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.