It’s no secret that hearing diverse voices in the media is something the genre is crying out for. The film industry is the most well-known, with reports often highlighting just how few people there are from under-represented communities. Indeed, one study into representation found that, in 2017, just 29.3% of over 50,000 characters were from underrepresented backgrounds. However, one area which is coming on in leaps and bounds is the gaming industry.
Data from the University of Sheffield has shown that the games industry is one of the most diverse careers available in entertainment. The researchers found that two-thirds of the UK’s game development workforce is 35 or under. Better still, 28% are women and 2% non-binary, while 10% come from BAME backgrounds and 28% come from somewhere other than the UK. Interestingly, 21% of all those queried in the census identify as LGBTQ+, which is a great statistic, given that only 2-7% of the general population are openly LGBTQ+.
Help From Inside The Gaming Industry
One of the ways these changes are being made – aside from educating others on shortfalls and the benefits of having diverse voices in the industry – is through grassroots organisations providing a helping hand. An example of one such empowering community is the Black Game Developer Fund from Humble Games. In fact, we’re already seeing the benefits of these funds in the indie game development community, with one such example being Protodroid DeLTA by Adam Kareem.
The Humble Games website states: “The Black Game Developer Fund is a $1 million annual program focused on supporting Black game developers, helping publish games with funding, production and marketing support via Humble’s publishing label, Humble Games”. So, as we can see, this is about more than injecting money into an already booming game economy. It’s about giving expert help to those who need it most.
Indie games are a fantastic example of how anyone and everyone can create a game. Even if this area often has the smallest development teams. So, we’re excited to see how the additional help from those in the know can help boost this booming area of the entertainment sector. However, there’s no denying that there is still a way to go, in terms of retaining talent, once the skillset and career have been locked down. Still, we’re looking forward to seeing what’s coming over the horizon – especially with Switch and Steam being game-changers for the indie scene.