The new roundtable discussions are free to attend and open to everyone. They'll provide a safe place during the conference to discuss sensitive topics and personal issues affecting game devs today. And we'll ask people to turn off their devices so that conversations can be uncompromised. Come and share your experiences, ideas and point of view with others.
Since the foundation of Game Workers Unite, working conditions and unionisation were a key topic of debate. In the wake of this talking about the labour practices at some of the most prestigious game developers, whether it be the culture of crunch at Rockstar or sexism at Riot Games, has become the norm. Game Workers Unite UK, the first union for video game workers in the UK, intends to answer any questions you might have about the budding effort to build a unionized game industry.
The roundtable will start off with a super short introduction to unionization and collectively answer some common questions.
Where do workers have power in their workplace?
What kinds of unions are there?
How do they operate?
After that, we'll kick off a discussion that asks you to share your experiences, questions, and concerns.
This will be a group discussion about what it would mean to unionize in games, how that fixes some things, what can't be fixed by unionization alone, etc.
What are the core issues that game workers face?
Inclusion of gamers with disabilities is easiest to achieve when it is tackled from the start of development. But to be able to do that you need to know where to start and how to think about tackling these issues. Whether you're just starting out on your accessibility journey or an experienced practitioner wanting to share experiences, come and join this discussion about how to plan for and implement accessibility.
Making games is hard, having babies is harder. Doing it at the same time? Are you nuts?! But when it’s your business, you just might have to grin and bear it all. Just don’t forget to breathe! Hear from this new dad and company director about the ups and downs of juggling life as a thirty-something wanna-be-everything. If you’re a keen-to-be or soon-to-be indie mum or dad (or maybe you employ one?), listen in and learn, because having a small studio and a small person is a *huge* challenge - and one worth having - but not enough people are talking about it.
A gentle discussion led by Ian Masters (Plant Pot) and Mata Haggis-Burridge (Breda University of Applied Sciences/Copper Stone Sea) about sexuality and gender issues in the content, creation, and culture of video games. This will be a chance to discuss in a welcoming group topics such as coming out and staying out (or not) in studios and at industry events, issues with online communication, our feelings about LGBTQ content in games, being LGBTQ in games education (for students and teachers), actions we could take to improve conditions for minority sexuality and identity groups, and more. Join us to share your stories of woes and triumphs in our amazing industry!
Being a manager or lead with responsibility for a project, team and individual careers comes with many challenges. Not always do they evolve around time, quality or budget as sometimes we can face emotionally stressful situations. Do we have to be a rock for the team or is it ok to struggle at times? Let’s sit together and see how people cope in stressful situations and why failure sometimes means winning.
Playing games is awesome! Making games is awesome! So, if all we do with our days is make and play games, we should be really happy all the time, right? Right?! Unfortunately, there's no magic wand for great mental health and, despite working in the amazing industry we do, we all have to face personal challenges along the way. So, how can we foster an environment of sharing to combat isolation? How can our line managers/coaches help? And how can we introduce variety into our lives to minimise happiness dependence on work? In this session, you'll hear from others about strategies they've used to improve their wellbeing and be invited to share your own (there is no obligation to do so!).
Caspar will host a roundtable discussion on the experience of starting an independent studio. In this conversation, you’ll hear stories, and you can get advice from company founders who’ve gone through the process of starting their own studio. Whether you’re on the indie studio journey already, or thinking about starting on that adventure yourself, or even have reached the end of the road, there’ll be something here that will make for useful – or perhaps comforting – listening. Publishers who deal with indie studios might find it useful to hear about life on the other side, too. Come along and find out.
Cinzia will host a roundtable discussion on the experience of being a woman in games. Join us to talk about the impact of hiring more women, how to support women in their current work environment, and how to raise awareness in the workplace. We’ll be discussing the journey so far for women in the games industry, and there will be some key takeaways for anyone tackling the challenges of diversity in their workplace. This roundtable is open to everyone!
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