The second annual Different Games Conference will take place Friday, April 11th - Saturday, April 12th, 2014 at NYU’s newly opened MAGNET (Media and Games Network) Center in downtown Brooklyn, organizers announced today. Organizers of the event describe it as "NYC’s first conference dedicated to addressing issues of diversity and inclusivity in games through the lenses of design and criticism." The event is a volunteer-run collaboration between New York University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
This year's event promises a wide range of "engaging programming," including panels ranging from queer advocacy in the games community to special needs gaming, as well as workshops on topics like hands-on game modding and breakout sessions discussing issues such as inclusivity in the industry and how games are addressing mental health issues.
The event will open with a keynote talk by games journalist Leigh Alexander, and a closing party. The opening night event will feature an exhibition of games by the first ever Different Games Fellows, five game designers supported through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The DG 2014 fellows include renowned game designers and authors Anna Anthropy, Mattie Brice, and Robert Yang, as well as NYU Polytechnic’s own faculty member Kaho Abe and the Parsons PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab) director, Colleen Macklin.
"We want to amplify the voices of people you don’t often hear from in games, to celebrate their contributions and build community while making games a safer space for all kinds of folks," says Sarah Schoemann, co-founder and organizer of Different Games. "An industry conference like GDC might have a few panels dedicated to these issues, but as an event run by passionate advocates for inclusivity and diversity in games, we’ve made them the focus of Different Games."
The conference is also interested in game submissions from students and indie developers alike - those interested in showing their original games or even "works in progress" can be a part of the Different Games arcade by submitting an application through www.DifferentGames.org. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis from February 28th through March 15th, 2014.
For more information on this year’s event, visit www.DifferentGames.org.