Different Games: A Conference on Diversity, Difference and Inclusivity in Games

BROOKLYN, New York, April 23, 2013 – Different Games will celebrate its inaugural conference on April 26 and 27, 2013, at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly). A project of NYU-Poly’s Department of Technology, Culture and Society, the conference will address the issues of diversity, difference and inclusivity in game design, production, scholarship and criticism.

“We want to amplify seldom-heard voices in the games community, celebrate their contributions, and work toward making games a more inclusive space,” said Sara Schoemann, creator and co-organizer of Different Games and an NYU-Poly doctoral candidate. “Other conferences typically include a few panel discussions dedicated to these issues, but we’ve made these important issues the entire focus of Different Games.”

The conference will include presentations by indie game designers, scholars, and games researchers, as well as workshops about hands-on game production and breakouts to discuss issues like sexism in the industry and LGBT inclusiveness.

“We wanted to bring together communities who talk about similar issues but very rarely cross-communicate because of professional boundaries,” said Laine Nooney, a doctoral candidate in cultural studies at Stony Brook University and the conference’s co-organizer. “Our goal is to create a space for dialogue, to allow new connections and social networks to come together.”

Different Games begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2013. Opening night events include a keynote address by Dartmouth professor and Tiltfactor founder Mary Flanagan, as well as a playable games arcade.  On Saturday, the programing will include three channels for panels, workshops and breakout discussions including presentations by Anna Anthropy, Mattie Brice, Robert Yang, Nick Fortungo, Kaho Abe, Adriennne Shaw, Raiford  Guins  and more.  Celia Pearce, games researcher and assistant professor at George Institute of Technology, will cap off the night with her talk, “Kickstarting a Revolution, One Tweet at a Time.”

“We’re expecting about 300 people to attend the conference, but hope we can reach many more with the help of social media and video archives of the sessions,” said Schoemann. And we’re already throwing around ideas for next year – Different Games 2.0.”

Attendance is free, but registration is required. Visit www.DifferentGames.eventbrite.com.