Institute of Coding short film highlights diversity issues in esports

Three trailblazers from the world of online gaming explain why the community must welcome women and people from the LGBTQ+ and black communities

A new short film which highlights racism, misogyny and homophobia in the gaming world has called for greater diversity within the esports community.

The film, which is shot in the style of a classic video game, features industry trailblazers who share their experiences of overcoming challenges. The inspiring video was produced by The Institute of Coding (IoC) and features Jay Ann Lopez of Black Girl Gamers, Matt Hardwick of London Gaymers and eSports host and activist Frankie Ward.

Lopez shares her experiences of racism and Hardwick discusses his experiences of homophobia. Black Girl Gamers is a collective for women in the black community who have faced exclusion and discrimination. London Gaymers host regular events for the LGBTQ+ community in the capital and beyond.

Ward, who champions accessibility in gaming, also raises awareness about the need for more women in the sector in her contribution to the film.

This new video is part of CTRL Your Future, a diversity campaign from the IoC which hopes to attract diverse talent into the industry.

Polling from the IoC, conducted in September last year, revealed that 82% of young people believe the digital sector is predominately made up of those who are white and male.

In the study of 1,000 16 to 18-year-olds, the IoC found that 56% said the industry needs to be more diverse and inclusive.

The IoC said young people are discouraged from digital careers because of a lack of diversity.

The IoC represents employers and educators and was established by the government in January 2018 to help tackle the UK’s digital skills shortage. At the end of last year, the institute, based at Bath University, revealed it had helped enrol 32,000 people in short digital courses at universities across the country. The IoC supports, and has created, more than 100 courses which are free for learners.

To watch the full 60-second short film and to find out more about IoC’s courses, visit: www.instituteofcoding.org/ctrl-your-future.

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