This DC event is showcasing diversity in gaming

At SAAM Arcade, WashingCon is opening its board game library, indie game studios are including transgender and minority characters and Tanya DePass is giving a keynote speech on diversity in the gaming industry.

Indie games on display at the 2017 SAAM Arcade.

(Photo by Daniel Schwartz, courtesy SAAM)

Whether its castle-storming or social, this year’s Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) Arcade is all about breaking barriers.

On August 3rd and 4th, the SAAM is holding its fifth annual arcade event, a free event for game-lovers in D.C. All levels of gamers can test out new games in the Indie Developer showcase, and get a chance to talk to the developers themselves.

Plus, WashingCon (DC’s tabletop game convention) is opening its board game library for the public. Attendees can also go back to “the 80s living room” and play new games developed for old consoles by Pittsburgh’s Mega Cat Studios.

This year’s games are centered around diverse and inclusive characters and realities and made by underrepresented creators for players to see themselves and their interests on the screen. Noteworthy games include Conspiracy Theories About Myself, where the user plays a transgender woman attempting not to cry as she experiences transphobia on the way home from the laundromat, and Pre-Shave, where the player is a minority man shaving before attending an American flight.


Plus, Saturday night’s keynote speaker is Tanya DePass, founder of the I Need Diverse Games nonprofit. She’ll be delivering a speech called, “Barriers Are Meant to be Destroyed, Not Just Broken” on Saturday at 6 p.m., which can also be streamed here.

The event is open 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4, at SAAM on 8th and F Streets NW.

Companies: Smithsonian
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