People on Twitter are using the #GamesSoWhite hashtag to start conversations about whiteness as “default” in video games and fantasy in general, particularly the idea that while dragons and super-weapons are usually embraced with an easy suspension of disbelief, the presence of people of color in these worlds is “just not historically accurate”.
Tanya DePass, creator of the #INeedDiverseGames Twitter hashtag and Tumblr community, is just one of the people who’s led this conversation—she did a great piece here at Offworld on the “historical accuracy” argument as regards her favorite franchise, Dragon Age, and spoke to Arthur Chu at Salon about her diversity activism: “It’s more common to see a blue hedgehog than a person of color as a protagonist in a game,” she said. “And it wears on you.”
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, which is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers attend the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is seeking partnership with organizations and initiatives.
Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. She founded and was the EIC of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture was discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. Now she’s a co-host on Spawn on Me Podcast. Along with all of that, she’s the Programming Coordinator for OrcaCon, she often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games, Mic, and other publications.
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