Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Esports

In general, esports is more inclusive than most sports around the world. It’s inclusive because there are very few limitations to playing games online.  Unlike, for example, the traditional sports like,  soccer, tennis, and volleyball, athletes are not only divided up between men’s and women’s teams but also physically impaired people have to compete separately. Ultimately, it’s all about the skills in the game. Whatever game you play in esports, you are not limited or divided into groups.  It doesn’t matter if you are a certain gender, race or size in esports. You are digitally equal. However, this doesn’t mean that esports is absent of gamers being biased, sexist, or racist.

 

In recent years, esports has repeatedly made headlines due to bullying and harassment scandals of high-profile female players, but also disadvantages for colored people or the physically impaired.  Thankfully there are organizations and communities like the *gameHERs that are trying to make a positive change. The*gameHERs is a women-led community dedicated to amplifying and centering

the voices of women gamers and femme identifying gamers across the spectra of gender identity and expression, who are comfortable in spaces that center women. Gamers who identify as women represent almost half the gamers in the world.  Women gamers are rarely represented, heard, and recognized. The gameHERS organization mission is to advance the role, voice, image, and power of all the*gameHERs in the game industry. 

Other amazing organizations that parents should know about are: 

  • Cxmmunity (pronounced community) is a nonprofit organization committed to increasing minority participation in esports through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) development.
  • AnyKey is an non-profit organization that advocates for diversity, inclusion, and equity in gaming & streaming. They amplify, connect, and empower marginalized players and their allies through research and strategic initiatives. They work towards educational equity for students who lack the resources to play video games at home, school-sponsored esports programs can level the playing field and help provide access to technology in meaningful ways. As well as educational inclusion that encourages more students to join in STEM-based activities — outreach that is especially important for groups that are typically underrepresented in STEM, such as female students, students with disabilities and students of color. 
Author Matt Powell

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