NetworkInPlay: Crafting Diversity in Games
The goal of the Network In Play project is to create projects, events and documents that put equity, inclusion and diversity in game making and game playing cultures at the forefront.
If you support this goal we would be happy to work with you. This is both an academic research project and an engaged community project established by Dr. Aphra Kerr (Maynooth university and gd.ie) and Vicky Twomey-Lee (Coding Grace).
Our collaboration began thanks to funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada via the ‘Refiguring Innovation in Digital Games’ project (ReFiG project 2015-2020). The ReFig project was ‘committed to promoting diversity and equity in the game industry and culture and effecting real change in a space that has been exclusionary to so many’.
The Network in Ireland project began in Feb 2016. In 2016 we organised field research to understand who attends current gamejams. We also organised an event for International Women’s Day that showcased the diverse range of women working in the games industry in Ireland. Finally, we designed and ran a series of 3 female friendly workshops that explicitly tried to address issues of diversity in games.
In 2018 we organised more events and workshops and in 2020 we published a free to download report of our activities.
We would like to continue to build a network of informal and formal educators in Ireland and of industry representatives who will collaborate to analyse, address and raise issues of diversity in the games industry and games culture in Ireland. Want to get involved? Ideas, resources, people and time – all welcome.
Manual and Roadmap, 2020.
In March 2020 we launched the ‘Decoding and Recoding Game-Making Events for Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation’ manual.
Published by Maynooth University, funded by the Refig project, and written by Dr. Aphra Kerr, Ms. Vicky Twomey-Lee and Mr Joshua Savage, the manual summaries the evidence on diversity and inclusion in the games industry and at game making events internationally and in Ireland. It reports on our research at gamejams in Ireland and our experiences running creative workshops on game design. We also produced a 3 page roadmap with topics on developing inclusive events.
You can read the full feature on our findings on gd.ie in the features section.
You can download the full manual here NIP-PDFGraphics-FA
You can download the roadmap here NIP-PDFGraphics-Roadmap
We welcome feedback and suggestions. As this is an electronic manual we will be able to produce updates.
Safer Space Polices and Codes of Conduct.
We have developed our own Code of Conduct within inputs from our network partners. See here. Comments and suggestions welcome. This is a work in progress.
Our colleagues in our ‘parent’ Refiguring Innovation in Games Network have developed a Safer Space policy. We will be adopting this for all of our events. See here.
We are also working with the people from Coding Grace who have a lot of experience running diversity friendly events in Ireland. Their Code of Conduct can be found here.
Want to let us know about other useful approaches, codes and policies?
Drop us an email here.
Beginner Workshops, 2018
In April 2018 Network in Play and our partners ran three workshops for beginners in Galway which were female friendly and inclusive. This follows on from our diversity workshops in Dublin in the summer of 2016.
When: Sat Apr 7/14/28 2018
Duration: 11-4 with lunch provided.
Where: PorterShed (1st two workshops, 7 & 14 April) / Galway Technology Centre, Galway (3rd workshop, 28th April).
The three workshops were:-
- Apr 7 – Charlene Putney – an interactive fiction/game narrative workshop followed by this workshop
- Apr 14 – Robin O’Keefe – a board-game design workshop
- Apr 28 – Tracey McCabe – an intro to games development with Unity3D
Level: These workshops were aimed at over 18s who are complete beginners with no prior experience of game development. We were particularly keen to attract women, people from diverse creative backgrounds, people who are unemployed and people of colour.
Price of workshops start from €10 (incl. lunch), with deductions for unemployed, students and attendance at more than one workshop, and any left over proceeds will be donated to COPE Galway.
GameCraft Unplugged and Student Ticket Competition, 2017.
We are collaborating with running a family friendly GameCraft Unplugged on the 8th of July for children and their parents. Attendance is free. Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/inspirefest-family-fringe-accenture-the-dock-8-july-tickets-34921355715
Also two students will attend Inspirefest courtesy of gamedevelopers.ie and our Network in Play project. We asked them to tell us what diversity meant to them for their entry and we loved some of the responses. Our winners will be writing up short posts on their experience of the event for us here on gd.ie
Diversity in Games event for International Women’s Day, March, 2016
Our first event was organised for International Women’s Day (8th of March), 2016. It was a sell-out!
See our list of speakers and further information at https://www.codinggrace.com/events/iwd-diversity-games/63/
Organised with support from Digit Game Studios, Dogpatch labs, Silicon Republic, Imirt and McCormick Advanced Marcomm Services.
The Diversity Game – Survey Findings
In early 2016 we surveyed attendees of two Gamecrafts (local game jams). We were interested to find out who attends Gamecrafts and who does not. We were also interested to establish if people had experienced any discrimination in digital game cultures. You might be surprised by the findings.
Read an overview at https://gamedevelopers.ie/the-diversity-game/
Summer 2016 – Beginners Board Game Design, Writing and Coding for Games Workshops
The Network in Play partners (including Coding Grace, gamedevelopers.ie, Imirt, Pulse, Dogpatch and Maynooth University) organised three FREE diversity friendly one day workshops in Dublin in August/Sept. 2016 aimed at beginners who are interested in learning about designing, writing and coding for games.
We will publish some reflections on the experience here on gd.ie in the next few months.
Our current network of partners includes:
Want to get involved? Contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org