The Indie Studio Hopes to Help Demo Titles During the Game Developers Conference
The annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is a huge event in the gaming world. It is a chance for game creators to collaborate, inspire, and demo their creations. As such, it is attended by developers from all over the globe. Unfortunately, the recent executive order from the Trump Administration, placing an immigration ban for the next 90 days to persons from seven predominantly Muslim nation, shatters that dream of collaboration and community. Naturally, with the conference less than a month away this has garnered a response from the GDC.
GDC is a global community – we're horrified by the #MuslimBan. Of course we'll refund affected attendees, and keep fighting for inclusivity.
— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) January 29, 2017
Now it seems that the team over at Devolver Digital Underground is taking this one step further. The studio is offering to demo games for those being affected by this ban. They are offering to set up PCs and HTC Vive sets in the nearby offsite location used by Devolver Digital during the conference, and showcase the games. However, priority will be given to those developers that were set to travel to the GDC and had to cancel their plans due to the Trump administration.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) February 2, 2017
Devolver Digital’s co-founder Harry Miller explained some of the reasoning behind the studio’s actions. “The thought was that we might be able to help in some way if we could still share those developers’ games on their behalf since GDC is sometimes the only opportunity for a large number of peers and press to play their games at an event.”. He went on to state that there were no special content or requirements. The goal is to offer a helping hand to the gaming community. “We honestly have no idea how many folks were affected by this ban but the plan is to load up a couple of nice PC setups with whatever games come our way and allow folks to play them as they wish.”
Concerning whom would be affected, The International Game Developers Association does list an “emerging’ chapter of developers in Iran. The IGDA also holds its annual meetings at the GDC. IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards recently stated their biggest concern, “That being said, the issue isn’t necessarily the effect on these specific countries but on the general spread of xenophobia in the U.S. government and how it will certainly affect the U.S.’s ability to hire talent and remain globally competitive.”
Devolver Digital is not the only group within the global gaming community primed to speak out against the immigration ban. We previously covered stories showing that studios, such as Insomniac, have issued public videos stating their opposition. Other studios, such as MidBoss, have openly stated their displeasure to the tune of “If you voted for trump or support his fascist regime please don’t play our game.. Just go fuck off!”.
Indeed, even the Entertainment Software Association issued a statement regarding the immigration ban:
“The Entertainment Software Association urges the White House to exercise caution with regard to vital immigration and foreign worker programs. As a leading force in technology and exporter of entertainment, the U.S. video game industry thrives on the contributions of innovators and storytellers from around the world. While recognizing that enhancing national security and protecting our country’s citizens are critical goals, our companies rely on the skilled talent of U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and immigrants alike. Our nation’s actions and words should support their participation in the American economy.”
With the Game Developers Conference, less than a month away it would seem the gaming world is not happy.