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Latinx in Gaming: Advocating for Latino Representation in the Video Game Industry

Joe Tirado, a game developer and Strategic Director of Latinx in Gaming, opened up about his experience with imposter syndrome during a talk on Latino representation in the gaming industry. He often questions if he belongs and if he was the right choice for his job. Despite his doubts, Tirado is an accomplished gaming journalist and professional, as well as a founding member of Latinx in Gaming, a non-profit organization dedicated to getting more Latinos hired in the gaming industry.

Latinx in Gaming started as a sub-group of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and gained traction after hosting a well-attended Latino-focused round table event at the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC). This led to the formation of the non-profit organization, which now has over 10,000 members.

The need for more Latino representation in gaming is evident as Hispanics constitute the second largest group of players in the world, accounting for 10% of the gamer population. Despite their significant presence in gaming, Latin American people are under-represented both in terms of the characters and stories depicted in games and in the diversity of game developers. Only 3% of all characters in games are Latino, and estimates suggest that only 8.8% of game developers are Hispanic.

During his presentation at GDC, Tirado highlighted the lack of fictional Latin-based characters in video games throughout history. Genuine representation is scarce, and when it does occur, it often relies on stereotypes or falls into common tropes.

Latinx in Gaming aims to change this by advocating for authentic and diverse representation in video games. The organization recognizes the importance of representation, not only for the Latinx community but for all players who want to see more inclusive and nuanced portrayals in the games they love.

Source: Joe Tirado's talk on Latine representation at the Game Developers Conference (GDC)
Source: Bloomberg, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) annual industry report
Source: American job agency report on game developer demographics