Gaming doesn’t have to be violent, racist or anti-women but can be inclusive instead. That’s according to Áine Kelly, from the Spraoi agus Spórt, who’s staging a special workshop on inclusive gaming next weekend.
‘Meet and Code Gaming for All’ takes place at their Digital Creative Lab in Carndonagh this Saturday from 11.30am to 4pm. Áine, Technical Assistant at the Lab, says the workshop is FREE and is aimed at 12 to 16-year-olds. “They can learn to craft games that embrace diversity and accessibility.”
“Many young people and parents are alarmed at the content of a lot of the games on the market today. This workshop gives young people a chance to challenge the negative messages coming from some of the popular games.”
Áine says they will have expert support from the Derry-based Kippie, who help people from all backgrounds learn how to make games and express themselves in their work. The Kippie team will kick off the discussions on addressing the lack of inclusivity in gaming.
“We’ll encourage participants to share their own experiences of gaming. Then we’ll discuss issues like misogyny, violence and racism in contemporary gaming culture. We’ll also explore the impact of this culture on individuals and communities. How does it feel to play a game which portrays you or those around you in a derogatory way? What effect can this have on a gamer’s self-image, confidence or mental health?”
Áine says they will look at inclusive Game Design Principles and discuss how they can represent the diversity within our families and communities. “The narrative in games can be very powerful and can be directed away from generating hate to embracing diversity.”
The workshop will use interactive activities to explore different perspectives and experiences.
“We’ll also do some brainstorming on strategies for taking an inclusive approach and look at games that have successfully challenged the status quo. And we’ll discuss game ideas and mechanics that can offer a fresh perspective.
Áine says the workshop will offer an overview of accessible game development tools and resources suitable for beginners. There will be an introduction to game engines, game creation platforms, and coding basics.
“We’ll have a hands-on game development exercise using a beginner-friendly game creation platform. Participants will create a mini-game or interactive experience that promotes inclusivity and challenges a specific issue. They’ll get one-on-one assistance from the workshop facilitators for this project work.”
“Then participants will do presentations of the games they make, and explain how they addressed the issues they chose to tackle.” Áine says they’ll finish up with discussion on
the potential impact of the games and the creative process. To book, call Spraoi agus Spórt on 0868420203 or email email@example.com or go to https://spraoi-agus-sport.classforkids.io/info/4480