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The electronic entertainment industry is expanding faster in revenue than in diversity. Both consumers and professionals from many walks of life are not being represented or welcomed by the industry and the video games it creates. Ken Gagne of Gamebits interviews these marginalized voices about their experiences with equality and diversity in gaming -- including sexism, racism, ageism, and ableism -- and how we can make it better for everyone.






Polygamer #70: Kellian Adams Pletcher of Green Door Labs

Kellian Adams Pletcher is the mastermind behind Green Door Labs, which builds location-based, transmedia games for museums and non-profits. Kids and adults alike use smartphones, pencil and paper, and other tools to learn the stories behind art, what life was like on the Oregon Trail, how to use a library, and more. Green Door Labs’ […]

Duration: 00:58:12

Polygamer #69: Tanya C. DePass of Fresh Out of Tokens

Tanya DePass is the founder of I Need Diverse Games, a non-profit that advocates for diversity in gaming. In addition to offering speaking engagements, GDC scholarships, and diversity programming at events such as GaymerX, Tanya has also hosted Fresh Out of Tokens, a weekly interview-based podcast, in which she interviewed such gaming luminaries as Zoë […]

Duration: 00:55:39

Polygamer #68: Katie Hallahan of Phoenix Online Studios

Katie Hallahan is the chief communications officer, co-founder, game designer, and public relations director for Phoenix Online Studios, a developer and publisher of point-and-click adventure games. The studio began in 2002 when Katie and her fellow directors set out to create an unofficial King’s Quest fan game, The Silver Lining, the fifth and final episode […]

Duration: 01:01:36

Polygamer #67: Freelance writer Sarah LeBoeuf

Sarah LeBoeuf is a freelance writer, editor, and all-around nerd. Her video game reviews, features, and event coverage have appeared on such storied publications as Nerdist, Mashable, Ars Technica, Escapist, Digital Trends, GamesRadar+, and more. Sarah also serves on the board of Take This, a non-profit that addresses mental health issues in the video game […]

Duration: 01:03:08

Side Quest #2: Wonder Woman with Sabriel Mastin

Wonder Woman has exploded across the silver screen, breaking all records: the first major female superhero film; the first major superhero film directed by a woman; the second $100M-budget film with a female director; and the biggest opening weekend ever for a woman-directed film. Starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince and Chris Pine as Steve […]

Duration: 00:59:20

Polygamer #66: Charles Babbage Institute on historical diversity & representation

The Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota is an archive and research center dedicated to preserving the history of information technology. Instead of physical hardware and software, the CBI preserves the culture and stories of the IT industry, as told by both those who created it and those whom it impacted. Its extensive collection […]

Duration: 01:20:31

Polygamer #39: Mark Saville of SpecialEffect

SpecialEffect is a UK-based organization that uses technology to enhance the quality of life of people with physical disabilities by providing them with access to video games. Whether a gamer's challenge arises from a congenital birth issues, car accident, stroke, or war wound, SpecialEffect adapts video game hardware to make games more accessible, all at no cost to the client. In this week's podcast, SpecialEffect communications officer Mark Saville discusses the variety of approaches...

Duration: 00:27:10

Polygamer #38: Ashe Dryden of AlterConf

Ashe Dryden is the creator of AlterConf, a traveling conference series of marginalized voices from the tech and gaming industries. Since its founding in 2014, AlterConf has been held at a dozen cities throughout the United States and Canada, hosting talks and panels that go beyond Diversity 101. And in 2016, AlterConf will expand internationally, with events in South Africa, France, India, Australia, Germany, and more. In this podcast, Ashe discusses how AlterConf will address global...

Duration: 00:34:48

Polygamer #37: Game designer Carolyn VanEseltine

Carolyn VanEseltine is an accomplished game designer and developer, having worked at such studios as Harmonix and Giant Spacekat. Her recent presentation at Google, "Everyone can make games now", underscores her belief that the freedom to make games is a basic human right, and that games should open and accessible to all as a medium of artistic expression. But what does it mean to be a game designer? Does one need to know how to program, or is that the province of game developers? Do the...

Duration: 00:28:39

Polygamer #36: Gay erotica artist Steven H. Garcia

Steven H. Garcia is an artist of gay erotica, especially of the pinup variety. His models are characters from throughout geek fandom, including movies, comics, and video games. His 2016 wall calendar showcase popular icons such as Superman and Batman, Ash from Pokémon, Street Fighter's Ken and Ryu, Spider-Man and Deadpool, Harry Potter, and more. When not creating art, Steven is the co-host of the Gayme On video game podcast. Steven recently exhibited at GX3, the third annual GaymerX...

Duration: 00:27:01

Polygamer #35: Susan Arendt of Take This

Take This is a non-profit charity that promotes awareness and education of mental health issues through outreach to gamers. Its “AFK Rooms” have become a staple of PAX East, West, South, and Australia, and its holiday stream gives gamers a community to help them through a challenging time of year. Soon, the organization will offer […]

Duration: 00:36:54

Polygamer #28: Benjamin Williams of the PAX Diversity Lounge

Benjamin Williams is the co-founder of the PAX Diversity Lounge, a safe space at Penny Arcade Expo conventions that offers marginalized groups free tables and booths with which to represent their products and services. First launched at PAX East 2014, the room has been host to many groups and attendees and has been well-received by […]

Duration: 00:43:34

Polygamer #27: Cosplayer Emma Bell

Emma Bell is an accomplished and talented cosplayer, appearing at anime and video game conventions as characters from Mass Effect, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Age, and Agent Carter. Her upcoming appearances include West Coast conventions Anime Revolution and PAX Prime, where her husband and fellow cosplayer Koko will be her helper. The studio arts skills […]

Duration: 00:34:41

Polygamer #26: Christian Donlan of Eurogamer on multiple sclerosis

Christian Donlan is a prolific writer, having contributed to Edge magazine, co-founded gaming site Hookshot, and co-created the animated children’s show Everybody Loves a Moose. After four years of freelancing for Eurogamer.net, he joined the staff as associate editor. His portfolio for that site exceeds 800 articles that demonstrate his passion for gaming as an […]

Duration: 00:46:34

Polygamer #25: Lilian Chen (Milktea) on Smash Bros. & sexism

Lilian Chen, aka Milktea, joined the competitive gaming scene in high school, when her younger brother introduced her to Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube. As she toured the country participating in e-sports events, she discovered that she was one of the few women in a male-dominated scene. She set out to raise […]

Duration: 00:35:32

Polygamer #24: Happy Father’s Day, Edward F. Gagne

In celebration of Father’s Day, this week’s guest is the host’s father, Edward F. Gagne. Born in the 1940s, Ed has witnessed the evolution of entertainment across the better half of a century, from early radio shows to black-and-white televisions to the latest home game consoles. Often a curious and early adopter of technology, Ed […]

Duration: 00:42:33

Polygamer #17: Jandy Hardesty on films, criticism & parenting

Jandy Hardesty is a prolific producer and consumer of media. As a film critic, she blogs at The Frame and contributes to Row Three, where she co-hosts the podcast Not at Odds. She’s also a prolific gamer, having poured dozens of hours into games such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect 2, often producing […]

Duration: 00:35:39

Polygamer #16: Fiona Cherbak on hiring and retaining women, GDC & BostonFIG

Fiona Cherbak is a human resources and staffing specialist with a storied career in the entertainment and games industries. At this year’s Game Developers Conference, she will moderate the panel "Turning the Tide: Hiring and Retaining Women in the Games Industry". In this exclusive preview with Polygamer, Cherbak discusses how and where in the pipeline […]

Duration: 00:32:12

Polygamer #08: Chris Barney on Games for Social Justice

Chris Barney is a game developer who sees games as an engine of social capital. As a maturing medium, video games have the potential to reinforce, shape, and influence societal norms and values toward sexism, racism, upward mobility, and other constructs. How do video games do this, and how can game developers balance this responsibility […]

Duration: 00:12:36

Polygamer #07: Susan Arendt & Russ Pitts of Take This

Take This is a non-profit charity founded in 2012 in response to the tragic suicide of a gaming journalist. The organization promotes awareness and education of mental health issues through outreach to gamers both online, through a variety of Twitter campaigns and initiatives, and offline, by hosting "AFK Rooms" at events such as PAX. In […]

Duration: 00:13:42

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