Game and Gab for Good officially kicked off on December 9th, 2014, and despite a few technical wrinkles I think it all went pretty well. I was a little nervous about how the game stream + panel discussion format would work, but I think most people appreciated that we had something to say other than just gasping when we missed a jump (although there was some of that too).
Most of my reservations about how the event went off are mostly due to Game N Give, the platform we were using to collect funds and stream the event using Twitch, still being in Beta. There were more than a few features that we had to rely on Game N Give employees to configure for us, leading to some confusion (in my mind, anyways) about who was organizing what. I think in the future I’d like to take a much more active roll in organizing the event and speakers, but being that everyone had so much else going on and a lot of it had to be thrown together at the last minute, I think we did fine.
As for the discussion itself, while we did meander a bit towards the end, I think we were able to make some good points about why interesting female characters are important. We all agree that the term “strong” has too often been misinterpreted, where a term like “complex” or “compelling” might work better. As well, there did seem to be a consensus that developers should view the inclusion of diverse characters and settings as a way of setting their game apart and creating a unique story, not simply trying to fill a quota. I think we left with a feeling that as the demographics behind the scenes continue to change, who and what we see in games will continue to change as well.
A big thank you to Esther and Clement from Game N Give for setting everything up and to Esther specifically for all the planning she did, as well as moderating the discussion. Also, a huge thank you to Jessy Beaulieu from French language geek podcast Les Mystérieux étonnants for being our last-minute fourth panelist.
I especially wanted to thank Sam and Whitney from Compulsion Games for hosting us in their studios as well as joining us live for the first half of the livestream. It was great getting all those insights into the development process of Contrast, as well as the inside scoop on all the in-jokes and Easter Eggs in the game.
While we didn’t hit our fundraising target, I’d still consider this first event a success and look forward to making the next event even better!