We’ve got 5 passes for @TheGDEX!

Thanks to the awesome folks at GDEX, we’ve got 5 full weekend passes for the I Need Diverse Games Community!

How do I request a pass?

Easy! Go to our Request Assistance Page, fill out our brief form and we’ll get back to you in 2-5 business days

What assistance are you offering for GDEX?
For GDEX, we’re offering just passes at this time. We’re unable to provide additional monetary assistance to attend.

What is GDEX?

GDEX is the Midwest’s Premier Gaming Expo created by a small group of indie game developers, who wanted to create an opportunity for everyone who is passionate about games to show their work. Going into year four, we work extremely hard to provide developers an opportunity to showcase their awesome games to other devs and gamers from all over the country. GDEX is located in Columbus, Ohio and will take place at the COSI Science Center. GDEX 2016 will be our biggest year yet, with over 100 exhibitors from across the country showcasing new games you can’t see anywhere else, presentations and workshops from some of the industries most talented people, and tons of raffles, tournaments, and other special events.

Where is GDEX?

GDEX is once again being held at the awesome COSI Science Center in Columbus, Ohio. With over 30,000 SqFt of Expo show floor, not counting tons of COSI’s other exhibits, you’ll have no problem finding cool things to do over the weekend.

When is GDEX?

This year it’s the weekend of Oct 28-30th, 2016. Halloween Weekend! Bring your best costumes/Cosplay.


We’ll see you at @TwitchCon’s Inclusivity City!

Inclusivity City

This is an area designed in partnership with AnyKey to give attendees a chance to connect with organizations that are helping to make Twitch a welcoming place for everyone. Featured exhibitors include AnyKey, Hack Harassment, Online SOS, and I Need Diverse Games. In the City, visitors can learn about their initiatives and meet guest streamers that are raising awareness of their causes. Inclusivity City will also host a tournament presented by Smash Sisters, a series of women’s crew battles featuring Super Smash Bros. games. Attendees are invited to network with inclusivity agents, or host their own small meetups in this space.

Learning Self Care from The Sims

by W. L. Bolm

When I was 19 or 20, I bought The Sims. I was in a bad marriage and hundreds of miles away from any family; the game was a way for me to escape for hours into a digital universe where I could build mansions and lead fictional characters through their lives, at a time when I felt isolated and very lonely.

To say I put hours into this game was an understatement. I was working as a cashier at a Piggly Wiggly in Jacksonville, North Carolina. My husband was in the Marines, and when he wasn’t overseas, he was gone most of the day. Sometimes he would disappear for days with no warning and no explanation when he got back. So, I escaped into a game where I had ultimate control.

I played the game as it was meant to be played. Then I built a murder house full of intricate traps (or sometimes just pulled the ladder out of the pool when someone was swimming) and filled it with ghosts. I tried to reconstruct my favorite houses and families from movies. And then I discovered modding.

I’m fuzzy on the details now; I haven’t played The Sims on PC in at least a decade, but there were tons of Sims mods online in the early 2000s. I uploaded Sims skins (that changed the appearance of the Sims in the game) so that I had a cast of my favorite movie and TV show characters living together. My favorite skins were from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Once More with Feeling” episode. I filled their houses with custom furniture I found online and manipulated their emotions to recreate the relationships they had in the show.

The Sims is set up so that you have to balance out your Sims’ needs. Little meters show whether they need to go to the bathroom or need social interaction or entertainment. Other metrics indicators show up when they are interacting with each other, so you can, at a rudimentary level, monitor their social interactions and whether or not they’re getting along. With Sims who aren’t friends, or aren’t romantic, or actively don’t like each other, you can game the system and take steps to force a friendship or a romance.

I got Tara and Willow together in that game with an intensity that probably should have given me a clue about my bisexuality.

Around the same time I was obsessively living in the world of The Sims, I was also going to therapy for the first time in my life. I was prescribed medications for depression and social anxiety. And, through the course of talking to a professional psychologist on an ongoing basis, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

When I was diagnosed, I felt like I was thrown off-center. However, I had spent my entire childhood feeling different, like something was wrong. I was a weird kid. My mother was anti-doctor and very much anti-psychologist, so I suffered through my life feeling like I lacked character, that my problems connecting with people and finding the world overwhelming were from a failing on my part.

Being told I had common markers of Asperger’s Syndrome was a relief. The synchronicity of my diagnosis and my obsession over The Sims led to my first real steps towards building self care and socialization strategies.

I had always been a hyper-focused child who could cross stitch, or read, or work on puzzles for hours without stopping, ignoring my own needs to complete the task I was working on. As I worked on balancing my Sims’ needs, I started paying more attention to my own. I would get up and get food more often, or go to the bathroom, or take a shower.

When I was talking to people, I began to try to find indicators of their level of enjoyment of our interactions, instead of talking about my own interests obsessively. If I thought a conversation wasn’t going well, I would bow out and try to figure out what went wrong so I could come back with a different approach, like listening to someone else talk about their favorite television show instead of going on about mine.

While all of this might seem like Being Human 101, I grew up in a family where I often had to push down my needs to make others happy. I had to navigate family members’ alcoholism and codependency. I spent about 90 percent of my life in my room, with books and daydreams and video games, trying my best to be invisible and low maintenance. As I started to monitor the needs that correlated with those I saw measured every day on my computer screen, I started the trial and error that would eventually lead to greater health and happiness in my life.

I would love to say that therapy led me to the tools I needed to live my best life, but in truth, playing The Sims and taking meds that balanced out my brain chemistry did so much more. These days, I am happy, with healthy boundaries and a self care toolset that I can reach into every day to keep me going. I’m not sure I would be where I am if I hadn’t seen a pixelated character wandering around their house, their bladder, hygiene, and environment meters visually showing me how happiness and health are tied to a continuously changing set of variables that I can control and, more importantly, experiment with.

I grew up playing video games; I bought The Sims because I loved playing Sim City as a kid. The Sims was unlike any game I’d played up to that point, and I haven’t learned as much from another game before or since. It’s easy for game companies to build games they know will be a hit, but the truth is that setting out into the uncharted, away from what’s safe and known, can send untold ripples out into the world and offer players more than just an escape.

Z’Isle -A Cyclepunk Zombie RPG : Signal Boost


A Tactical-RPG where turned-based combat and exploration rely on your team’s chemistry as you fight the undead and reclaim your city!


About this project

They blew the bridges out. And we ran out of bullets.


Raw material for surprisingly effective weapons. And they’re everywhere. But so are these undead ghouls, they’re everywhere too. Feeding on anything living…feeders. It’s not about trying to escape anymore, it’s about trusting people again and reclaiming the city!

Welcome to the world of Z’Isle, a horror-themed tactical RPG based on a comic book series set seven years after a zombie apocalypse. The game is set during those seven harrowing years of chaos, fire and death. The chemistry of your crew will dictate whether they can perform powerful turn-based combo attacks with each other. Customize your character and lead them against marauders, Syklurs and the feeder hordes. Build, maintain and expand your community, but careful! The decisions you make during missions will affect the chemistry of your team, impacting morale and affect the reputation of your community.

Bike-forged weapons & roof-bound communities have kept people safe. But for how long?


  • Lead your crew of survivors through the undead-filled streets of Montreal in turn-based tactical combat and exploration
  • Customize your main character and recruit new squad members from a diverse cast of survivors ranging in ethnicity, sexual identity, career backgrounds and more
  • Battle against undead feeders and hostile survivors with unique combat mechanics that enhance the tension of each encounter
  • Execute feeders before they rise again and pump antidote into any character that receives a bite before they start turning
  • Perform special combo attacks using multiple characters based on their interpersonal chemistry
  •  Improve your team’s morale and chemistry as relationships develop dynamically between characters based on their actions during missions
  • Explore the environments to collect resources and new crafting materials
  • Build your community between missions using a dynamic base-building skill tree
  • Craft and discover new weapons and mission items out of upcycled technology
  • Manage your community’s resources and manpower by assigning your population to the various buildings
  • Maintain your town’s morale and reputation to improve the performance of each building and to attract new survivors to your community
  • Choose different paths during story-based and procedurally generated events in your town and when encountering other communities around the city
  • Complete random side quests to collect resources, find survivors and build the experience of your squad Review your unique story in the Chronicle, an illustrated journal maintained by your main character that chronicles your actions as you progress
Reclaim your city, one borough at a time.
Reclaim your city, one borough at a time.

Learn more about this game, and back it over at the Z’Isle Kickstarter Page


Our Patreon is a little lonely, keep it company with a buck or three?

So now that we’re a 501(c)(3), getting support via our Patreon or donations is more important than ever. It’s literally how we’re operating, keeping our blog up, our podcast going and how we can fund initiatives in the future.


What we’re able to do now:

  • Keep Fresh out of Tokens on the air by paying the hosting costs, equipment upgrades and more out of the INDG Patreon
  • Pay some travel costs for conventions
  • Assist others go to conventions
  • Do small sponsorships for conventions
  • Get wee swag for giveaways
  • Pay for our Twitch turbo costs & miscellaneous streaming expenses

What we COULD do if we hit some Patreon goals:

  • Provide travel grants on a regular basis for POC/LGBTQIA and others to go to conventions such as GaymerX, HavenCon, GX Australia, IndieCade East, IndieCade West, and GDC
  • Help pay IGDA fees for students in game dev programs
  • Sponsor events like game jams with a diverse focus
  • Host events in different cities or in conjunction with other gaming events for people who normally wouldn’t be able to go to them
  • Help match Found Loot donations for the month
  • Have a more robust web site at ineeddiversegames.org and be able to PAY people for their articles, as well as pay editors for their time
  • Have more presence at conventions than we do now, on our own dime rather than relying mostly on donations
  • Send people to conventions on our behalf since our founding Director can only be in so many places in a year and continue to keep this ship upright
  • Do more live streams, interviews, buy and play games for review, or buy review copies of games for folks to write for us.

How can you help?

Thank you in advance for all you do to help us spread the word and continue to do our work.

Blanket Fort Chats: Game Making With Philip Jones

Hey check out this interview with @Probearcub of @GaymerX @ROM2064 and Gaming in Color



Blanket Fort Chats” is a semi-regular column featuring women and nonbinary game makers talking about the craft of making games. In this week’s post, we feature Philip Jones, a nonbinary games professional best known as the editor of the queer cyberpunk adventure 2064: Read Only Memories and the expo hall director for the LGBTQIA+ games convention GaymerX.

Miss N: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into making games?

Philip: I’ve known I wanted to be in games since I was very young; I’d been writing and podcasting for fan and news sites since I was twelve. I first launched my own podcast project at 16 and went on to have the subject of the game’s creative director on for three exclusive interviews. Kept a couple contacts and soon met Toni Rocca [GaymerX Convention President] online.

I was barely 18…

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Celebrate Ability 2016 with @AbleGamers on Oct 8th!



Join us in celebrating the first ever Ability event on Saturday October 8, 2016! Gamers and others from all over the world will join together to play games and raise money to help people with disabilities get back in the game. You can play anything you want, any way you want, for as long as you want.

Pledge your support and start raising much needed funds right now. Once you’ve registered you’ll be given a participant page you can customize with a personal fundraising goal, a message to your supporters, and tools to help you along the way. Tell your story, in your words, and let your friends and family know why you’re participating in Ability.  You can even create a team for your clan, guild, LARP group, or office to participate together.  Gaming is always more fun with friends!

How do I get started?

  • Click the Register Now button at the top of this page and answer a few simple questions.
  • Set a fundraising goal and customize your participant page. $100 makes a great first time goal.
  • Share your page on social media and with friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts, or join the fun and sign up, too!
  • Spread the word about AbleGamers and Ability throughout your social media circles.
  • Be sure to use the hashtag #SoEveryoneCanGame

Learn more about Ability 2016 in our FAQ.
What happens when you raise money or donate to The AbleGamers Charity?

.@IGDA releases it’s Diversity Report for 2014/2015

On September 2016, the IGDA released our Diversity Report for the game industry, our latest research compilation based on the 2014 and 2015 results of our annual Developer Satisfaction Survey.

GamesIndustry.biz broke the news with this article. The actual PDF of the Diversity Report can be downloaded here.

According to a new analysis of the past two years of data from the Developer Satisfaction Survey (DSS) by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), only three percent of women in the game industry reported earning more than $150,000 per year in contrast with 10 percent of men.

31 percent of respondents also reported some sort of disability, predominantly in the area of mental health, whereas only 19 percent of all US citizens and 14 percent of Canadians report having disability.

Other crucial points of this most recent analysis of the DSS include:

Diversity in Type of Work

  • Men reported working in technical roles at more than twice the rate that women did (28% to 11%, respectively)
  • Workers of color were particularly underrepresented in senior management roles, at only three percent, as compared to 23 percent of white respondents who reported similar roles
  • Male and female respondents report some parity in senior management roles (37 and 38 percent, respectively)

Diversity in Compensation

  • Men occupy the highest and lowest income brackets while women are more clustered around the middle income brackets. Respondents reporting earnings of $75,000 or more were 44% male and 35% female, whereas those earning between $40,000-$75,000 were 41% female and 29% male.
  • 10% of men report earning $150,000 or more, while only three percent of women do. In contrast, 19% of women reported earning between $50,000-$75,000, whereas only 15% of men reported being in the same bracket.
  • 26 percent of workers of color reported earning less than $15,000 per year, while only 17 percent of white workers reported earnings in this bracket.
  • 81 percent of freelance workers of color reported earning less than $40,000 per year, while only 66 percent of white freelance workers did; 18 percent of white freelancers reported earning $75,000 per year, while only three percent of freelancers of color did.

Perception of Diversity

  • 49 percent of responding workers of color in 2015 reported that there was equal treatment for all in 2015, as compared to 23 percent in 2014.
  • Male workers were more likely to report witnessing inequity towards others (39 percent) than experiencing it directly (26 percent), while women were more likely to experience it (67 percent) than witness it towards others (59 percent).


The Developer Satisfaction Survey 2014 & 2015 Diversity in the Game Industry Report was conducted and analyzed by: Johanna Weststar, assistant professor, DAN Program in Management and Organizational Studies, Western University; Marie-Josée Legault, professor, École des sciences de l’administration, TÉLUQ; Chandell Gosse, PhD Candidate, Media Studies, Faculty of Information and Media Studies Western University, Ontario, Canada; and Vicki O’Meara, PhD Candidate, Media Studies, Faculty of Information and Media Studies Western University, Ontario, Canada; with assistance and guidance from Kate Edwards, executive director, International Game Developers Association.


The IGDA’s Developer Satisfaction Survey is made possible by a generous grant from the IGDA Foundation.

Calvary’s Here! The Role of Hostility in Games Discourse



Remember that controversy aboutOverwatch’s Tracer? The multiplayer shooter’s poster girl with a terribly mangled British accent and a legendary posterior? While she didn’t break the internet like Kim Kardashian did, there was some uproar about how her original character pose — in which her face and bottom were sort of facing the same direction — was removed by Blizzard for being too sexy.

The reactions from those who supported or derided the decision were swift; the camp that agreed with Blizzard’s decision said that this pose was out of character for Tracer’s playful (rather than sexy) personality. On the other hand, others saw this move as an attempt by Blizzard to cater to a vocal minority, and were vehemently against the removal.

There’s even a Change.org petition titled “Overwatch’s Tracer — don’t touch the butt” in which supporters implore Blizzard not to mess with Tracer’s…

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Woooo streaming today!

We’re going to show off Masquerada, a game we saw at PAX West by Witching Hour games at 3pm CST



A dark Venetian tale for the ages, featuring pause-for-tactics combat in an isometric RPG. Developed by Witching Hour Studios. Published by Ysbryd Games

Unravel the facades enshrouding the city of Ombre in Masquerada, a 2.5D isometric action RPG set in a dark Venetian fantasy world where people with masks are the only ones who can cast magic. This empowers the masked aristocrats, the Masquerada, to lord it over the impoverished Contadani.


Against this narrative backdrop of class warfare and conspiracies of fey creature manifestations, players experience the journey of five flawed members of the Masquerada who struggle to rediscover faith in their diverse pasts and backgrounds.

Masquerada features pauseable real-time combat, allowing players to exert finer control over their party’s battle positioning as they issue orders to attack or cast magic. Characters hail from three different class types similar to rogues, tanks and mages, whose different skills enable powerful synergies against enemies!