The recently released schedule for this year's PAX West is indicative of a growing interest in diversity within the game development industry, gaming community, and games themselves. Many of the panels being put together this year will focus on inclusion, representation, and a general acknowledgement that this community is made up of people from all walks of life.
Diversity is much more than a trendy buzzword today, more than ever, and PAX West is the perfect venue to celebrate the fact that that which makes each of us different is also what makes us an incredible community to be part of. PAX has created a dedicated time and space for underrepresented sections of our community to address and reflect on the issues that face gamers today.
These panels are all open to anyone that wishes to attend. They will undoubtedly offer a wealth of unique perspectives, and perhaps even ideas that challenge your worldview ways that can lead to growth and positive change. Here are the diversity-forward panels featured at PAX West 2019.
Historical & Visual Transgender Representation in RPGs - Friday, 12:30PM (Cat Theater)
This panel will be exploring the evolution of transgender representation in video and tabletop gaming and will cover trans-representation within the industry as well as how transgender narratives in games have changed over time. The panel consists of transgender professionals in the gaming industry including esports journalist Kikka Delarose, voice actor Greyson Simon, game developer Crystal Frasier, and author Angela Lemus-Mogrovejo.
Championing Diverse Voices - Friday, 2:30PM (Hydra Theater)
This panel is made up of industry professionals in positions of power that each champion diversity in the games being made today. These leaders will be discussing their methods for building diversity within gaming, and their philosophies behind the need for a more diverse gaming world. Participants include Gordon Bellamy [President, Gay Gaming Professionals], Trinidad Hermida [Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Niantic], Paula Cuneo [Head of Partner and Experience Marketing, Oculus], and Dan Lingen [Head of Social, Twitch].
Gaming while Other: Accessibility, Diversity, Representation - Friday, 5:00PM (Hippogriff Theater)
This panel will be focused on the characters and stories within modern games, and how they represent historically marginalized groups. By acknowledging we've come a long way but we still have a long way to go, the group hopes to contribute to the conversation about diversity and inclusion by delving into the tropes, conventions, and character issues that continue to misrepresent members of the community today. Panelists include JC Lau [Technical Producer, Harebrained Schemes], Andrien Gbinigie [Product Marketing Manager, Ubisoft], Tanya DePass [Director & Founder, I Need Diverse Games], Raffael Boccamazzo, PsyD [Clinical Director, Take This], and Cherry Thompson [Accessibility Consultant and Developer, Independent].
Latinx in Gaming: Building Community - Friday, 8:00PM (Cat Theater)
This panel is comprised of Latinx people and is an opportunity for anyone with interest to learn about the experience, culture, and community that Latinx people have developed to support each other in and out of the gaming scene. This exploration of the intersection of identity politics between gender and race is hosted by a number of writers, designers, and game industry professionals within the Latinx community.
The 12th Queering up Misconceptions LGBTQ+ Life in the Game Industry - Saturday 11:00AM Sasquatch Theater
This panel of gaming professionals will be discussing LGBTQ life within the industry, the challenges they face, and the resources available to other LGBTQ people in games. Join Chris Wright [Sr. Test Manager, Bungie], Bryant Drew Jones [Lead Designer, Kabam], Chris Millar [CEO, Fun Bits], and Dan Lingen [Head of Social, Twitch] as they discuss queer content in games and the community.
Beyond Tolkien: Queer, Non-European Worldbuilding - Saturday, 2:00PM (Cat Theater)
This panel aims to highlight the history of queer and non-white creators, and celebrate the work of current creators by demonstrating the influence and inspiration modern creators have drawn from under-appreciated and marginalized creators. Join a huge panel of POC and non-cisgendered creators as they explore the rich and diverse narratives from creators of all backgrounds.
#BlackTwitter Making Social Media Work for You as a Blerd - Saturday, 3:30 (Cat Theater)
This workshop will explore the popularity and influence of Black Twitter while offering useful tools and insights into how best to stand out within the community and build a loyal following. Join panelists Andrien Gbinigie [Product Marketing Manager, Ubisoft Toronto], Shamanom [Twitch Partner & 2019 TwitchCon ambassador, Streamer], Tanya DePass [Director & Founder, I Need Diverse Games], and Gabie Jackman [Host and presenter, Game Fanatics] on a deep dive into one of Twitter's most thriving communities.
Queer Quests, Bi Battles, & Terrific Transformations - Saturday, 6:00PM (Sandworm Theater)
This panel will discuss the opportunity of role-play gaming to give people the power explore gender and sexual identities other than the one they identify with, and how this can be a useful tool for LGBTQ+ people. Join a panel of writers and game developers as they discuss the history of identity-centric roleplaying.
Don’t Stop Us Now! POC/LGBTQ Cosplayers in the PNW - Sunday, 12:30 (Cat Theater)
This panel is focused on the inclusion, etiquette, and community within the Cosplay community and how it relates to POC and LGBTQ cosplayers. The panelists will provide tips and advice to cosplayers to help create a most positive and inclusive environment for LGBTQ and non-white cosplayers.
Am I Geek Enough? The Female Experience in Gaming Spaces - Monday, 2:00PM (Hippogriff Theater)
This panel aims to empower women in gaming who have internalized criticisms about women through years of negativity in the community. A panel of female creators will discuss their personal experiences as women in gaming, and impart wisdom and advice from their struggles.
NPC Collective: Nerdy People of Color Exist - Monday, 3:00PM (Sandworm Theater)
This panel consists of self-identified 'nerds of color' that will relay their shared experiences as performers, as well as artistic nerds who try to support each other within the community. The panel promises lots of laughs and memorable stories from a group of talented nerds including Shubzilla, D&D Sluggers, Lex the Lexicon Artist, and MC Ohm-I.
READ NEXT: Don't Miss These Panels At PAX West 2019