The very first Games [4Diversity] Jam will take place from March 21 – 23 (2014) in San Francisco, organizers announced today. The goal of this unique game jam is for developers or teams of developers to incorporate feminine and LGBT aspects into games in a constructive way. Organizers believe that the game jam will show that "female, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues can enrich games in an innovative and positive manner."
Here's more from the organizers of the event:
"Women in games are too often portrayed as mere sex objects. Characters like Lara Croft and Princess Peach are characterized by stereotypical (and rather old-fashioned) thoughts on femininity. Lara sports an oversized bosom and Peach’s special power is… crying (e.g. getting emotional). Although the latest installment of Tomb Raider portrays Lara in a less sexualized manner, today’s games appear colored to suit a white straight male audience of 25 years old.
What’s more, same sex romances are scarcely found in games. Games seldom portray homosexual protagonists, and when they do, the characters are either extravert comedians or disposable sidekicks. Notable expectations are the Fable, The Sims and Mass Effect series. Players of these games can romance same sex characters in a meaningful way. Still, these games are far and few found.
The game industry needs more diverse content. However, the incorporation of feminine aspects or LGBT content can lead to public controversy. When Mass Effect players could romance same sex characters in its first installment, blogger Kevin McCullough falsely accused BioWare for creating a game containing ‘rape and sodomy’. Fox News picked up and headlined the item: ‘full graphic sex’. Hereby portraying LGBT content as vulgar and repulsive. Amongst others, this may be a reason for game companies to be hesitant towards incorporating LGBT content in games."
You can learn more about the Games [4Diversity] Jam at www.gamesjam.nl.