</“Gaming can be a daunting and non-diverse space to enter, and that’s something I still see to this day.”>
Gamers call for more diverse young talent to help reboot the system
London, Tuesday, 7th January 2020: The Institute of Coding (IoC) has collaborated with trailblazing groups Black Girl Gamers and London Gaymers, as well as esports host and activist Frankie Ward, in a new short video that addresses some of the realities of gaming and the need for more diversity and representation.
Gaming has earned more revenue than the film and music industries combined every year for the past eight years, but still isn’t a safe space for all players. This new short video shows personal perspectives on some of the barriers young people may face when entering gaming and the digital sector, and empowers more diverse talent to join.
The stories include Black Girl Gamers’ Jay Ann Lopez’s experience of racism and London Gaymers’ Matt Hardwick’s experience of homophobia, and their ambition to foster inclusivity and empower more diverse young people to join gaming and consider studying digital.
“It’s never been so important to open the doors to a younger, more representative wave of innovators in our industry,” says Jay Ann. “Gaming can be a daunting and non-diverse space to enter, and that’s something I still see to this day. Groups like Black Girl Gamers are helping people create space for themselves, but there’s still work to be done. That’s where the next generation come in.”
Each video contributor has either founded or works with a group that has actively helped reboot the gaming industry and created an inclusive environment. They are:
- Jay Ann Lopez of Black Girl Gamers, a collective founded from shared experiences of exclusionary and discriminatory culture faced by women in the black community
- Matt Hardwick of London Gaymers, a team who host regular events as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to dispel homophobia and misogyny in gaming
- Esports host and activist Frankie Ward, who champions accessibility in gaming, in addition to raising awareness about the need for more women in the sector
The experiences of the video’s contributors are reflective of many young people who may have an interest in digital. Polling from the IoC, conducted in September 2019, revealed that 70 percent of young people believe the digital sector is generally made up of those who are white and British. This is just one of the reasons diverse groups of learners feel discouraged from studying digital and pursuing a career in the digital sector. The collaboration aims to shift these perceptions and create change in the industry.
This new video is part of CTRL Your Future, a diversity campaign from the Institute of Coding which looks to reboot the digital sector by welcoming fresh diverse talent into the industry.
In addition to gaming, the wider CTRL Your Future initiative brings together trailblazing figures from fashion, design and social activism, who are already helping to reshape the digital industry.
Watch the full 60-second short film below and find out more about the IoC’s courses at www.instituteofcoding.org/ctrl-your-future.
 According Global Games Market Report by Newzoo (2018)