At PlaytestCloud we know that gamers are incredibly diverse – and that’s awesome! At the same time, we feel there’s still a lot of room to make characters and stories in games as diverse as the players who play them.
To dive into this topic and talk about strategies for making more inclusive and diverse games, we have invited four experts from the field. Join us as we discuss character design and story writing in a diverse context, organizational changes that help us build truly inclusive teams and games, and other challenges facing inclusivity and diversity in games today.
Celia Hodent, PhD is a leader in the application of user experience (UX) and cognitive science in the game industry. She brings over 10 years of experience in the game user research industry with her most well-known projects including: Epic Games’ Fortnite, among others. Celia is also the founder of the Game UX Summit, advisor for the GDC UX Summit, and author of The Psychology of Video Games.
Ross Kennedy is a London-based Narrative and Game Designer for video games and interactive fiction. Ross brings 6 years experience in the gaming industry and has collaborated with world acclaimed publishers, like Square Enix, Lionhead and Warner Bros. Entertainment, as well as award-winning game creators, such as The Oliver Twins and Mediatonic.
Alex Helm is a non-binary Brit based in Berlin with twenty years of experience of writing for games of all favours - mobile games, video games, tabletop games and live action roleplaying games. In the past, Alex has worked for studios including Blizzard, Wargaming and Bigpoint, and has been at Wooga for the last four years. As someone who comes under the LGBT+ umbrella, Alex is passionate about including a diverse range of characters in their work.
Nida is an award-winning UX specialist with a focus on creating playful user experiences with accessibility and psychology in mind. She is currently at Netspeak Games, developing a wholesome MMO and was previously at Well-Played Games and Exient. She is an advocate for integrating UX processes and research into game development, having spoken at leading industry conferences and was selected for MCV's 30 under 30. Nida is also on the founding team of POC in Play, an organisation striving to increase the inclusion of POC in the industry.