Black lives matter. This clear truth has again become a global rallying cry for justice and equality in the face of systemic discrimination and violence against Black communities.
Organizers of the Game Developers Conference stand in solidarity with the protesters and activists sacrificing their time, resources, and safety to publicly demand restorative justice. George Floyd’s life mattered. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till and countless others who have had their lives cut short by systemic racism mattered.
We believe that the fight for equality and against racism is an ongoing one, and we know there is still much work to be done. The game industry has long been represented by white, straight, cisgender men, and as GDC organizers we are committed to continuing and enhancing the conference’s long-running diversity and inclusion initiatives for under-represented voices in games.
GDC is committed to providing a safe, welcoming space for all attendees, and we are always looking for speakers with new and diverse perspectives to share. We want to improve our ongoing efforts to amplify the work and voices of Black creators and other under-represented professionals in the game industry, so if you’re interested in becoming a speaker, please contact the GDC Content team.
We are also working on an ally training workshop to offer at GDC Summer, open to all attendees, and we hope to announce more details soon. A new speaker inclusivity training program will also be developed, beginning with some best practices for GDC Summer this August and building towards a strong, clear program for GDC 2021. We will also be revisiting the language of the GDC Code of Conduct to ensure it clearly communicates GDC’s established values of combating racism and creating a sense of safety and belonging for all attendees.
Every year GDC is proud to partner with community organizations to provide free passes (via scholarship programs) to underserved groups in game development. This is an ongoing commitment we will be expanding on as we work to actively deepen our relationship and support of existing organizations that serve these communities. We look forward to announcing new initiatives for GDC Summer and beyond.
GDC attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the conference’s ongoing programs for supporting and advancing your career in game development. In addition to a new dedicated student program aimed at expanding the employment opportunities for new graduates and those looking to start their career in games, GDC attendees can expect access to a diverse array of talks aimed at supporting aspiring game devs and highlighting broader issues of social advocacy in the game industry.
After a successful pilot of a new GDC Mentorship program last year, we are now committed to offering a version of mentoring support at all editions of GDC going forward to ensure attendees have access to the support and guidance of seasoned game industry professionals.
All of these initiatives and more are part of GDC’s ongoing effort to support and expand the flourishing diversity of the game industry. GDC is committed to sustaining and improving this effort, and organizers are actively seeking feedback from our partner organizations who best understand the needs of underserved communities in games.