Left Arrow News

2020 SIG Awards (Advocacy): LGBTQ+

11 Nov 2020

The IGDA LGBTQ+ SIG is working to improve games and the games industry for the queer community. Whether it’s representation of LGBTQ+ characters in videogames, better accessibility and working conditions for queer folks in the industry, or more inclusive practices at conferences and networking events, we’re paying attention.

The LGBTQ+ SIG is co-chaired by directors of Represent Me, an Australian-based not-for-profit that has been working with companies around the world since 2016. Our resources and network have allowed us to embark on all sorts of projects to support the queer community, and we have plans for even more in 2021. We wanted to share some of our current and future projects with you!

Typically, we host a roundtable at GDC but of course 2020 was a little bit different. Instead, in June we hosted a virtual roundtable and Q&A session in partnership with Sledgehammer Games as part of our broader pride celebrations. You can check out the session here: https://representme.charity/projects/queer/igda/rt2020

This year we have also been working on a bunch of resources. Between us, our two co-chairs and treasurer have written two books and a book chapter, all about diversity, inclusion, and approaching games with varied perspectives. These books are available for purchase here: https://representme.charity/education/books

But we also know that textbooks can be difficult to purchase. To help with this, we’ve been offering textbook stipends to creators from marginalised groups. These replace our usual travel stipends, as they haven’t been particularly useful this year! We also have a number of educational resources available for free or a small administrative fee.

In particular, our Best Practice Guidelines project is gathering dozens of experts with lived experience to write about how best to represent and support various groups, including a number of sexualities and gender identities. These guidelines will be published in 2021, and you can find out more about them here: https://representme.charity/education/best-practices

That’s not the only thing on the horizon for 2021! We have some exciting partnerships coming up that are going to help us expand our global reach and the resources we have available to us. We are hoping to make it easier for our SIG’s members to get what they need, from mentorship and expertise to funding and investment opportunities. There are a lot of exciting initiatives in our future, including a mental health research study, increased community engagement, more educational opportunities like workshops and Q&As, partnerships with game jams and diversity organisations, and more chances to spotlight the amazing work of our community.

If you would like to participate in the IGDA LGBTQ+ SIG’s community and initiatives, please join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, or join our Discord server. You can find all the links and more information here: http://representme.charity/igda

by Dr. Alana Cole, IGDA LGBTQ+ SIG Co-Chair
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