Shift happens: a panel debate about exclusion & inclusivity in the games industry
The games industry has the capacity to deliver rich, meaningful, creative and stimulating cultural experiences that can also contribute new tools for education and new avenues for economic prosperity. A diverse, inclusive and representative workforce will ensure that it achieves this with opportunities for all. However, the current landscape is very far from this ideal. To give this ambition any chance of success we will need the industry, academics, advocacy groups and educators to work together on a diverse range of tactics and strategies and to collaborate on initiatives that contribute to this transformation. Although the focus here is on the games industry these are challenges faced by many other science and technology based domains and successful approaches developed here would and should be applicable elsewhere.
This panel will provide the platform for a meaningful debate between representatives from the games industry seeking to employ and address a more diverse community and representatives of advocacy groups or initiatives which seek to support the access of girls and young women. The panel will feature invited contributions from women working in the games industry, games press, and games research. The discussion will be chaired by Helen Kennedy, one of the project leaders of ‘Re-Figuring Innovation in Games’ (ReFig), a collaborative research project that addresses this urgent need for equity, diversity and innovation. Not only will this discussion highlight the existing activity already in place, it aims at stimulating greater participation and wider understanding of the enormity of the challenges ahead and the cultural and economic significance of what is at stake in this endeavour.
This panel discussion is one of three events in this festival that is inspired by the issues and aims that fuel ReFig. For more information about this five year international research collaboration, and its approaches to diversity and equity in the global games industry and games culture, please visit their website at www.refig.ca.