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Three People Working to Make Gaming Inclusive for Everyone

Video games and tabletop gaming have included all kinds of people from their origins until now. However, the industry and communities around games also struggle to normalize and accept marginalized groups. There are still prevalent beliefs that women don’t play games, still people who use gay as an insult, still people who unintentionally make their communities hostile to those different from themselves. Thankfully, people in the industry have begun stepping out into the spotlight to advocate for previously silenced groups of people and encourage people to broaden their thinking when it comes to how games could affect others.

Here are three people you absolutely need to know working to make sure gaming is for everyone:

Tanya DePass

If you haven’t heard of Tanya DePass, you have been missing out. Since 2014, DePass has been spearheading I Need Diverse Games, an organization dedicated to addressing racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia in the game industry. She has written pieces for prominent gaming outlets to highlight issues dealing with race, feminism, and wider issues with diversity. In fact, we have talked with her in-depth on the topic of race in tabletop gaming ourselves. DePass has been an instrumental part of the Rivals of Waterdeep actual play Dungeons & Dragons livestream produced by Wizards of the Coast and currently works with Green Ronin as the co-developer on a tabletop adaptation of N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy.  Not only that, but she’s a tireless charity streamer for Extra Life as well as numerous other charities. Most recently, she raised over $150,000 USD in a single day for The Bail Project to support those arrested during the George Floyd protests against police violence.

Laura Kate Dale

A longtime member of the gaming press, Laura Kate Dale has made a name for herself by rising up to become the Editor-in-Chief of Destructoid UK before leaving to become the news editor for Kotaku UK. Her work included a focus on discussing the experiences of being transgender and autistic and how those parts of her identity mingled with the wider gaming community. In 2018, Dale published Things I Learned From Mario’s Butt: A Series of Gaming Butt Critiques and a year later published Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman. Dale announced in 2019 that she was leaving Kotaku UK to pursue independent writing. She also continues to be a part of the gaming community through streams and writing critiques on her personal site. Since leaving Kotaku UK, Dale been working to publish Gender Euphoria, a crowdfunded collection of essays by non-cisgender writers about their positive experiences accepting and affirming their gender identities.


Five time Evolution Championship Series champion Dominique “SonicFox” McLean has done a lot of work to normalize LGBTQ+ folk in the gaming industry, especially in public-facing spotlights. They are openly gay and a furry – aspects of their identity they announced during the 2018 Game Awards while accepting the Esports Player of the Year Award. In 2019, SonicFox came out as non-binary as well and began popularizing the phrase, “Trans rights!” while displaying the trans flag at esports events. Having someone largely regarded as the best fighting game competitor declare that they are non-binary and make trans rights a cornerstone of their presence in esports has done an incredible amount of work to destigmatize LGBTQ+ topics in the competitive

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!