Whew. I feel like the last half of spring was quite a sprint! Only now coming up for air enough to post a little update.
Several terrific events happened post GDC that I’ll mention:
AnyKey went to PAX East again where we got to spend a great weekend in the diversity lounge hanging out with lots of other amazing orgs doing important work to make gaming better for all.
I was also thrilled to finally get a chance to attend (and keynote) QGCon. It was an inspiring event filled with lots of great talks, demos, and fantastic people :) I got a chance to share some of my work on live streaming and got a ton of helpful feedback.
My final speaking engagement of the semester was for UC Irvine’s inaugural esports symposium. I spoke about women and esports, including some of the work we’ve been doing at AnyKey. Take a watch if you’d like to learn more!
Finally, I was honored to be inducted as a fellow for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance in March. It’s a treat to be included in such an amazing group of scholars.
I just got back from a pretty full week in SF for GDC. The trip kicked off with a visit to Twitch (see prior post) and then two talks at the conference itself. I spoke on Tuesday about the history of communities in building the esports scene and then gave a microtalk in the advocacy track focusing on our AnyKey work. Hopefully both will make their way to the GDC Vault (and not paywalled) and I’ll link the videos here when/if they do. In the meantime though I wanted to put up a pdf of the slides from the microtalk mostly because I want to make sure to shout-out all the fantastic folks and projects I mentioned in it.
GDC microtalk, “5 Myths in 5 minutes”
It was exciting to get to attend TwitchCon again this year and I wrote up some reflections on our AnyKey initiative there this year and what esports can learn from variety streaming.
You can check the post out over at the AnyKey site.
It’s been a busy semester since we announced the launch of AnyKey!
We’ve released a number of whitepapers on subjects such as community management and moderation, patterns of participation at esports events, and major critical issues. Learning how to produce short overview pieces like this has been a whole new challenge and I’m looking forward to getting better and better at it. Now if I could just amp up my design skills to make them look stylish!
We’ve also held several live-streamed broadcasts introducing the work of the organization and on the theme of “competition for all.” It’s been really great to get these conversations out in more popular venues. It’s been cool to see these events also get picked up on and then spun out into pieces at various websites as well.
There are big challenges facing the esports industry when it comes to issues of inclusion and diversity but I’m encouraged by the growing attention and, most importantly, initiatives to make change. Here’s hoping that trend only continues!
I’m so excited to be a part of a AnyKey, a new partnership between ESL and Intel to support and grow inclusivity in e-sports.
This initiative has been in the works for a few months now and while we just announced, we’ve already been at work bringing in industry stakeholders as well as undertaking research at live events. We’re also helping support the women’s tournament at the Intel Challenge CSGO tournament, including sponsoring an AnyKey lounge there.
Those of you who already know my work on e-sports (for example, my book Raising The Stakes or a paper about DreamHack I wrote with the terrific Emma Witkowski) know that I’ve been thinking about the gender & diversity angle to the scene for awhile. It’s pretty cool to now to get partner up with amazing folks like Morgan Romine (founder of the FragDolls), Michal “Carmac” Blicharz (ESL), Jesse Sell (ESL), and Lee Machen (Intel) to see how to move the conversation and scene forward with a combo of research and action.
Keep an eye on AnyKey’s website and Twitter for more about what we are up to!