Activision’s head of inclusive design on Pride, joy and acceptance in the industry

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Technology

GamesBeat is excited to partner with Lil Snack to have customized games just for our audience! We know as gamers ourselves, this is an exciting way to engage through play with the GamesBeat content you have already come to love. Start playing games here. 

For Pride Month 2024, the games industry is celebrating its LGBTQ+ gamers — we recently watched the Gayming Awards, which awarded prizes to the games with the most authentic stories and compelling LGBTQ+ representation. This is not a small thing, either. According to a recent study by GLAAD, 17% of gamers identify as LGBTQ+.

But what does it mean to work on inclusive design — and inclusive workspaces — behind the scenes in the industry. Recently, GamesBeat spoke with Adrian Ledda, Activision’s head of inclusive game design, about the company’s work with AbleGamers. Ledda incorporated AbleGamer’s accessible player training (APX) into the company’s design process. His work also includes contributing to the company’s pronoun policy and he also leads the company’s LGBTQ+ and Allies employee network.

I got the chance to speak with Ledda about his work on inclusion in the industry and coming out at Activision Blizzard, as well as his history with games. Here’s an edited transcript of our discussion.

GamesBeat: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me! Could we start by talking about your work in general? How did you get into gaming — as a hobby and as a career?

Lil Snack & GamesBeat

GamesBeat is excited to partner with Lil Snack to have customized games just for our audience! We know as gamers ourselves, this is an exciting way to engage through play with the GamesBeat content you have already come to love. Start playing games now!

Adrian Ledda: As someone who’s been playing games since the old SNES days, I can’t separate who I am from gaming. I also had to go through a discovery of what it was like to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. Combining those two identities of being a gamer, but also being gay was challenging, because we didn’t see too many representations of that, or if they did exist way back when it was stereotype. So, in a lot of ways, this is such a lovely coming together of the evolution of how gaming as being more inclusive. It’s a wonderful joy to be able to speak on these things, because the work that is happening across the industry to make games more inclusive and accessible is fantastic.

I started at Activision Blizzard about 15 years ago. And it was just a dream come true to be able to work in games. I was able to then transition a little bit into more design thinking focus, where I was previously a programmer. In that time, I became a little bit more co …

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GamesBeat is excited to partner with Lil Snack to have customized games just for our audience! We know as gamers ourselves, this is an exciting way to engage through play with the GamesBeat content you have already come to love. Start playing games here. 

For Pride Month 2024, the games industry is celebrating its LGBTQ+ gamers — we recently watched the Gayming Awards, which awarded prizes to the games with the most authentic stories and compelling LGBTQ+ representation. This is not a small thing, either. According to a recent study by GLAAD, 17% of gamers identify as LGBTQ+.

But what does it mean to work on inclusive design — and inclusive workspaces — behind the scenes in the industry. Recently, GamesBeat spoke with Adrian Ledda, Activision’s head of inclusive game design, about the company’s work with AbleGamers. Ledda incorporated AbleGamer’s accessible player training (APX) into the company’s design process. His work also includes contributing to the company’s pronoun policy and he also leads the company’s LGBTQ+ and Allies employee network.

I got the chance to speak with Ledda about his work on inclusion in the industry and coming out at Activision Blizzard, as well as his history with games. Here’s an edited transcript of our discussion.

GamesBeat: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me! Could we start by talking about your work in general? How did you get into gaming — as a hobby and as a career?

Lil Snack & GamesBeat

GamesBeat is excited to partner with Lil Snack to have customized games just for our audience! We know as gamers ourselves, this is an exciting way to engage through play with the GamesBeat content you have already come to love. Start playing games now!

Adrian Ledda: As someone who’s been playing games since the old SNES days, I can’t separate who I am from gaming. I also had to go through a discovery of what it was like to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. Combining those two identities of being a gamer, but also being gay was challenging, because we didn’t see too many representations of that, or if they did exist way back when it was stereotype. So, in a lot of ways, this is such a lovely coming together of the evolution of how gaming as being more inclusive. It’s a wonderful joy to be able to speak on these things, because the work that is happening across the industry to make games more inclusive and accessible is fantastic.

I started at Activision Blizzard about 15 years ago. And it was just a dream come true to be able to work in games. I was able to then transition a little bit into more design thinking focus, where I was previously a programmer. In that time, I became a little bit more co …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]

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