IGDA Statement on US Law Enforcement Violence and Protests Against1 Jun 2020
To the Game Development Community:
This is the beginning of a conversation. Protests are currently spreading across the world. Outcry over the killing of George Floyd, racial violence, and systematic issues has gone international, with people taking to the streets of Berlin, Auckland, London, and other cities around the globe to make their voices heard.
These protests stem from frustration over failure in the United States to reform practices and policies that hurt black communities there. These messages resonate widely with the pains and struggles of marginalized groups everywhere. We game developers create art that compels people with emotions and empathy, we can use our talents to not only improve our industry, but to improve the world.
This is both an individual question and an organizational one. These situations compel all of us to have a level of self-examination. What is the role of the game industry during this time? What is the role of game developers? Are we making art that reflects the times? Is that our responsibility? Is the problem an issue of perspective, education, or empathy? These are the questions that we need to ask and to have answered.
People are already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic recession, and these events can further cause strain. We here at the International Game Developers Association want to provide our support to those in need and to direct those looking to help address and improve these issues with the resources to take actions themselves.
The IGDA and the IGDA Black in Games SIG are hosting a panel on Thursday, June 4th, to discuss the current situation, concerns of the black game development community, and the ways to support progress and combat prejudice.
Topic: What Can You Do? A First Person Perspective
Time: June 4th, 2020 – 11am PDT / 2pm ET / 18:00 GMT
Affected People and Communities
The IGDA is here with open ears and open hearts. We have been reaching out to our relevant SIGs to help support them during this time. We have spent time putting together an agenda of accountability to companies about diversity policies. We are proud of the diversity of the IGDA representing 170 countries around the world.
But it is not enough. It is not enough to just work with organizations, or to represent interests. We are ready to champion initiatives and ideas that come from you, and represent your interests when you leave the room. You matter, your viewpoints matter, your experiences matter, and your voice should be heard and amplified. Hopefully we can do all we can to make that happen.
So we are starting a simple form. Tell us about your industry experience. Share with us your stories. Let us help be a voice for you in these troubling times. This once again, is just the beginning of a path forward.
Empathy is the most powerful tool that we have as humans. It can be difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand their situation, plight, and anger, but there are steps you can take to put yourself on that path– Educate yourself about both the current situation and the history leading up to it, and listen to those who are affected. This understanding will help you reach out to provide comfort and support, and to activate yourself and your networks to bring about change.
Even before you gain this understanding, you can still be an ally. You can stand up to injustice and take on the problems borne of oppression. As game developers, we have additional skills and reach that we can use to both educate current and future generations about racial bias, empathy, prejudice, and other important social issues. We will be working in the coming weeks with the Blacks in Gaming SIG to organize other resources to share and ways to support progress.
Companies and Organizations
Diversity is important. Diversity builds better ideas, products, teams, and organizations. Diversity should be supported by your goals, policies, and actions as a company.
Our industry does not reflect the diversity of the audience that enjoys our creations. Our Developer Satisfaction Survey and Diversity Reports clearly show that disparity.
Together, as an industry, we can address these issues step by step. Not only do we need to improve company policies to support diversity, but also the implementation of them. We need to lift up both those who are in our industry and who are considering joining it. If you need support in approaching these issues, please contact us.
If you need individual support:
If you want to educate yourself:
- Anguish and Action – Resources to create a more just and equitable world
- An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism
- Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement – Mentoring a New Generation of Activists
- Anti-racism Resources
If you want to support change in our industry:
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