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Climate & Indigenous Advocacy and Awareness Roundtable (Presented by the IGDA)

Charly Harbord  (InGame International Project Coordinator, Abertay University)

Paula Angela Escuadra  (Senior User Research Lead & SIG Co-Founder, Microsoft & IGDA Climate Special Interest Group)

Location: Room 211, South Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 23

Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Roundtable

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Not Recorded

The climate crisis impacts every person’s ability to keep making and playing the games we know and love. We as game developers have real power to tackle the climate crisis. However, it can often be difficult to figure out what meaningful actions we can take. Even more so, it’s difficult to identify how we can work in close partnership with the communities most adversely affected by this major existential threat - who, most often, have experienced erasure and do not have an equal seat at the table. By incorporating Indigenous perspectives into the design process, the experiences we create can benefit from a deeper level of co-design. In turn, this unlocks the potential discovery of innovative design methods and game mechanics; more authentic experiences for players; and real-world actions that can create a measurable impact.

Our ability to forge a clear path towards a truly inclusive and climate-resilient industry is possible - and there are two vibrant, growing communities you can leverage to do so today. IIn this first-ever joint roundtable, the IGDA Climate Special Interest Group (IGDA Climate SIG, co-founded by Paula Escuadra and Hugo Bille) and the newly formed IGDA Indigenous Advocacy and Awareness SIG (IGDA IA&A SIG, co-founded by Charly Harbord and Dr. Phyllis Callaghan) are working together to create a safe space for action: to share experiences, ask questions, and give support for organizations and individuals who want to develop trusted and sustainable relationships with Indigenous peoples. We need your honest perspective, collaboration, and partnership - not only on what is most useful, but also on what we are missing, and what we, as a global community, need to do next to support you on your journey.



(1) Understand what the SIGs do, and how we hope to meet your needs as game developers.

- The IGDA Climate Special Interest Group (IGDA Climate SIG), a global grassroots initiative aligned with the United Nations’ Playing for the Planet Alliance (UN P4PA), is pursuing collaboration and pilot partners on projects that can help create buy-in for climate action in gaming studios; build power-saving software design patterns; and unlock the potential for gameplay experiences to translate into measurable real world outcomes.
- The IGDA Indigenous Advocacy and Awareness SIG is convening Indigenous developers all over the world. They are also creating safe spaces to give advice and support for those organizations and individuals who want to develop wholesome and sustainable relationships with Indigenous peoples.

(2) Create and discover a safe space for Indigenous people and allies to talk about questions, challenges, and opportunities when collaborating with Indigenous communities throughout the game development process.

(3) Gain best practices for how to concretely act upon the statement: “Nothing about us without us”. By taking an inclusive, intersectional approach to climate action in game development, we can find ways to meaningfully bring lost traditions and stories back to life, allowing new paths to immersion into those worlds. We can learn how to engage audiences that are not as connected with their heritage as a result of colonization and oppression. This, in turn, can help us reignite a passion for cultural heritage, community-based climate resiliency, and a sense of pride in where we come from and how we share that with others.

Intended Audience

OPEN TO ALL - especially those ready to act and interested in joining warm, growing communities of game developers, researchers, scientists, educators, and enthusiasts passionate about finding concrete opportunities to work with and integrate the knowledge of Indigenous communities throughout game development and in support of the climate movement within the video game industry.