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Discover Mickael Dell’Ova’s EthicALL Game Jam

Posted at: 03.29.2024in category:Top Stories
Let’s dive into the gaming world of Mickael Dell’Ova, shaping a new era of diversity and inclusion.

MIKA-TETU-070 (1) (2).jpg Gaming and esport are taking center stage at VivaTech this year. We caught up with Mickael Dell'Ova, a seasoned Senior Player Experience Designer, and learned about his pivotal role encompassing game design, user experience, and user research to better understand what’s going on in the gaming industry.

Diversity & Inclusion in Gaming

"Unconventional profiles like mine are rare in the industry." Passionate not only for gaming but also about creating inclusive and diverse games, Mickael spoke to us about the evolution of these subjects in gaming. From his frustration of not being able to identify with the majority of characters in video games, he developed the EthicALL Game Jam, the first game creation event fully dedicated to ethics and inclusion. On the Saturday of VivaTech, May 25th, gamers and attendees from all over will have the opportunity to work together to develop a game prototype in record time. This video game should be designed to be entertaining and accessible to all, incorporating ethical and inclusion issues.

Let’s dive in to how Mickael is tackling diversity and representation issues within the gaming sector and examine how the EthicALL Game Jam can contribute to fostering diversity and inclusion at VivaTech.

What made you so passionate about inclusion and diversity in gaming?

“As a neuroatypical queer man, inclusion is a subject that naturally interests me. But above all as a designer, I've realised my responsibility. I've only worked on big games like Assassin's Creed and Alan Wake 2, which are games that reach millions of people, so I asked myself what I could do in my small way to help others.”

How can the gaming industry better address issues of diversity and representation?

“I think we need to change the paradigm and the way of thinking that has been ingrained for decades. Video game studio directors and video game directors who are predominantly white heterosexual cisgender able-bodied men lack objectivity and are not yet aware that society has evolved. Players have evolved, today everyone plays video games so they must reflect society.”

You were able to attend VivaTech last year, what stood out to you?

“I only found out about VivaTech last year when I was invited as a speaker and I was happy to see associations like Diversidays and Afrogameuse present. These are associations that fight for more diversity in tech and video games. They are also partners of the EthicALL Game Jam.”

Beyond the creative process, what outcomes or impacts do you hope to see come from the EthicALL Game Jam at VivaTech?

“I would like participants to realize that diversity and inclusion are not constraints but on the contrary, are vectors of creativity. This is also what I wish to demonstrate with my game project dealing with mental illnesses and cognitive disabilities.”

Any successful initiatives or projects you care to share about?

“My answer will surprise you but it is precisely representative of the problem. Very little of my work on these subjects has been integrated into a game. For example, I worked on accessibility solutions on the latest Alan Wake 2, all the design was done but they were not integrated. The studio prioritized other aspects. This is often the problem with accessibility and inclusion in general, it must be part of the processes from the start of game development otherwise it falls by the wayside. It was from this frustration that the EthicALL Game Jam was born and my desire to create my studio and my games will advance these issues.”

What are you most excited about for this year's VivaTech?

“Certainly the focus on video games, few people know that video games are the number one cultural industry in the world. So I hope that this focus at VivaTech will make the world aware of the ethical and social responsibility of this powerful media.”

Register for the EthicALL Game Jam (French only).

Do you want to meet Mickael and explore the world of inclusion and diversity in gaming? Find us from the 22-25 May 2024 in Paris. Book your pass for VivaTech and stay tuned for future updates!

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