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Game Devs of Color Expo's Shawn Alexander Allen on COVID-19, Allyship & Future Plans

We caught up with GDoC organizer Shawn Alexander Allen to discuss the making of the event.

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The Game Devs of Color Expo is an annual event that highlights minority groups in game development. In addition to spotlighting the work being done in these underrepresented communities, GDoC Expo also features panels for discussions about being a person of color in the gaming industry, and provides resources to those groups. The event is set to return later this year, and we caught up with one of the show’s organizers to learn a bit more.

Shacknews’ Donovan Erskine (hey that’s me!) sat down with Shawn Alexander Allen, an organizer of the Game Devs of Color event to discuss the makings of the show, as well as the industry at large. It’s here that the two discuss how the pandemic impacted the event, as it used to be held in-person in New York prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Shawn actually reveals that the team had hopes to bring the event to a digital format, and doing so has allowed them to reach more audiences around the globe.

Another topic that came up on the show was allyship. The two discussed what makes a good ally, and how folks can be helpful in amplifying marginalized voices in the gaming space. “One of the key things is working to thoroughly understand that these are systemic issues that have caused this lack of representation,” Allen explained. He goes on to emphasize the need for those in power/hiring positions to seek out talented folks from minority backgrounds and put them in places where they can shine and build their skills.

The full interview with Shawn Alexander Allen is full of insight into what it’s like to put together an event like Game Devs of Color Expo, as well as ideas on how we can make the video game industry a more inclusive place for everyone. As always, be sure to check out the Shacknews and GamerHubTV YouTube channels for more interesting chats with creatives.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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