In today’s gaming industry, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is of paramount importance. According to Newzoo, a staggering one in three players has not felt welcomed in gaming communities, with underrepresented groups, such as ethnic minorities and LGBTQ+ players, facing even greater challenges.
Recognizing the significance of addressing these issues, Marina Ilari, CEO of Terra Translations and Terra Localizations, recently moderated a panel on DEI at the Game Quality Forum Global in Amsterdam with the participation of star panelists like Tamara Tirják, Head of Localization at Frontier Developments; Marina Ilinykh, Supervisor of Localization Operations at Riot Games; and Jonathan Garcia, Manager of Inclusion, Diversity, & Purpose at Discord. This blog post provides a glimpse into the key takeaways from the panel discussion, highlighting the importance of DEI in the gaming industry.
Why Host a DEI Panel?
“As professionals working in the gaming industry, it’s important that we can talk about ways in which we can create change and promote a safe and welcoming space for all,” Marina Ilari explained.
Jonathan Garcia echoed this sentiment, describing DEI as an essential, historical, and perpetual topic. Ensuring safety and fostering inclusivity are basic human rights that require ongoing action and engagement from everyone involved.
The Talking Points
Panelists stressed the universal nature of fear and the importance of addressing it when creating new DEI policies. Fear is a natural response to the unknown, but it can serve as a catalyst for positive change. Organizations and individuals should pay attention to the discomfort surrounding certain topics, using it as a starting point to improve team dynamics, company culture, and interpersonal relationships.
These are a few of the actionable ideas discussed during the panel:
- Embrace cultural diversity: Actively involve yourself in a respectful way, recognizing and celebrating the cultural diversity within your team.
- Encourage open conversations: Create safe spaces for discussions and keep conversations open to foster a sense of belonging and understanding.
- Seek feedback: Reach out to other departments to gain insights into their needs and challenges. This collaborative approach facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand.
- Focus on solutions: Avoid blame or finger-pointing, and instead concentrate on what can be done to help, improve, or drive positive change.
- Conduct research: When considering the implementation of a DEI policy, conduct thorough research, seeking out existing examples and analyzing their effectiveness.
- Collaborate with others: Doing so can help you transform ideas into actionable steps and educate others on the importance of the policy.
Despite the growing awareness of DEI, challenges persist. Some individuals view DEI policies as restrictive or controversial, leading to heated debates. Others perceive it as a fleeting trend. To address these challenges, it is crucial to adopt a data-driven approach, appealing to individuals who require concrete evidence and statistics. Creating awareness of unconscious biases and prejudices takes time, and it is essential to foster a culture of ongoing education and growth.
The panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Game Quality Forum Global highlighted the significance of creating safe and inclusive spaces within the gaming industry. While we belong to various cultural, ethnic, and gender identity groups, we are all unique individuals. Cultivating empathy and consistently challenging ourselves to do better allow us to treat others with the respect they deserve. By taking tangible actions and embracing DEI as a long-term commitment, we can work towards a gaming industry that celebrates diversity, fosters inclusivity, and ultimately provides a welcoming experience for all.