Dear readers,

In the games industry, we are justifiably proud of how diverse our medium is. More than 3 billion people around the world play computer and video games – regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. Nowhere else do so many people with such different backgrounds come together to play, experience stories together or compete with one another. And the thousands of game developers around the world are just as diverse as the players.

The diversity of the gaming world is a major achievement and a vital strength, but it is not without its challenges. How can we, as the games industry – collectively and individually – do this diversity justice? How can we prevent discrimination and make our titles as accessible as possible – regardless of a player’s individual background? A fundamental understanding of the diversity of the medium and its players is helpful here, as is a diverse team of developers in which everyone can contribute their individual experiences and perspectives.

With our Diversity Guide, we here at game – the German Games Industry Association want to raise awareness of diversity issues and provide everyone in the games industry with concrete advice and assistance. To that end, we have collected a number of case studies from areas such as community management, inclusion, events and corporate culture in this guide, which also contains tips for creating more diverse teams and designing job ads correctly. Additionally, the guide includes legal information and advice on how to avoid stereotyping. A sample set of community netiquette guidelines drafted in cooperation with the USK, the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body, is also provided.

This guide is not a stand-alone document; rather, it is the result of a much larger process. The German games industry has made a conscious decision to champion its open, diverse games culture even more strongly. Many companies and individuals throughout the industry are leading the way by signing a declaration that underscores the games industry’s shared commitment to an open, diverse and tolerant society. Anyone in the games industry is welcome to sign this declaration and make a clear commitment to these values. I can only encourage everyone to join in! Sign the declaration and be part of #TeamDiversity at hier-spielt-vielfalt.de/en/

Our hope for this Diversity Guide is that it will grow and develop as the subject of diversity itself evolves. If you notice that content, initiatives or events are missing, we would very much appreciate it if you could let us know by sending an email to mitmachen@hier-spielt-vielfalt.de. But for now, I hope you find this Diversity Guide an enjoyable and insightful read!

Felix Falk
Managing Director of game – the German Games Industry Association