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Room 8 Group Elevates Commitment to Diversity as Gold Sponsor of SavePoint Industry Gathering

Room 8 Group Elevates Commitment to Diversity as Gold Sponsor of SavePoint Industry Gathering

In 2023, Room 8 Group not only contributed to major game projects but also deepened our commitment to diversity and inclusivity in the gaming community through impactful partnerships. A significant accomplishment was becoming a Gold Partner of the SavePoint Industry Gathering, a non-profit organization that supports professionals of underrepresented genders, including non-binary individuals, members of the transgender and genderqueer communities, and women.

This collaboration underscores our dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). We held an interview with Reese Wright, one of the founders of SavePoint, sharing insights into the organization’s mission and activities, highlighting its crucial role in forming an inclusive professional community. In their answers, Reese offers a window into how SavePoint positively shapes the gaming industry, and we are honored to contribute and extend our support.

Establishment of SavePoint and starting its operation

In 2020, recognizing the pressing need to address gender imbalance in the games industry, two groups emerged with the goal to establish a secure, inclusive professional community for gender-marginalized individuals. The UK-based Save Point,  founded by Reese Wright (they/them) & Katherine Welsford (she/her), and North America based Key Creators Industry Gathering founded by Katie Golden (she/her), Nika Nour (she/her), Cris Amaya (she/her), and Reb Valentine (she/her), which was developed as a spin off of the Games Industry Gathering. As both groups expanded in size and engagement, they discovered each other and merged into SavePoint Industry Gathering in late 2021, offering monthly Thursday virtual meetups, in person events, and a discord community of like-minded game industry professionals. As of the end of 2023 SavePoint reached nearly 800 members.

Mission of SavePoint

SavePoint provides people of under-represented genders in the games industry a refuge from being the “odd-one-out”. It is like finally getting to the Save Point in a game after all the hard work getting there, this is a space you can kick back, relax, and feel free to just be yourself! 

SavePoint’s activities: their purpose and how they benefit the game dev community

SavePoint is a professional networking community that aims to benefit the game development community in the following ways:

  1. Connect and Build Presence: SavePoint creates spaces for members to meet, make connections, and strengthen their presence in the video games industry.
  2. Monthly online Gatherings and in-person events: these activities are held worldwide, providing opportunities for networking and collaboration.
  3. Active Discord community: the SavePoint’s Discord community allows members to connect, ask questions, post job opportunities on our board, and engage between Gatherings and in-person events.
  4. Success stories: SavePoint has witnessed numerous success stories over its active years, with members who kickstarted their careers, found new jobs, or discovered their true selves within the community. Recognizing the higher burn-rate and shorter careers for marginalized individuals in the games industry, SavePoint plays a crucial role in retaining valuable talents by showing them they belong, they are not alone, and providing crucial community resources for success. 

Difficulties faced by underrepresented communities and how SavePoint helps to address them

The biggest issue people face is safety within their professional spaces. Unfortunately stories of bullying, abuse and assault against people of underrepresented genders are still far too common. These are the ways SavePoint addresses these issues:

  • SavePoint is a members-only community: they vet all applicants to ensure everyone’s safety in their spaces. 
  • SavePoint has a detailed Code of Conduct and clear reporting lines for any problems should they arise. 
  • For IRL meetups, they are ticketed with no +1’s allowed. They are only held in spaces where the organizers can ensure the safety of attendees. There is no free alcohol – to be clear, SavePoint is not anti-drinking, but often heavy drinking is linked to bad situations that must be avoided from potentially happening! 
  • There is a strict rule against sharing anything from within the SavePoint community – it’s important that people feel safe to ask difficult questions or share personal situations without worrying whether they’ll be spoken about later externally. 

All of this has created a safe and welcoming community that really helps people.

SavePoint meetings: regularity and agenda

The online Gatherings are held over the course of 8 hours on the 3rd Thursday every month, allowing the members to drop in and out as they please. There are several chat rooms available, so people can jump around from conversation to conversation as they will, or create their own space to ask a burning question or get advice from the community. There are no specifically set topics, the conversations are driven by the participants themselves, so the chat feels natural and friendly. 

As for IRL networking meetups, they are held in-line with large games conferences. We aim to create a special experience every time, with safety for all attendees being a priority. We provide healthy food catering to a wide range of dietary needs and non-alcoholic drinks, and a private space for our members to network and chat with one another. As with the online Gatherings, there are no agendas – people are free to move and chat as they wish. We also have a small travel bursary available to cover travel costs for members of limited means to attend!  

How to extend support to SavePoint and underrepresented communities

SavePoint is entirely volunteer run and sponsor-funded. There are a couple of support fronts that make a world of difference to what we can do:

  • Spread the Word: SavePoint relies on word-of-mouth and this is how it’s grown, so share Savepoint’s presence, boost our messages on social media, and talk about us with colleagues.
  • Partnerships: SavePoint seeks partnerships with companies dedicated to supporting underrepresented genders. Corporate sponsors, like Room 8 Group, enable us to organize large IRL events, and we’re open to more collaborations.
  • Listen and Act: Companies can make a significant impact by listening to underrepresented employees, promoting and supporting them. Get Senior Management involved in advocating for changes to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Happy teams make great games that will attract players of all walks of life – it’s a win-win for everyone!

You can discover more details about SavePoint and their activities on their website or LinkedIn.

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