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The Next Level: ESA Foundation Is Empowering the Next-Gen Gamers and Developers

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Anastasia Staten

Executive Director, ESA Foundation

At the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation, our unofficial motto is, “if you can see it, you can be it.” This means, nothing should stop you from reaching your goal, challenging yourself, challenging the norm, and pushing for change. I am privileged to love my job, and to be a part of a dynamic and growing industry. Every day I’m excited about championing diverse voices and creating a workforce that reflects the billions who play video games.

A diverse community  

Today, 46 percent of video game players are women. To ensure those who make games reflect the diversity of gamers, we implemented a number of targeted initiatives. We established a scholarship program to assist women and minority students who are pursuing degrees in computer and video game arts. With more than 200 higher education institutes offering video game-related certificates and degrees, there are more career opportunities related to video games now than ever before. 

To support women in video games, we created an initiative called We Are, created in partnership with Red Bull. The campaign connectspeople with diverse backgrounds in the video games industry to educateon the contributions of women in the community and inspirenew voices and talent. 

Working together, succeeding together

We should work together to build an inclusive community for all in the games industry. A community that welcomes talented people, new ideas, ways to think differently, and pushes beyond comfort levels. The video game community is vast, and includes those making games and playing competitively, to consumers who don’t “game” but love watching others do it. If we provide a way for the collective to band together, we will have maximum influence.

In this issue, from Olivia Munn on the cover to all the companies involved in Women in Gaming campaign, we came together to raise the visibility of women in the industry. Our collective impact will help empower young girls and youth to focus on STEAM-related industries and skills that propel them in life.

Let’s celebrate all the great work done but continue to foster even more conversations. When we work together to connect, educate, and inspire the next generation of gamers and developers, we can change lives. Here’s to conquering the next level together!

Anastasia Staten, Executive Director, ESA Foundation [email protected]

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