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Gaming for Good with Karla Reyes (Safe Space Podcast Season 2 Episode 4)

In this episode of the podcast, Rosie talks with Karla Reyes, who is Product Manager at Niantic, Head of Business Development at Code Coven, Forbes 30 under 30, the Organiser for the UN Playing for the Planet Program, Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum and Partnerships Manager for BAME in Games!

Karla talks about Code Coven, which aims to provide marginalized developers with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the games industry. She also discusses what an Accessible Player Experience Practitioner is, and how she became one through Able Gamers.

A photo of Earth from Space is the background, with a SIOW pink cloud at the top with title: Gaming for Good with Karla Reyes. Rosie and Karla are in the foreground smiling, with a SIOW white logo in the bottom right corner.

As the organiser for the UN’s Playing for the Planet Program, Karla chats about how the program came about, it’s purpose, and the real world impact it’s having so far.

We also discuss the origins and work around Square Enix RED – a research group on racial and ethnic diversity co-founded by Karla.

The games industry can be a challenging industry (like many) to enter into, especially as a marginalized person – we chat about some of the resources within the industry that are here to support new-to-industry folks and give some tips on finding help.

Links

Code Coven

Able Gamers

Playing for the Planet

Karla’s Twitter

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Custom Pronouns in the Sims 4 with Momo Misfortune (Safe Space Podcast Season 2, Episode 2)

In this episode, Rosie and Sky chat to Momo Misfortune. Momo is a Twitch partner who is known for streaming The Sims, as well as campaigning for pronouns in the Sims, and a founder of YOUphoriaTV which is stream team focused on uplifting the voices of Nonbinary and Gender Non Conforming creators on Twitch.

We discuss the incredible causes such as Able Gamers, Trans Women of Colour Collective that they have supported, and the Change.org campaign Momo made for adding pronoun options into The Sims 4 which had almost 25,000 signatures before it became a reality.

Momo talks about It Gets Better as an Ambassador and their connection with The Sims 4, and also about their experience with chronic illness and how it affects their mental health.

Links

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How to Tell Meaningful Stories Through Games with Paula Angela Escuadra (Safe Space Podcast Season 2, Episode 1)

In the first episode of Season 2 of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Paula Angela Escuadra about her vast experience within the game development space where she has broadened the conversation around inclusivity, representation, sustainability and climate consciousness.

We talk about the importance of using games to portray important messages, and how it differs from messages within more static media such as films and books, and what steps developers can take to implement these messages in ethical and proactive ways. We also discuss the effect that video games can have on player’s introspection and identity, and how it can act as a support mechanism to those who may often feel unsafe to be themselves in person.

Click here to listen!

There are two people in the foreground (Rosie and Paula), between them is a Audio waveform graphic in white and the text 'Safe Space', with a white siow logo at the bottom. There is a forest with light flickering through the trees in the background and a SIOW Pink wave shape at the top.

About Paula
Paula Angela Escuadra (She/Her) has spent +12 years elevating the power games have to redefine our relationship with failure and create meaning. She leads research for Xbox Game Studios Cloud Publishing, helping developers make great games that foster meaningful communities. She co-founded IGDA Climate Special Interest Group, co-authoring its newly released Environmental Game Design Playbook. She’s also on Cologne Game Lab’s advisory board with a focus on unlocking sustainability competencies.
(Lastly, she’s a very strong advocate for community care, psychological safety, and dog cuddling as a form of self-care.)

Links

Want to listen to more episodes of the Safe Space Podcast? Check out the full list of episodes at this link

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Special Effect, Cosmic Hearts and Through Our Eyes with Paige Harvey (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 19)

The penultimate episode of Season 1 of the podcast is here!

In this episode, Rosie chats to Paige Harvey about her incredible work with the gamers charity Special Effect and the annual Gameblast event that unites gamers each year in support of the charity. Paige also discusses their work in Charity Stream Team Cosmic Hearts, which is a team of content creators devoted to raising funds & awareness for vital causes close to our hearts while championing safe, diverse & inclusive spaces online!

We also discuss Paige’s work in Through Our Eyes through podcasts and streams, and the inspirations behind it.

 

Links

Special Effect

Cosmic Hearts

Through Our Eyes

Paige’s Twitter

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Stress-relieving games and games industry stories with Jake Kulkowski (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 17)

In episode 17, Rosie talks to Jake Kulkowski about his role at Dead Good Media, his podcasts with Wired Productions and Special Moves, and his career path into the video games industry.

We also focus on what games we go to for our own stress relief, and the kinds of titles that enable us to relax, including the discussion around why some gamers find escapism within horror titles. We discuss Jake’s mental health story, and some of the games that mean the most to him.

Episode 17 of the podcast, there are 2 bubbles with Rosie and Jake, in the background there are controllers and small Isaacs from Binding of Isaac

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Safe Space Podcast in 2021: Wrapped & Reflected

Today feels like a good day to sum up our Safe Space Podcast in 2021! The Safe Space Pod discusses the games industry and the link between games and mental health through hosting a variety of wonderful guests. Let’s look at what we covered so far, shall we? 

To kick the podcast off, we wanted to introduce our listeners to the Safe In Our World team, the aims and mission of the charity and some insight into why we’re passionate about the conversation surrounding mental health within the games industry and beyond.  Favourite games were discussed, our roles within the charity were explained, and the purpose of the podcast was unveiled. 

Episode 2 was a wonderful discussion with Ambassador Mxiety on her work in broadening the conversation around mental health on Twitch, and the impact of sharing our own experiences and struggles in bringing communities together.

We were joined by the brilliant Robin Gray for Episode 3, where we explored LGBTQ+ representation in video games, the LGBTQ+ struggles that are faced in the industry, and a host of useful resources and support groups that are making change happen.

In Episode 4, we spoke to Charity enthusiast and Patron Hannah Rutherford (Lomadia) on her incredible achievements in fundraising on Twitch. We may or may not have discussed some early Mario quests, shouty cats and the struggles that content creators face on a daily basis.

In Episode 5, we were joined by Raccine Malcolm to talk about the importance of embedding DEI and representation within the games industry, as well as our favourite mental health related titles.

Episode 6 saw Rosie chat with Shahid Ahmad about Code is Just. Shahid discusses how he first entered the world of game development and the struggles that he has faced on the journey; such as bullying, racism, illness and poverty.

And last but not least, our latest episode, Episode 7 with Adam Clarke! We talk about his experience as a carer for his sister and her passion for games. We cover Hot Fuzz, Irish accents and our most impactful games over the years.

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