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The 2018 Game Awards Show Best Feature: Global Gaming Citizens

Last night’s Game Awards had a lot of things going on. Many awards, reveals, performances, and so forth throughout those few hours. Now, among the big show there was something else. Something that may have missed the attention of many viewers. The Global Gaming Citizens.

It begin with host, Geoff Keighly’s introduction of the inspirational stories. Hosted by Facebook Gaming, they shined a light on amazing individuals improving the world in their own way through video games. So we take a look at the impacts being made by Steven Spohn, Sadia Bashir, and Lual Mayen.

The first was Steven Spohn COO of Able Gamers. Able Gamers, founded in 2004, mission statement is to provide aid to anyone with physical and cognitive disabilities to have fun and play video games.

Steven begins his story where he mentions quite simply, he wants to help others play games. He then shares how in his youth, due to being disabled it was assumed his time would be short on Earth. However, this definitely wasn’t the case. Staying true to the mission of Able Gamers, Steven expresses that being disabled isn’t a stop or period in a person’s life. People are still highly capable, with him being an example.

We can enable people to use technology to reach out to the world that is otherwise inaccessbile. To have a greater quality of life — Steven Spohn

Next was Sadia Bashir, founder of PixelArt Games Academy (PGA). PGA is Pakistan’s first training academy for video games development, game design, game art, and animation.

Sadia’s story involved her sharing some of the difficulties she had with pursing a career with video games. For example, growing up and not seeing many women within tech spaces. As well as gaining the education, the exposure, and the visibility of your work. These are crucial fundamentals that many creative professions have in common. They are often a source of frustration as well.

You can’t be unless you can’t see — Sadia Bashir

With these words she elaborates on what is PGA and what it means to her as a mentor. It’s a resource, opportunity, and support system. They inspire creatives in Pakistan to pursue their gaming aspirations. To help make their ideas become real and to help expose their creative works to the world.

Lastly, and certainly not least, we have Lual Mayen, CEO/Founder of Junub Games. He is, among many things, a developer who grew up living in South Sudan as a refugee. With his personal story, he shares that life in his youth was often a question of what will tomorrow bring and what’s next.

His outlook on life changed thanks to his mother. After giving him a computer Lual was inspired. With this inspiration he set out to change the mindset of the youth. This is no easy task as he explains, as 73% of South Sudan is under the age of 30 and are more familiar with times of war. However, Lual wants to change that. As a self-taught developer, he created Salaam to promote the message of peace.

I have the passion and capability to change the world and make a difference — Lual Mayen

Going forward he wants to keep making games about peace and to bring people together.

Personally speaking, I like to think I’m well informed and connected. Yet, you can miss out on some great things happening. Which is why Facebook Gaming sponsored The Global Gaming Citizens. To help us be aware these incredible folks.

These were three people that are helping make the landscape of games more diverse and inclusive. Becoming a fan of all three was my biggest take away from last night. I look forward to what they all do next.

Written by

I bat for PoCs, marginalized, equality, inclusion & geekdom. I'm warming the bench until coach subs me in.

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