Diversity is at the heart of a 21st-century culture driven by accelerating globalisation and the blurring of boundaries as more and more people gather, play, entertain and trade online. With the world’s population still increasing, and with global problems such as climate change and upheaval caused by conflict the University of Portsmouth believe it is vital that they strive to find routes to tolerance and compassion wherever we can. Being fully supportive of diversity of race, culture, disability status, religion, class, sexual orientation and gender continues to be a priority in the games industry and other creative industries. In order to represent a realistic range of experiences and views accurately, diversity is extremely important in the games industry workforce, and also in the design of game characters that young people in particular are engaging with every day.
Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what the University of Portsmouth does.
In line with TIGA’s recommended approach to diversity, university employees and students are recruited on their merit, qualifications, competence and talent, and regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
The University of Portsmouth’s BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology and BSc (Hons) Computer Games Enterprise courses have a proud history of welcoming students from a diverse range of backgrounds and have demonstrated, through continuing graduate success, the benefits of this approach. The University’s Games (plus Digital Media and AR/VR) courses follow TIGA’s guidance of having balanced imagery on their course websites, with a more representative mix of genders and ethnicities and also imagery that reflects the creative range of the art form. The University strives to provide the students with a diverse mix of industry speakers and creative role models.
Embracing diversity is essential for game developers to compete globally and for the UK industry to maintain its positive worldwide influence and reputation. The engine at the heart of the UK games industry is the smart, flexible and increasingly diverse workforce, and this engine is fuelled by world-leading and innovative games courses in UK Higher Education. The University of Portsmouth is thrilled to have been contributing to this for over 15 years and looks forward to continuing to engage with industry and other institutions in shaping a truly diverse future. The University of Portsmouth will therefore this year sponsor and present the Diversity Award at the TIGA Games Industry Awards.
Dr Neil Dansey, Academic Lead (Play, Code, Create), University of Portsmouth said: “In recent years it has been great to see developers from underrepresented groups getting more balanced exposure and having a clear impact on the development, presentation and critique of the games that we play. Being involved in sponsoring the TIGA Diversity Award is very important for us as it reflects our active commitment to welcoming a more diverse mix of students onto our courses and engaging with issues of diversity so that we can all become better practitioners”.
Dr Adrian Hull, Head of the School of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth, said: “With the rapid spread of technologies throughout society and the democratisation of access to the tools underpinning the Creative Technologies, we are very proud to support the TIGA Diversity Award in order to focus our and others’ attention on the need to continue to ensure that access to our wonderful subject areas, that embrace both creativity and technology, within Higher Education are open to everyone.”