Why Stereotypes and Tropes are not Representation of the “Other”

Tanya DePass • ECGC 2017

Why Stereotypes and Tropes are not Representation of the “Other” – Tanya DePass

Tanya DePass
Director for I Need Diverse Games

Tanya DePass is the founder and director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit company based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers attend the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is pending a change to becoming a non-profit organization. Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. She’s also the founder and Editor In Chief of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture is discussed and viewed through a lens of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. She’s also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Paste Games, Vice, and other publications.

Why stereotypes and tropes are not representation of the “Other”

We’ve all seen and played games where People of Color (POC) are often stereotypes, or LGBTQIA characters are one-dimensional, and other identities don’t even get to exist for long. These portrayals are often flattened versions of what could have been a great character that added to the narrative of a story or the characters relationship to the world, the player and other characters. Using examples both good and bad, I’ll talk about why it’s better to do the hard work of fleshing out your characters rather than giving us flattened versions to play with.