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Technology Indie Developers Are Bringing Diversity To Video Games

11:21  04 february  2018
11:21  04 february  2018 Source:   newsweek.com

Microsoft is helping developers make cloud-connected games

  Microsoft is helping developers make cloud-connected games Microsoft has acquired PlayFab, a game development startup that offloads the burdens associated with cloud-connected gaming for developers, allowing them to focus squarely on creating games. Kareem Choudhry, vice president of gaming at Microsoft, noted in a blog post that more than 1 billion people are gaming, and as such the industry is moving into the cloud, largely because it improves security and gives gamers easier access to the multibillion-dollar gaming market. But this brings additional challenges for developers, who are then expected to provide extra game content -- such as tournaments and analytics -- long after a game has launched.

In this July 25, 2016 file photo Brianna Wu, a software engineer and video-game developer, sits at her workstation in Boston.© Associated Press In this July 25, 2016 file photo Brianna Wu, a software engineer and video-game developer, sits at her workstation in Boston. For those outside the gaming world, the term "video games" does not suggest social change. Violence and sexism, yes; diversity and gender equality, no. This, after all, is the entertainment platform that introduced Pac-Man and Grand Theft Auto to pop culture.

But a new generation of independent game developers are looking to promote a more enlightened worldview, as is the non-profit Games for Change, an organization founded in 2004 to provide funding, resources and training for designers building games "that help people to learn, improve their communities and contribute to make the world a better place."

Twitter is opening up its full archive to the broader developer community

  Twitter is opening up its full archive to the broader developer community Twitter today is launching a new premium product for developers that will provide access to the full Twitter archive - going all the way back to the first tweet from Twitter CEO @Jack (Jack Dorsey) in 2006. Until today, non-enterprise customers could only choose from the standard ("public") API that provides access to the last 7 days of tweets, or the more recently launched Premium API (the Search Tweets API) that goes back 30 days.

Indeed, Games for Change president Susanna Pollack believes video games offer powerful tools for for social change. The trick, she told Newsweek, is to "reverse engineer the storyline."

A good example of this is Hair Nah. The web game, created by designer Momo Pixel, went viral in November, and allows users, as a black woman named Aeva, to fend off a swarm of incoming white hands trying to touch her hair. As Pixel told Newsweek in November, “It’s literally happened to every black girl I’ve met....Working on this game was such a breath of fresh air because finally I get to tell you, ‘No, stop touching me,' before it happens—and in the most fun, chill, hilarious way."

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