesis examines whether character creators in fantasy role-playing games allow players to create ethnically diverse characters. We studied eight games following a procedure to record perceivable data about the available options and conducted interviews. The results show that options for minority ethnicities are usually either very few and lack variation or are non-existent.”

The first research of its kind, “Creating Your Fantasy Self” elevates the discussion of diversity in games to a higher, absolutely imperative level. This in-depth analysis is thanks to the combined efforts of Ylva Ljungqvist (spader7) and Frida Svensson (trasigpenna), who crafted this work for their bachelor’s thesis at Uppsala University Campus Gotland.

Even if reading a thesis of this size and magnitude seems a little daunting (it totally can be!), it has since been reworked slightly to suit a broader audience. You can read “Options for Ethnicity in Character Creators,” a three-part series hosted on Gamasutra, which includes plenty of picture references and links for easy reading. We highly recommend that you share this incredible work with as many people as possible!

Fundbetter

Fundbetter

“Why are we doing this? We want to pay our luck forward; we also want to do well by doing good. There’s no one best way to make a narrative game, and we expect to learn from our fundees. We have a distinct house style, but the more insights and perspectives we have access to, the better.”

Failbetter Games is once again making it possible for more newcomers to break into industry. After successfully launching internship opportunities as well as an incubator program, the team is now looking even further ahead. With Fundbetter, they hope to invest in small narrative game projects that are truly exceptional.

If you’re interested in this program, you should take a look at the list of requirements and send along an email to the team. It’s important to always take a chance when opportunities like these come along! You never know what you might achieve if you put your work out there, and all of us here at FemHype believe in you. It’s always worth the shot. ❤

Summer Camp

Minecraft Online Summer Camps for Girls

“With research showing that women excel at coding and that more than 50% of all future STEM jobs will be in coding, there’s no better time to try one of our camps out. Participants in our Girls offerings have a chance to explore their STEM interests in a non-competitive setting, with the support of expert counselors trained to make learning both collaborative and fun.”

Connected Camps Girls Camps is currently offering a huge deal on their coding program for girls! Teamwork is the name of the game here, and we absolutely love the fact that these classes cultivate a supportive, non-competitive environment. You can find more information here regarding the different camps that are currently available, which range from Survival Mode to Advanced Coding.

All camps are run online in Minecraft servers. How completely awesome is that? Seriously, we’re jealous. Let’s help boost this opportunity in order to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM!

"I'm beginning to think that finding you in the middle of the icy desert was more than luck."
“I’m beginning to think that finding you in the middle of the icy desert was more than luck.”

Solstice

“A magnificent city in the middle of a frozen wasteland, cut off from the world by raging blizzards. Inhabited only by a small group of misfits who either can’t or don’t want to leave for the dead winter season.”

Are you a fan of complex decision-making in games? Do you enjoy being swept away by gorgeous art and an epic soundtrack? Solstice is going to be your next big fave, so prepare yourself for the feels. With a cast of diverse characters across race and sexuality, this recently released mystery visual novel actually feels real. It’s a dystopian, though, so be sure to pair that crossbow with a box of tissues.

There’s a free demo available as well as a trailer if you’d like to see more, but please note: it’s going to be so incredible that you’ll want to buy it immediately. You’ve been warned!

The Town of Light

The Town of Light

“The only horror you will find in this game is the truth: a blow to the solar plexus, much more intense than any supernatural presence.”

This isn’t a game for the faint of heart. The Town of Light is a psychological thriller set in the early 20th century. It follows Renée, a 16-year-old girl, who struggles with her perception of reality after being institutionalized. We know what you’re thinking, because we thought it, too—horror games set in asylums are rarely, if ever, helpful in their portrayal of mental illness. It was this review from The Telegraph that really gave us pause, particularly because it’s very important to elevate the stories that do try to push for a better understanding of real-life experiences.

We encourage you to watch the trailer if this sounds like something that might interest you. The game is also available for purchase at a discounted price on Steam until March 4, 2016. Now would be the time to give it a try!

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