It’s easy to look at the games industry from a black and white viewpoint, particularly when looking at the toxic workplace environments that have been allowed to thrive in companies such as Activision Blizzard. On the other hand, however, the gaming industry has made considerable strides in the past few years, with more LGBTQ+ and marginalized developers working in games than ever before.
Moreover, more employees are banding together to form employee resource groups with an aim to foster and celebrate diversity and inclusivity. As Elsa Dann, Director of EMEA Sports, and UK/I & Export Lead at 2K explains it, 2Gether@2K is no exception to this.
“We wanted to create a safe, supportive and inclusive space for everyone to come together, discuss any important issues and also to just provide a platform and a space for everyone to meet and have a chat!” Dann explains. “We started just over a year and a half ago now alongside the other employee resource groups at 2K, it’s been amazing to see how much we have grown in such a short amount of time and to see what we have managed to achieve globally as a group.”
The inspiration to create such a group was fuelled from a need to ensure everyone is given a voice and a space at 2K, but also to connect communities from all over the world.
As explained via 2K’s website, the biggest value 2K has is ‘Come as You Are’ and with 2Gether@2K the group wanted to take that value a step further – to make sure that everyone involved not only feels comfortable to be who they are when they came to work but to celebrate and support employees too. To do this, 2K gave the group their support to put on events such as workshops, talks from local LGBTQ+ charities, as well as volunteering opportunities that everyone could get involved in.
“We have incredible executive support for 2gether too who help us execute our ideas, and they provide additional support for all our members for anything from clarifying healthcare options available, to championing our ERG and promoting our efforts throughout the company & externally.” Dann explains. “We have had a great response from the wider 2K population, most recently to our pronouns training, which educated our teammates on pronouns and the importance of ensuring we are actively listening and respecting every individual and how they identify.”
With an ERG thats goal is to support their employees and give them their own voice, Dann tells Gayming Magazine that 2Gether@2K aims for greater representation and additional information and support for teams working on upcoming 2K games. This information could be how to include LGBTQ+ characters, for example, or simply pointing out something that would work better.
The most recent inclusive game in 2K’s portfolio is The Quarry, a game where two male characters are able to flirt and kiss one another. However, Dann acknowledges that there is always more to do “across all facets of inclusivity and diversity.”
Nonetheless, 2K seems committed to continuing the discussion and taking steps forward in a way that’s representative and authentic and with 2Gether@2K, the workplace for LGBTQ+ and marginalized employees at 2K looks bright.
[Disclaimer: 2K Games is one of our sponsors for our DIGIPRIDE 2022 event.]