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The Game Devs of Color Expo to go entirely digital for 2021

In its sixth year, the Game Devs of Color Expo 2021 will celebrate the growing ethnic diversity within game development. Again, the event will be entirely digital.

With most of North America’s big gaming conferences axed last year due to Covid-19, it’s good to see that the calendar year is back on track for gamers in 2021.

Organisers from both E3 and the GDC are gearing up for completely digital events in the summer, and those who managed to secure their next gen consoles are finally set to see what they’ve forked out for.

While July will allow us to mark our calendars with future game releases and celebrate the best titles 2020 had to offer, September is offering an exciting opportunity to embrace the growing ethnic diversity within game development.

Increasing in stature every year, the Game Devs of Color Expo is pushing for its biggest show ever in September. Here’s everything you need to get involved and show your support.


What is the Game Devs of Color Expo?

If this is the first you’re hearing of the Game Devs of Color Expo, don’t feel too bad. It’s something of a newbie as game conferences go, but its influence is growing.

Traditionally held at the Schomburg Center in Harlem New York, the expo casts a spotlight on historically marginalised groups in the gaming industry – though organisers state it’s a place to celebrate games without framing them in a discussion of underrepresentation.

It’s no secret that the industry has long suffered from a glaring inequality issue. Just 19% of developers today identify as ‘non-white,’ and this event allows creators of colour to

showcase their games, network with fellow insiders, and gain access to funding to get projects off the ground.

‘We know that the most crucial form of representation is the kind in which folks actually talk about how they work,’ says co-organiser Catt Small. ‘The Game Devs of Color Expo gives BIPOC folks in games the opportunity to share their expertise instead of centering their experiences with marginalisation in the industry.’

Starting as a small roundtable show in 2016 to promote black developers and upcoming indie games, the concept has since exploded in popularity and evolved into full-blown multi-day expo.

Last year’s virtual event saw more than 1,500 attendees tune in for developer talks, interviews, Q&A panels, and of course a showcase of the titles that would soon arrive on digital libraries like Steam. Everyone loves a good announcement trailer, don’t we?

Engendering a fun and celebratory atmosphere, the Game Devs of Color Expo is a bustling hub for creators to exchange ideas, and have their work seen on a grand scale.

Throughout last year’s show, more than $90,000 USD was given to burgeoning creators by associated venture capitalists too.

How can I participate?

If you wish to attend the event through September 23rd to the 27th purchasing a ticket online will instantly open you up to the expos’ many scheduled showcases and panel discussions.

Though the full scale of the event has yet to be fully revealed, it’s clear organisers have their aspirations set high and want to on-board as many creatives as possible.

Through clicking a free submission link on the website, developers of colour can submit their games for the first time, and can even send in drafts of a potential talk they’d like to present. Deadline for all applications is April 15th.

If you’re pursuing a career in the industry, organisers are seeking gaming buffs who would be interested in doing interviews and hosting Q&A sessions. Who knows, it could just be your big break.

We’re sure to hear more about the event as it draws closer to autumn, but in the meantime you can subscribe to a weekly newsletter here.

Roll on September, hopefully this can be its most successful show yet.

 

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