Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Different Games 2013 - Four Takeaways


Published on

Internal Sifteo presentation recapping the 2013 DIfferent Games conference that took place in Brooklyn, NY in April 2013.

  • Be the first to comment

Different Games 2013 - Four Takeaways

  1. 1. Different Games four takeaways
  2. 2. What was this? ● Two-day conference on diversity and inclusiveness in digital games, April 26-27 ● "Different Games is a space for radical discussions of representation in games and the relationship of the medium to designer and player identity." ● Robin went.
  3. 3. Four Takeaways ● How inclusive design can address values and affect social change ● How players play is important ● Designing from personal perspective leads to deeper empathy ● The inclusivity movement is here to stay
  4. 4. But first...
  5. 5. Inclusivity Statement ● Not making assumptions about another’s identity, experiences, or preferred pronouns. Always allow people to disclose only whatever information they wish to disclose. ● Asking respectful questions if you do not understand or are unfamiliar with a term someone is using to describe their experience. ● Being aware of your own privileged position(s), and feeling comfortable having people politely tell you if you are unintentionally acting insensitive to others. ● statement/
  6. 6. 1. Inclusive Design, Revolutionary Games ● Mary Flanagan ● Tilt Factor ( - game research
  7. 7. What is Inclusive Design? ● Play as introspective experience. ● How can we use games to deconstruct social structures that privilege some at the expense of others? ● Games made in the context of these structures that don't question them
  8. 8. Settlers of Catan & Colonialism ● Designers are responsible for the values in the games that they make.
  9. 9. Buffalo - An Example ● Name-dropping game ● [Descriptor] + [Person] ● Let's play!
  10. 10. Social Identity Complexity ● Game reflects on internalized stereotypes ● "Woman" "Scientist" always prompts... ● while "Hispanic" "Lawyer" may take a second to remember... ● Playing the game causes a significant shift in players for measures of non-prejudice for a brief period.
  11. 11. Example: Awkward Moment ● Apples to Apples/CAH model addressing social biases/reactions ● We also generated a version of this in a workshop. :)
  12. 12. How to Inclusively Design ● More than theme/story/narrative -- ● Set design goals and value goals (eg empowerment, diversity) ● Develop rules and constraints which support values ● Design for many play styles and subversion ● Playtest with diverse audiences
  13. 13. 2. Who's at the Table? ● Moving on from Inclusive Design ● to Inclusive Play ● John Sharp ● Carolyn Jong ● Gabriela T. Richard ● Alison Harvey
  14. 14. Criticism is healthy. ● We need to be comfortable criticizing play. ● There is a larger culture within which games operate. ● Right now we assume people who study games also want to make them. ● Games started as a connector, veered towards commercial in last decades. ● The more diversity in play, the more we open it back up. ● Play is important to life! So how do we play?
  15. 15. Marginalized Players ● The case of Jennifer Hepler ● Writer at Bioware ○ What's your least favorite thing about working in the industry? ○ Playing the games. This is probably a terrible thing to admit, but it has definitely been the single most difficult thing for me. I came into the job out of a love of writing, not a love of playing games.
  16. 16. STFU n00b ● Foundation of backlash: "Games are for gamers." ● But what does this mean? ● Guarding privilege - drawing a line between those who HAVE and those who have NOT. ● Social structures limit ability for everyone to engage on an equal level. ○ Those with less time, less money to devote cannot rise up this hierarchy.
  17. 17. Social Contextual Support > Gender Differences ● Gabriela T. Richard ● Games and equity research primarily focused on gender differences from 1980s up to now. ● Led to the "girl games" movement ○ Criticism: focus on gender binaries, pandering to stereotyped feminine interests, extrapolating "girls" interests to women.
  18. 18. Contemporary Research ● Environmental bias exists - power structures around race, gender are replicated in play patterns. ● Harassment is meant to be exclusionary. ● Stereotype threat is real. ○ Activating negative stereotypes affects performance of groups that stereotypically underachieve.
  19. 19. Focus: Latino Gamers ● Ongoing on adult male/female gamers of Latino ethnicity. ● All had early intro to gaming ● Appeal of escapism/alternate identities in games. ● Commonality in needing to "get used to" harassment in online games ○ Women primarily harassed about gender ○ Men primarily harassed about ethnicity ○ Both groups silenced, marginalized, limited participation.
  20. 20. Inclusivity for Children ● Alison Harvey, UToronto ● Accessibility for children with disabilities ○ Allow innovative sensory inputs, enable radical customization if necessary ○ Provide shared platform for collaboration, networked, shared play ○ Provide opp for creative expression, informal learning and autonomous play ○ Challenge traditional patterns of adult production/childhood consumption
  21. 21. Difference in Design ● Mattie Brice ● We see systems in life and don't view them as problems to be solved. ● We focus on the object (game) almost exclusively. What about the space between the object and the player? ● Iterative design harms the personal. ○ Designing for player experience only means that the player is never pushed or resisted. ● Who are we preventing from designing?
  22. 22. The Year in Gender ● Celia Pearce - Georgia IT ● "Kickstarting a Revolution, One Tweet at a Time" ○ Anita Saarkesian ○ #1ReasonWhy -> #1ReasonToBe ○ Tomb Raider trailer
  23. 23. Steps Forward ● ● Thanks for listening!