The Game Devs of Color Expo is dedicated to amplifying the creative power held by people of color in games, which they do so by showcasing and uplifting diverse voices in the gaming industry in a multi-day event. The 6th Expo was this past weekend and I was granted the opportunity to attend and share my experience.
I was provided a press pass for this event.
This even was fully online and filled with panels, interviews, networking, and other events. What was great was the ability to easily bookmark what events you wanted to attend, what games you want to check out, and speakers you’d wish to talk to. You could meet one -on-one and chat with developers, publishers, and other industry professionals which is great for those wanting to enter the industry, or even for me as press to get some more info about the amazing games and the people that made them.
I unfortunately only got to really be involve for the second two days because of work, but what was nice is that I could go back and watch any event playback as a VOD. But ultimately watching live was the most fun because of the chat interaction. I did notice that the panels and interviews were all pre-recorded and would be streamed in at their designated time which was a little bit of a bummer as speakers couldn’t interact in the video live, but the speakers were always in chat answering questions so that was a nice fix for that.
Since we’re talking about panels and interviews, let’s talk about the ones I attended and what I thought!
I attended a few dev interviews, where the developers of varying games had a chance to talk about their projects, from the process to priorities when making them. These were nice to learn more about certain games you were interested in. The two that stand out for me are Innchanted’s interview and Spirit Swap’s interview. The first went into fascinating details about the aboriginal and native influences in the game and especially the music. The latter I enjoyed the devs honesty when talking about why they made a cooperative. Dev Interviews were best for learning about specific games.
Finding Your Footing as a Content Creator
I always take the chance to check out any content creator centric event, thus why I ended up at this presentation. Ultimately, it is intended for beginners in content creation and made some good points overall. But for me as someone who has been a creator for a while, it wasn’t as worthwhile.
hell is a teenage girl: examining the representation of teenage girls in video games
You can thank me waking up early for catching this presentation as it was early on Sunday morning. It reminded me of all of the gender studies in media courses I took in my undergrad, thus why it appealed to me. The best part to me was showcasing games with more complex, non-stereotype depictions of teenage girls.
Finding Your Voice: Developing Your Brand (in Tabletop)
This ended up being my favorite panel. I was drawn to it because of the focus on tabletop, but it ended up being valuable to anyone and everyone, even outside of the games industry. The women were all friends so their energy together was great, and everyone had a unique perspective and background that brought good information. I wish they had more time because it was that good.
I have already talked about many of the games featured at the expo when I did my quick takes on their indie game showcase, so I won’t spend much more on that. So many games were featured in one way or another, be it in the direct showcase or in dev interviews or as a part of the free Steam event Gradient Convergence. My favorites include PenPal Princess, Spirit Swap, Last Legacy, Steam Up: A Feast of Dim Sum, and Venba.
Overall, this expo was such a lovely and informative experience that truly celebrated diverse voices and I wish I got the full four days to experience it. I found worth out of it as a white person, and I can imagine how worthwhile this can be for people of color interested in games. I hope there are many more expos in the future.