In recent months, a number of video game developers have voiced their support for a more diverse games industry. Ubisoft Reflections boss Pauline Jacquey admitted that the company isn’t doing enough to encourage diversity, suggesting that we need more diverse games to attract a more diverse workforce, while Intel and ESL teamed up for eSports diversity initiative ‘AnyKey.’
However, while both of those examples are sound solutions to the problem of a homogeneous industry, they’re certainly not the only ways the video game industry can improve. Speaking at the recent GamesBeat 2016 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California., several industry veterans came up with several more ways to tackle the issue.
Game Industry Execs. on How to Promote Diversity
Moderated by Nicole Lazarro, the CEO of XEO Design and included (The Order: 1886 dev) Ready at Dawn’s creative director Ru Weerasuriya, Megan Gaiser who is the current CEO of Spiral Media Ltd. and the former boss of (Nancy Drew developer) Her Interactive and there was also (Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare dev) Sledgehammer Games’ co-founder Michael Condrey.
Some of the ideas produced by the group of industry veterans include: “create a diversity strategy and plan created with the participation and collective intelligence of the entire company,” “create hiring and recruitment targets,” “establish an internal diversity committee,” and “manage inclusion through inclusive and collaborative behaviors.”
While the list, which includes 32 suggestions in all, is full of good ideas (“provide a safe place for dialogue on diversity issues” is another good example), it’s especially positive to see the industry executives mention inclusion. Too often, people treat diversity as a numbers game and forget that steps must also be taken to make those who aren’t straight, white, cisgendered males feel included and valued rather than a number on a spreadsheet or as a token.
Christine M. Riordan at the Harvard Business Review has also argued this point, saying that “when minority-group employees are hired, they may experience more subtle forms of discrimination such as being excluded from important conversations.” Condrey too has spoken about bias, saying that “gamers benefit directly by having highly inclusive development teams,” so it’s good to hear this point echoed once more.