Last night, at the Independent Games Festival in San Francisco, independent game developers from around the world came together to celebrate the talent, beauty, and creativity that exists within the industry. Gamers are as unique and diverse as the world around us and Independent Games play a critical role in expanding the worlds, narratives, and characters with which gamers interact. This year, ID@Xbox took the opportunity to highlight the work of three amazing developers who are using their craft to celebrate underrepresented voices, whether these voices are the players, the characters, or the creators themselves. The ID@Xbox Gaming For Everyone award winners for 2017 are:
We are Chicago by Culture Shock Games
Culture Shock Games has created a game that showcases the harsh realities of growing up on the south side of Chicago. The game was created using real stories, putting you into the shoes of a young boy about to graduate high school when his best friend goes missing. While playing through the game, you get new insight into what daily life is like in this community and will come away with a better understanding of that experience. The developers hope their efforts, and the use of gaming as a medium, will motivate and inspire change, as well as prompt conversation surrounding the issues presented within. Watch for this game to come to Xbox One and Windows 10!
I, Hope by Arconyx
I, Hope is a beautiful coming of age adventure story about a young girl named Hope, whose town has been taken over by Cancer. The game is engaging for all, yet for survivors and children who are currently battling cancer, the game is empowering. The developer has truly set out to make a game that kids can play while receiving cancer treatments; something to distract them, but at the same time, put them back in control of their battle. In addition to this being a great game, the developer is donating all their profits from the game to Game Changer, a wonderful non-profit organization whose mission is to spread hope and love to children staying in hospitals. Watch for this game to come to Xbox One!
A Hero’s Call by Out of Sight Games
The developers of A Hero’s Call grew up loving games, especially epic fantasy RPGs. After losing their sight, these games became impossible for them to play, and they were unable to find any accessible games that fulfilled these desires. Thus, they set out to make a game like those they remembered playing; one that would delight blind and sighted gamers alike. A Hero’s Call is an epic RPG with deep narrative gameplay that is engaging for all. For sighted gamers, it provides an enlightening glimpse into the creation of accessible games.