Playtra Games, the developer behind the upcoming indie title Grid Force, has announced that they are partnering with the It Gets Better Project to use Grid Force as a tool for reaching more LGTBQ+ youth with this message: It gets better, and the games industry believes in you.
“The old adage indies always hear is to ‘make the game you want to play,’” Dan Bernardo, Playtra founder says. “What does that look like if you’re black and gay? What does that look like if you’re a woman an industry with a long history of selling games with sex appeal over character depth? For us, it looks like Grid Force.”
Bernardo, named a “GI 100” Game Changer by GamesIndustry.biz and a recent addition to the Devcom Advisory Board, sees games as powerful tools for shifting culture and creating change
“Representation in games matters because for many kids, playing a video game is their only way to get beyond their immediate bubble,” Bernardo continues. “The world is changing, but for many LGBTQ+ children and young adults, they still feel alone and isolated.
“But you’re not alone. You might not be in the best situation right now, but you can join communities online or play games to hear stories like your own. The It Gets Better Project has been sharing this message for years, and we’re excited to get to be a part of that mission.”
Playtra’s partnership with the It Gets Better Project weaves their mutual mission of representation, inclusion, and support into Grid Force in the following ways:
- The It Gets Better Project linked on the start screen, with the goal of reaching more LGBTQ+ youth who may not be aware that programs are available to them.
- 45 all-female playable characters, celebrations of diversity and culture from around the world and from a range of communities
- A rich story of self-discovery and overcoming challenges, hand-illustrated by a female illustrator
- Spotlighting the broader LGBTQ+ community in games with the full promotion cycle of the game, from the launch activations all the way through a post-release fundraising event benefiting the It Gets Better Project
“The industry will put us on panels and give us awards, but there still isn’t a big appetite for directly supporting projects like this,” Bernardo says. “So this has truly become a mission for us. We’re funding the game ourselves, and our team has made great personal sacrifices to bring the game to life. We think the industry needs more games like Grid Force, so we’re doing our part to make a difference.”
The release date for Grid Force is tentatively slated for Q1 of 2022 with many more collaborations with The It Gets Better Project planned for the meantime.
To learn more about Grid Force, wishlist the game on Steam today.
To learn more about The It Gets Better Project, visit their website.
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