The game development community is composed of a wide array of people with different genders, ethnicities, abilities, and other characteristics. Game development events and the leaders speaking at them should reflect the full range of diversity of game developers and players. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity efforts support the growth and strength of the game development industry.
The following set of resources and guidelines are intended to enable organizers to reflect upon and improve diversity and representation at their own events, and to empower speakers and event participants with a set of tools to provide constructive feedback to events not meeting these standards.
Speaker Diversity Resources
The following resources and groups are recommended by the IGDA for event organizers to expand their search for qualified and diverse speakers.
None of these resources can outweigh the benefits of a strong, diverse network. The IGDA encourages all professionals to support and empower those rising within the industry to not only to improve the industry as a whole, but to also build their own network of talented and diverse individuals.
IGDA Special Interest Groups (Advocacy and Diversity)
- IGDA Allies SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/allies/
- IGDA Blacks in Games SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/blacks-in-games/
- IGDA Jewish Developers SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/jewish-game-developers/
- IGDA Game Accessibility SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/game-accessibility/
- IGDA LGBTQ+ SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/lgbtq/
- IGDA Mental Health SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/mental-health/
IGDA Special Interest Groups (Discipline)
- IGDA Game Art SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/game-art/
- IGDA Game Writing SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/game-writing/
- IGDA Indies SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/indie/
- IGDA Interactive Audio SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/audio/
- IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG: https://igda.org/sigs/romance-and-sexuality/
Event Diversity Guidelines
These guidelines take into account that each community has a different composition. Thus, the guidelines are written in relation to the representation percentages of minority groups within the event’s community. The IGDA is able to provide some estimates of these numbers, but not all communities have known
To inspire game developers and aspiring game developers from all backgrounds, the IGDA recommends these diversity representation and inclusion of all game developers, events should strive achieve these diversity goals:
- Representation of minority groups that exceeds their estimated presence within the game development community hosting the event by at least 25% of their presence.
- Example: With 24% of game developers identifying as female, events should strive to have women compose 24%*1.25 = 30% of their speakers.
- Minority groups are represented across gender expression, culture, and ethnic identity, race, sexuality, geographic location, and
- Online hosted event representation should be guided by the demographics of the developer community that speaks the event’s main language
- The current estimates from the IGDA’s latest Developer Satisfaction Survey for world-wide developer demographics can be found at: https://igda.org/dss/
- Age is an important demographic within the game development community that generally correlates to years of experience. Upon review of IGDA’s DSS results, its is recommended that speaker representation falls within these ranges, unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. the conference is focused on discussion of game development in the 1980s):
- Under 30: 10-30%
- 30-39: 30-50%
- 40-49: 10-30%
- 50+: 5-20%
- The measured minority group representation should be on panels, roundtables, or talks about subjects unrelated to their experiences as part of their minority group unless the conference itself is based around these subjects
Basic Diversity Efforts
In an event coordinator’s efforts to achieve diversity goals, they should pursue the following resources and tools:
- Have a Code of Conduct
- If possible and they are available, recruit at least one diverse member to your committee for finding speakers. If not look to the Diversity Goals for guidelines
- Invite a diverse range of speakers at every step in the event preparation, and try to allow for at least two month’s lead time for events that require long distance travel
- Provide a stipend to speakers if possible
- Communicate with all potential speakers in a professional, prompt, and polite manner
- Reach out to the IGDA for help at least a month before the event if your speaker diversity is not meeting diversity goals
IGDA Event Media Partnership Requirements
Each year the IGDA partners with over 100 conferences and game industry events to educate game developers and provide its members with discounted access to resources to build their skills and careers.
To best support the game industry and the developers within it, the IGDA will now require all partners to either meet the Diversity goals or to demonstrate Basic Diversity Efforts were met to be granted event media partnerships with the IGDA. This requirement will further support the health of game developers, and provide all aspiring developers with leaders in games that they can relate to.