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Diversity and Inclusion in Video Game Design

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Manage episode 374882356 series 2891690
Content provided by Gary David + Adam Gamwell, Adam Gamwell, and Gary David. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Gary David + Adam Gamwell, Adam Gamwell, and Gary David or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

Gary was part of the first generation to have home video games, and can still remember his Odyssey game console while everyone else was getting an Atari. You might say that left a mark. But he also remembers the fun that you could have just by sitting in front of the television, or computer, and playing some video games. As the games evolved, so did the fun. New consoles and new games meant better graphics, enhanced video, and bigger challenges. Even today he can say with pride that I did knock out Mike Tyson in that video game.

We might say that the “game” has definitely changed in video game design. Video games today can look like movies, and play like them too. Rich narratives, development characters, seemingly live action, complicated controllers that let you feel like you are part of the game itself. All of it has come together to make the gaming industry a multi-billion dollar enterprise with expanded job opportunities, AAA design studios, and an ever-increasing universe of games to play.

This raises the question of how are these games designed to create great experiences? Additionally, what are the potential challenges and issues with the ways in which games have been designed from perspectives that are not diverse.

To discuss these questions and more, we welcome Dr. Jess Tompkins to the Experience by Design studios. We were able to see Jess speak at the 2023 SXSW conference on a panel on diversity in game design. Jess is the UX Research Director at Skeleton Key, a game design studio. She also has a PhD in Media Psychology, with a dissertation that explored the social psychological effects of video games and avatars on self-identified women. At Skeleton Key, she pursues a human-centric approach to game design, using player data and insights to create the best games possible.

We explore how video game design is evolving to be more inclusive. We also discuss how video games can be the foundation for forming online communities. She emphasizes the importance of user-centered and participatory design frameworks to be more responsive to player needs and wants, as well as to think about the larger impacts that games can have on people’s psyches. Finally, we discuss how there is an emerging and growing demand for video games to tell more diverse stories that represent cultures of the world, especially as video games continue to grow globally.

  continue reading

92 episodes

Artwork
iconShare
 
Manage episode 374882356 series 2891690
Content provided by Gary David + Adam Gamwell, Adam Gamwell, and Gary David. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Gary David + Adam Gamwell, Adam Gamwell, and Gary David or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

Gary was part of the first generation to have home video games, and can still remember his Odyssey game console while everyone else was getting an Atari. You might say that left a mark. But he also remembers the fun that you could have just by sitting in front of the television, or computer, and playing some video games. As the games evolved, so did the fun. New consoles and new games meant better graphics, enhanced video, and bigger challenges. Even today he can say with pride that I did knock out Mike Tyson in that video game.

We might say that the “game” has definitely changed in video game design. Video games today can look like movies, and play like them too. Rich narratives, development characters, seemingly live action, complicated controllers that let you feel like you are part of the game itself. All of it has come together to make the gaming industry a multi-billion dollar enterprise with expanded job opportunities, AAA design studios, and an ever-increasing universe of games to play.

This raises the question of how are these games designed to create great experiences? Additionally, what are the potential challenges and issues with the ways in which games have been designed from perspectives that are not diverse.

To discuss these questions and more, we welcome Dr. Jess Tompkins to the Experience by Design studios. We were able to see Jess speak at the 2023 SXSW conference on a panel on diversity in game design. Jess is the UX Research Director at Skeleton Key, a game design studio. She also has a PhD in Media Psychology, with a dissertation that explored the social psychological effects of video games and avatars on self-identified women. At Skeleton Key, she pursues a human-centric approach to game design, using player data and insights to create the best games possible.

We explore how video game design is evolving to be more inclusive. We also discuss how video games can be the foundation for forming online communities. She emphasizes the importance of user-centered and participatory design frameworks to be more responsive to player needs and wants, as well as to think about the larger impacts that games can have on people’s psyches. Finally, we discuss how there is an emerging and growing demand for video games to tell more diverse stories that represent cultures of the world, especially as video games continue to grow globally.

  continue reading

92 episodes

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