When Facebook’s Women In Gaming initiative was exposed to a broader audience, it became pretty clear that the mega-corporation was intent on using its resources for social engineering purposes, specifically to subvert male dominated spaces in hardcore gaming and redirect them so that they become female dominated. So far, the only thing initiatives like this have done is anger the core consumer base, drive away sales from core franchises like Dishonored and Wolfenstein, and create lots of division within the gaming community. Well, despite only negative effects being borne of these politically motivated efforts, it isn’t stopping the powers that be from pushing forward.
In fact, the next big effort seems to center around capturing the Brazilian gaming industry, and it begins on June 26th, 2018. The Women In Games panel will feature female speakers from Brazil and Germany, including Kathrin Radtke from Studio Fizbin, Bianca Antunes from Flux Game Studio, Ariane Parra from Women Up Games, Flavia Gasi from Forja, and Aiami De Siqueira Garcia from Gazeus Games and Women Up Games. It doesn’t distinctly state if this is still the same group funded by Facebook, but regardless, the rhetoric and aims seem to be the same.
The panel, as pointed out in the press release, will discus how to “fortify the female presence in the gaming industry”.
It’s kind of a continuation of what was discussed during the E3 Coliseum this past year with the #SheTalksGames panel, where it was also brought up how to get more women in games and the industry’s current direction in changing around mostly male oriented franchises to have a more female-oriented perspective.
Unlike E3, though, the Brazil Independent Games Festival will be chock full of sociopolitically-charged panels, including a panel called “Games and Social Inclusion”. According to the description it reads…
“The panel will feature developers who have contributed to diversity and social inclusion. Be it racial, gender or sexual orientation, how to promote social inclusion today is a main issue in several segments of the creative industry. Among them, the international guest Dr. Menno van Pelt-Deen (HOL), responsible for Games4diversity; Bruno Araújo, responsible for the game Diana, about transgender phobia in Brazil. Tiany Pixel from Pixel Punk studio, is a game developer and a transgender. She will present her game Unsighted, finalist for the Best Brazilian Game and Best Game categories for the BIG Awards 2018, The panel will be mediated by Nayara Brito, organizer of the Woman Game, a game jam that seeks to give visibility to the female public.”
The entire event is more about the cultural changes that the organization and those associated with it are trying to get implemented into gaming rather than the games themselves.
In fact, the least talked about thing in the press announcement for the event held in Sao Paulo, Brazil are the actual games that will be on display.
The lede focuses almost entirely on diversity and inclusion, where it reads…
“Video games have become catalysts for social change, preparing players to emotionally handle heavy realities like love, bullying, and suicide, while bridging certain gaps.
“Touching on themes such as diversity and social inclusion, feminism and mental health, BIG Impact, is gathering some of the most important serious games constituents in the industry to discuss and address the benefits of video games in today’s society.”
You can learn more about the BIG event by visiting the official BIG Festival website.
The panels will kick off on June 26th and will run through July 1st.