#Pride Week! Diversity and Inclusion: Lessons from the video game industry


#Pride is in full force in Chicago right now, so this week's posts will focus on diversity and inclusion, particularly LGBT+ inclusion.

Now those "in the know" about the video game industry are probably laughing at the title of this post.  According to an article by mashable, the video game industry is overwhelmingly cis, white, male and heterosexual, and therefore not reflective of their diverse consumers.

This actually is true for many industries, perhaps even your own workplace.

The big names in the video game industry aren't doing much to address this gap between its developers and its consumers. However, there are some smaller (but growing) communities and organizations that are trying to make space for diverse gamers. These groups perhaps can serve as a model for other organizations that are serious about amping up their D&I efforts:

I Need Diverse Games - I Need Diverse Games uses social media to highlight the works and projects of developers from marginalized communities, such as LGBT+ folks and people of color.

Girls Who Code - Girls Who Code provides free summer immersion programs for teen girls interested in coding.

Diverse Gaming Coalition - This non-profit aims to fight bullying and hate, particularly online bullying, through artifacts of pop culture (such as comic books). Bullying and harrassment from online communities often deter women and girls from participating in video gaming.

Smash Sisters - This group hosts Super Smash Brothers tournaments, a.k.a. crew battles, for women.

Twitch LGBT+ - This Twitch community features tons of streams and content from LGBT+ folks on Twitch.

Additionally, a quick Google search will yield several LGBT+ servers and communities for individual games, such as Minecraft and Overwatch. Many of these communities rely heavily on social media for their outreach efforts.

By creating safe spaces, affinity groups, and optimizing social media to highlight all your workers, your organization can begin to create a workplace that is truly diverse and inclusive.