A new UK racial equity and inclusion movement, POC in Play, aims to address the lack of representation and inclusion of people of colour (POC) in the video games industry.
POC in Play is described as "an independent force for change, creating a range of initiatives and programme of events designed to increase the visibility and representation of POC in the videogames industry". In partnership with ustwo Games, the team is celebrating the launch by inviting people of colour to use the #IamPOCinPlay on social media platforms "to shine a light on their involvement in games".
The launch team includes co-founders Adam Campbell (Azoomee) and Chella Ramanan (3-Fold Games), plus Nida Ahmad (UX analyst), Mike Anderson (ustwo Games), Jodie Azhar (Teazelcat Games), Des Gayle (Altered Gene), and Moo Yu (Foam Sword).
The first of POC in Play’s monthly networking events will take place 7-9pm at ustwo Games’ London studio on March 22nd, 2019. These meetups offer "a space to meet, network, listen to expert speakers and gain advice, with future plans for workshops and opportunities to show work". To sign up, head to: https://www.meetup.com/POC-in-Play/.
"We’ve gathered a really strong and passionate team, who all share a vision of a more inclusive industry," said co-founder Adam Campbell. "We hold the same passion as other diversity movements in this sector though we aim to add our distinct, long term plan to the table, supported by a landmark strategic studio partnership with ustwo Games designed to enact real change at every level of the industry."
"We aim to work with industry, educators and other diversity organisations to tackle different aspects of representation. POC in Play aims to focus on recruitment, retention and career development within games to create a more welcoming and inclusive spaces that attract and nurture talent."
"We are delighted to be working closely with ustwo Games and look forward to our first social event at their studio, in March," co-founder Chella Ramanan added. "It’s encouraging to already have this level of support from such a highly regarded game studio. POC in Play aims to be a positive force, helping industry make the changes we so desperately need to improve access and retention of POC talent. We are also planning some exciting initiatives designed to support new talent looking to build a career in a vibrant, creative industry like videogames.
"To mark the launch, we’re hoping people will engage with #IamPOCinPlay, as a celebration of all the POC professionals and POC gaming communities who make this such a rich and exciting industry."