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EA’s LGBT event calls for diversity in ‘white dude’ industry

Friday, 8 March 2013 11:11 GMT By Dave Cook

EA’s Full Spectrum event kicked off in New York yesterday, to discuss the industry’s approach to LGBT issues at large. The overall response is that more diversity is needed, and that the perception is that the industry is still very much the domain of ‘white dudes’.

The event saw a long list of gaming and equal rights figures take to the stand and discuss some of the industry’s prevalent issues in detail, to try and raise awareness and spark discussion. Get the full list of speakers here.

Caryl Shaw, executive producer at Kixeye said of gender inequality within the industry, “It’s a white dude-ly industry, still. In general it is still a very hard place for women to get in, and that’s got to change. I hope women are reaching out, doing internships and trying to mentor women.

“I’ve been really lucky, but I also have a really big mouth; I’ve gone out and said, ‘I’m going to be out, I’m going to be really loud, I’m going to try to tell my story and get more women involved because I want things to change.’ I want the next generation of game developers to not be 15 percent women, 85 percent men.”

Ford Foundation president Luis A. Ubinas said in a different session, “With relentless pressure, change is possible. Attitudes can evolve, and a nation and society can be transformed. I want to emphasise the importance of the role [game developers] could play. The images you present and the interactions you allow are going to help shape the future.”

“For [players] to enter fantasy worlds where they can be free to hold hands with a person of their choosing regardless of gender, or make a home with a partner of their choosing… that means they can move from the passive world of television, where they can see other people doing these things, to the active world of gaming, magnifying the impact that we know media can have,”

There are many questions surrounding LGBT issues that have yet to be discussed in such an open forum, but EA’s first step is a positive one. What do you make of the event, and the issues? Let us know below.

Thanks Gamasutra and GI.biz.

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14 Comments

  1. Samoan Spider

    I’m all for attitudes changing and acceptance. However, everyone should be seen and judged purely on their merits. If those 85% men and 15% women are the very best that present themselves to their respective employers, then that’s that. Those who aren’t getting in need to work harder. What I do feel now is that with this drive for diversity and equality, good hard working people are not getting employed BECAUSE they’re white, male, middle-aged, straight, married blah blah blah. This misses the point of equality and needs to be addressed.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. YoungZer0

    @1: Exactly. Diversity for diversities sake is just plain dumb and it does not work:

    http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2012/03/diversity-training-doesnt-work.html

    #2 2 years ago
  3. IncognitoMode

    I think to do this you can’t just change attitudes within the game industry but attitudes in society as a whole will need to change in regards to games and gaming. I can only speak for myself and where I study which is an IT school that does everything from programming, game-programming, 3D graphics, game design and various other bachelor degrees mostly related to technology and the male to female rate is somewhere along the line of 1 in 10 in my freshman bachelor class which consists of 200+ students and maybe 20-25 of them are female).

    You can’t expect to see more females working in the game industry until there is an adequate amount of females getting the related degrees. The companies that frequent the school love the female students so by all means they aren’t hindered in that regard in that companies host events and there is a student body at the school for the sole purpose of getting the female students involved with the companies hosting these events. Companies want more diversity at least that is my impression but that is hard when there only 1/10 student is female.

    For example I know that on some of the programming bachelors there aren’t even any females at all so how can game developers be expected to hire a workforce that doesn’t exist?

    Keep in my this post is based on my first hand experience and how it is at my school and does in no way represent how it is on a larger scale outside my school. This might be quite different elsewhere since I go to a relatively small school and I don’t have the knowledge to speak on how schools outside of mine are but if it is like this at other school there is no wonder that 85% of the workforce is male is my point here.

    Personally I think this as a bit to do with the stigma of videogames that persisted in society for a long time, there still is a stigma related to it for a lot of people and when that change we will see more females in the industry.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gnosis

    #3: At my college there are around 400 – 500 new students each year, that start studying computer science. And about 10 to 30 of them are female. Yeah…

    I get the feeling that some ppl, including developers themselves don’t quite understand how deep the problem actually goes. There are so many aspects, that are simply ignored. Equality doesn’t mean to have a 50% of men and women in the industry. It means to give them the same chances to get a job. Everything else is favouritism. You can go and encourage women to get into the industry, that’s ok. I know that many of them don’t have the confidence to try it out. That’s why I think, that Sony’s G.I.R.L. initiative is fine. But as long as the “minorities” (let’s call them minorities, since we’re not talking about women only) don’t try to stand up and show that they’re interested, there won’t be any change. There has to be a willingness to cooperate from both sides.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ps3fanboy

    fuck ea and anyone that support this horrid company must be stupid. dont people learn from the simcity scandal???

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    Diversity? Hell, I’d be happy with working servers.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Samoan Spider

    @6 Now I have all his lines from the movie rattling around my head. Thanks for that ;)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @8 Any time…

    …over here…over here….any time….turn around…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Samoan Spider

    @9 Not to mention ‘I ain’t got time to bleed!’ and ‘This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me’ :) Damnit there goes my afternoon!

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Samoan Spider

    Oh, and back on topic, if anyone thinks that these equality and diversity types are fighting the good fight just check this nonsense they’re trying to sneak through the European Parliament next week. This is the kind of sweeping powers that they want. Scary right? -> http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-03/07/eu-porn-vote-ban

    #11 2 years ago
  12. rusty_shackleford

    #5

    Anyone who fell for sim city is dumber than a rock, this isnt the first time EA has bought a franchise and released a crap-tacular sequel/reboot trying to cash in on the brand recoginition before people realize EA bought up that company.

    bioware and dragon age
    westwood and c&c
    maxia and the sims

    etc etc etc. ea does it over and over, they have killed many of the best franchises from the 90s and 2000s just by buying them up and pumping out garbage games.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Rafa_L

    @3 I understand what you said, and I agree with @1 that you shouldn’t hire unqualified people because of diversity. But if you work in gaming, you work with fiction, a good writer can’t create 50 characters like him, he has to get out of his comfort zone. So I think it’s not only about prejudice in real life and companies hiring “the white dude” instead of diverse ones, it’s about the straight white guys trying to understand women, black and gay people, etc, to include them properly in their fiction, after all, we all want to spend money with games, but not only for the game play, for the story, for our emotional involvement, to live a fantasy, to relate to characters, etc.

    @4 The problem with standing up to try, is if the “majority” is close minded they will suffer a lot to get there. A gay friend of mine studied computer science, and he gave up, because even not coming out, he had to listen to people making prejudice remarks about homosexuality often. Tough he had the same interests as the other students, he didn’t feel comfortable and end up making no friends. And I don’t blame him, bullied people know what’s like to go everyday to a place where you feel hostilized, it’s no way to live. The change needs to come from all of us, not just from the “minority” going through hell to make a stand.

    @11 Come on, are you serious? You are talking about just a group of people and generalizing for all the “diversity types”. Women, black people, gays, little people, old people etc can be as racist, arrogant, intolerant and terrible people as any other, that doesn’t mean you’ll stand against all of them because of some. There are lots of “diversity types” fighting the good fight.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Samoan Spider

    @13 Yup, I was generalising. You’re quite right. There’s plenty of people doing good things, and I can’t deny what EA are trying to achieve here is also good. But there are also plenty with a less than honest agenda. My generalisation was purely in the context of the link and probably should’ve been much more directed. Poor wording on my part :(

    #14 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]