How to Join the Gaming Industry as a Hispanic or Latinx
The gaming industry is a wonderful place to work. It can also be awful, sadly. But there are some incredible people working in games. So, naturally, others will try and join this little gang, which also happens to be the most profitable entertainment industry in the history of the human race. No biggie. Everyone has their own struggles getting here, though. For Hispanics and Latinos, there are specific challenges (such as geographic location, language, etc), which need to be overcome. Thankfully, there are also some resources dedicated to helping us overcome said challenges. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few ways you can join the gaming industry as a Hispanic or Latinx.
Join the Gaming Industry as a Hispanic or Latinx Game Developer
The first and most obvious place to start is as a game developer. Thankfully, there are a plethora of game engines that are translated to Spanish, Portuguese, and most languages. Some of these include Unreal, Unity, Godot, and GameMaker. Each engine has its own pros and cons, and some of the bigger ones, such as Unreal and Unity, even have programs dedicated to helping developers from under-represented demographics.
Another fantastic resource is to visit the International Game Developers Association. Most countries have an IGDA chapter. The IGDA is tirelessly working to bring devs in their chapters the best opportunities in the industry. I joined my IGDA chapter only a couple of years ago, and have since gotten free education in game development, access to gaming expos, and even got to meet people from Nintendo and Xbox. How cool is that?
Finally, there are non-centralized organizations. One of these is the Latinx Games Festival (the next one is happening online, this November). Another favorite of mine is the ever-amazing Latinx in Gaming, a 501c3 non-profit organization increasing Latinx representation across the gaming industry.
As I said, this isn’t the full list of what’s out there. But it hopefully will be a good place to start.
Join the Gaming Industry as a Hispanic or Latinx Content Creator
If we’ve experienced democratization in the game developer space lately, it’s nothing compared to what it’s been like on the content creator and platform side of things. The rise of YouTube, Twitch, social media sites, and blogs have given a platform to voices we might not otherwise have heard.
Of course, you could just start a new channel and go from there. But while that’s a good first step, it shouldn’t be the last. YouTube has a history of deploying representation and diversity initiatives, so you should constantly be on the lookout for such news. Similarly, and despite its spotty history surrounding Hispanic heritage, Twitch also has some Latinx and Hispanic -centric initiatives. With Hispanic Heritage Month coming up (September 15th to October 15th), be sure to check out those sites constantly to see what opportunities arise.
In terms of written content, if you have no resume, start writing. Once you have written for a while and got a few pieces you’re proud of, start pitching to websites. You probably already follow some outlets that put out content by fellow Hispanic & Latinx writers. DreadXP is such an outlet, and we’re constantly looking for new, unique voices to join the family. Don’t be afraid to pitch! If you’re unsure how to pitch, reach out to your favorite writers and ask for advice. Most will help you happily and willingly. You can find me on Twitter if you’d like to take me up on the offer.
Join the Gaming Industry as a Hispanic or Latinx Gamer
Finally, you can join the gaming industry as a gamer. Yes, I’m serious. There are a number of things you can do as a gamer to join the industry. One of the most organic is to join an eSports league or start your own. If someone’s made a game, someone somewhere is playing it competitively. Here in Paraguay, there are League of Legends and Call of Duty events that gather teams from across the country in both national and international competitions. There’s a whole league of competitive gaming, actually. Most countries are in a similar situation. There are a million different leagues (here’s one directory, for example). If you can’t find one, find your local IGDA chapter and ask them to point you in the right direction.
You can also apply to do QA for Hispanic and Latinx studios. Or even just any studio, really. QA (quality assurance) is basically playing a game before it launches to help find bugs and provide feedback to developers. In fact, we at Dread XP also hire for such positions. They are paid positions, too. So, yes: what I’m saying is, that you can get paid to play games.
That’s it for Now – But More’s to Come
That’s quite a bit to get you started, so I won’t overwhelm you with more information. However, I will be writing more articles with resources, including a small guide on how to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives in your gaming-centric company. So, stay tuned, my friends! And drink your tereré freezing cold and your mate piping hot, the way they were intended.