Exploring practical approaches to diversity, inclusion and accessibility

The devcom Call for Change Summit is a kick-off event to raise awareness on topics that are dear to us in a meaningful and impactful way.

When we joined devcom, we all shared the same desire: to make a difference and do our part in creating a safer and more welcoming industry.
With our Call for Change Summit, focussing on diversity, inclusion and accessibility, we are kicking off 2021 the way we mean to continue, bringing together industry representatives who want to make or already have made a huge difference themselves.

Together, we need to explore the wide variety of opportunities that can help and enable us all to make the games industry as a whole a more diverse, inclusive and accessible place to work in. The focus of our summit program is on practical applications and best practices, to provide our attendees with fresh ideas, the right tools, and inspiring methods to create not only diverse teams and working cultures as well as safe working environments, but also games that are accessible to every player out there.

We understand the need to learn, educate and train ourselves for personal and collective growth. In order to achieve these goals, we are spotlighting people who are way too often underrepresented – people of color, women, trans, non-binary and others of non-conforming gender – while fighting for recognition, diversity, equality and inclusion.

On February 25 & 26, we welcome all of you to join our summit and engage with each other, attend the numerous workshops, panel discussions, fireside chats and microtalks on diversity, inclusion, accessibility, neurodivergence, allyship, racism, queerness, unconscious biases, inclusive communication and other topics.

Funded by

The devcom Call for Change Summit is sponsored by Facebook Gaming

Facebook Gaming is building the world’s gaming community by helping game makers, developers and publishers to build, grow and monetize their games.
We’re committed to building a workforce that’s as diverse as the communities we serve, and in assisting our partners and clients in their efforts to make the games industry more diverse, inclusive, accessible and equitable for all.

Focus Topics

Day 1 – February 25, 2021

Keynote

“The Importance of Being Authentic”:

Opening Keynote by
Limpho Moeti, Producer & Business Developer at Nyamakop

Webinar
“Unconscious Bias: Building Awareness of Obstacles to Diversity”:

Webinar by
Jarral Boyd, Linguist & Educator

Topic Field 1

Building a Diverse Team

Empowering those who need to be seen and have their voices raised and heard is crucial for creating a better industry for everyone – and building a diverse and inclusive team a first but impactful step towards achieving this goal.

Topic Field 2

The Power of Empowerment – Representation Matters

A game is just as diverse as its cast and narration, and proper representation is crucial. And while topics of diversity slowly find their way into main stream gaming, there is still more than enough room for more inclusive stories that we need to experience – created by the diverse team you’re about to build!

Topic Field 3

No-One Left Behind – Inclusion Starts with Accessibility

To play is an inherit part of human nature. And while games have come a long way in becoming more and more accessible to everyone, there is still a lot of room for improvement – especially when it comes to competitive games. We take the time to talk about inspiring projects, as well as best practices that will help you do your part in making our industry a more accessible one – both on the gamers‘ as well as the developers‘ side.

Day 2 – February 26, 2021

Keynote

“The Internet Is Changing And So Can You: I Promise This Is Not A Self-Help Talk”:

Opening Keynote by
Felicia Prehn, Producer, Freelance Community Manager and Accessibility Advocate at Nopia

Webinar

The “A” Word: Being an Authentic Ally

Webinar by
Jarral Boyd, Linguist & Educator

Topic Field 1

Socializing the Social Network – Safe Spaces in the Digital Age

With each game there’s a community that grows around it, be it on social media, chat platforms, or within the actual game itself – and with it toxic and exclusive behaviour, as well as online mobbing towards other players or even game developers. Creating safe and inclusive spaces – both online and offline – is crucial to not only keep your players, but also your team safe, healthy, and motivated, as toxicity can literally kill so much more than just the mood…

Topic Field 2

The Lie of the Supremacist Target Group

We‘ve all probably heard it before: „If we don’t market our games towards a cis het white male audience, we’re not gonna earn a dime“. A prejudice that has become a self-fullfilling prophecy, especially running rampant in AAA environments. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room!

Topic Field 3

Mental Health – What we too often do not talk about

Mental health, a topic that affects so many, and is yet talked about so scarcely. No matter what condition a person is affected by, none of them should be downplayed, made fun of, or even be ignored. Fortunately, many projects and organizations worldwide, as well as videogames themselves already do their part in raising awareness and by helping to de-stigmatize what could affect each and every one of us.

Focus Topics

While we’re still busy working on the detailed schedule, we can already share the summit program and focus topics with you.

Please come back soon for more details and subscribe to our newsletter for future updates!

Day 1 – February 25, 2021

Keynote

A business case for diversity and inclusion within the games industry.

More details will follow soon.

Webinar
Unconscious Bias: Building Awareness of Obstacles to Diversity

More details will follow soon.

Topic Field 1

Building a Diverse Team

Empowering those who need to be seen and have their voices raised and heard is crucial for creating a better industry for everyone – and building a diverse and inclusive team a first but impactful step towards achieving this goal.

Topic Field 2

The Power of Empowerment – Representation Matters

A game is just as diverse as its cast and narration, and proper representation is crucial. And while topics of diversity slowly find their way into main stream gaming, there is still more than enough room for more inclusive stories that we need to experience – created by the diverse team you’re about to build!

Topic Field 3

No-One Left Behind – Inclusion Starts with Accessibility

To play is an inherit part of human nature. And while games have come a long way in becoming more and more accessible to everyone, there is still a lot of room for improvement – especially when it comes to competitive games. We take the time to talk about inspiring projects, as well as best practices that will help you do your part in making our industry a more accessible one – both on the gamers‘ as well as the developers‘ side.

Day 2 – February 26, 2021

Keynote

A business case for diversity and inclusion within the games industry.

More details will follow soon.

Webinar
The “A” Word: Being an Authentic Ally

More details will follow soon.

Topic Field 1

Socializing the Social Network – Safe Spaces in the Digital Age

With each game there’s a community that grows around it, be it on social media, chat platforms, or within the actual game itself – and with it toxic and exclusive behaviour, as well as online mobbing towards other players or even game developers. Creating safe and inclusive spaces – both online and offline – is crucial to not only keep your players, but also your team safe, healthy, and motivated, as toxicity can literally kill so much more than just the mood…

Topic Field 2
The Lie of the Supremacist Target Group

We‘ve all probably heard it before: „If we don’t market our games towards a cis het white male audience, we’re not gonna earn a dime“. A prejudice that has become a self-fullfilling prophecy, especially running rampant in AAA environments. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room!

Topic Field 3
Mental Health – What we too often do not talk about

Mental health, a topic that affects so many, and is yet talked about so scarcely. No matter what condition a person is affected by, none of them should be downplayed, made fun of, or even be ignored. Fortunately, many projects and organizations worldwide, as well as videogames themselves already do their part in raising awareness and by helping to de-stigmatize what could affect each and every one of us.

Special Advisory Board

CCO at Landfall Games

Hanna runs all things community at Stockholm based indie studio Landfall Games, the makers of Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, Clustertruck, and Stick Fight: The Game.

After a couple of years working with communities and running diversity and inclusion campaigns in the events industry, Hanna was recruited to join the amazing world of games in 2016.

Founder & Game Designer at Twin Drums

After working as a Game Designer for “Candy Crush” developer King and narrative games studio Wooga, Allan Cudicio founded his own company, Twin Drums.

He is currently working on the PC game “The Wagadu Chronicles”, the first afrofantasy MMORPG. Allan’s big passions are “Dungeons & Dragons”, fried plantain, dogs, cycling and justice.

Head of Gaming Marketing at Facebook

Leah is the Head of Gaming Marketing, Americas for Facebook Gaming where she helps game developers, publishers and marketers find new ways to increase user acquisition, expand to new audiences and scale globally with the more than 380 million people playing games each month on Facebook.

Founder at Games for Good

Deborah is the Founder of dmb crew and its flagship initiative Games for Good, which focuses on helping studios and industry harness games for social impact. She was a driving force behind the Green Mobile Game Jam which reached more than 100 Million gamers about climate change, and consults for UN Environment’s Playing for the Planet.

She’s a media professional with more than a decade of experience, first as a print and tv journalist and then as a producer and content guru in games at Xbox and Space Ape. She is a Special Effect Ambassador, was named one of the Top 100 Women in Games in 2019, winner of the MCV Career Mentor of the Year Award, and nominated for the h100 Awards: Games in 2018. She has been a speaker at conferences around the world including Gamescom, devcom, Twitchcon, Unity for Humanity, Insomnia, ESI, Pax East PGC and more. Deborah loves this industry, good storytelling, bad TV, and sparkling juice drinks.

CTO at Terra Virtua

Kish Hirani brings with him 25 years experience in the games industry. He started as a software engineer, swiftly attaining technical director or equivalent roles at development studios and publishing houses like Acclaim, THQ, BBC Multimedia to name a few.

The second half of his career he moved to platform holders starting with Microsoft then settling at Sony PlayStation for 8 years as their Head of Developer Services, developing and managing resources for all developer facing technical activities. Currently, Kish is the CTO of a startup as well as a consultancy and sits on multiple advisory boards. He has taken up the voluntary position of the first Chair of the advocacy group BAME in Games (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), promoting diversity in the industry.

He was listed as one of ‘The Top 100 most influential BAME leaders in UK Tech” 2019 in the Financial Times; awarded the “Diversity Star Award” at the Develop:Star Awards 2019 and listed as ‘The Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech” by Diversity UK in 2018.

CEO & Creative Director at MiTale Ltd.

Natasha Skult is the CEO & Creative Director of MiTale, a game development company from Finland focusing on narrative-driven experiences in mixed reality and gamification.

She is an active member of the Finnish and international games industry as Board Member of IGDA.org and Chairperson of IGDA Finland. She is also one of the founders and elected Chairperson of The Hive – Turku Game Hub (game business center in South-West Finland). Besides industry work, she is active in academic research and teaches courses in game design and game (digital) art production at University of Turku.

Brand Manager CRYENGINE at Crytek

With game studios like Bioware/EA and Zenimax Online/Bethesda in his portfolio, Gabriel joined Crytek in 2016 as part of the CRYENGINE Community Team which he is now supporting in a lead role. Gabriel believes in teamwork. Together, they have managed and fostered the CRYENGINE developer community on CRYENGINE.com, Discord and all social media channels.

Creating safe spaces in online environments and developing an inclusive community around gaming and software development has always been a key strategy. As CRYENGINE Brand Manager he was involved in marketing- and crowdfunding campaigns for various successful CRYENGINE indie & AAA games such as “Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem”, “DECEIT”, the “Sniper Ghost Warrior” series and “Kingdom Come: Deliverance”; in addition to Crytek’s own games and the Neon Noir ray tracing tech demo & benchmark.

Senior Director WW Localization at Electronic Arts

Based in Cologne, Germany, Michaela Bartelt is Sr Director WW Localization at EA, heading up all worldwide localization functions including translation, recordings, vendor management, testing and engineering for the video game developer and publisher. Originally a translator by education, she looks back at 20+ years of experience in the game localization industry.

Her current focus is shaping the strategic direction of localization towards Real Time Localization including Machine Translation, Voice Generation and Process Automation. She is deeply committed to fostering diversity and inclusion and is part of the Gender Inclusivity Board within EA.

Our Partnerships

Gayming Magazine

Gayming Magazine launched in June 2019 and is an online magazine dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ video games and geek culture. It provides a range of news, features, interviews and reviews plus sections on anime, comics, merch and other queer geek interests.

In late 2019, Gayming Magazine debuted its new podcast the Gayming Podcast, a fortnightly show which recently has transitioned into the Gayming Podcast Live broadcast on Twitch. In February 2021, Gayming Magazine is making history with the Gayming Awards, the world’s first award ceremony celebrating the achievements of the global gaming industry in representing and championing the LGBTQ+ world through video games.

Industry Gayming launches late February 2021 and will feature industry news, opinions and interviews, alongside a special recruitment zone with job board, a student zone with advice for students, and a content creators’ zone with features and advice on streaming and content creation.

#RaiseTheGame

The #RaiseTheGame diversity pledge is a holistic-driven initiative managed and facilitated by Ukie, alongside being funded by some of the UK games industry’s best-known companies – EA, Facebook Gaming, Jagex, King & Xbox.

The pledge is aimed at helping the overall UK games industry grow and improve in all areas of diversity and inclusivity. From guidance and practical advice to engagement activities like events both online and in-person, the pledge is a call to action to rally the sector together and become leading examples of inclusion to other industries.

Ukie

Be a Sponsor of the Call for Change Summit

We offer various ways for you to become a sponsor, exhibitor or partner and meet your target audience at devcom, from give-aways to digital advertisement or even special sessions.

Please download our sales brochure and contact our team – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Roufina Guenkova
Head of Sales
roufina@devcom.global

Astrid Gooding
Sales Manager DACH
astrid@devcom.global

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