Play NYC’s Graffiti Games 2020 Will Spotlight Black Game Developers

This year’s Play NYC Graffiti Games initiative will feature the work of five talented Black game developers creating works that focus on the importance of creating a safe space for all to be their authentic selves, Playcrafting announced today.

The initiative is made possible by the support of Rockstar Games, which will also be participating in the show’s panels.

“As longtime New Yorkers, we are proud to partner with Play NYC and the Graffiti Games initiative,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “We look forward to seeing the creations from this year’s nominees.”

Play NYC, supported by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, amplifies diverse voices through its annual Graffiti Games initiative.

Graffiti Games has been a focal point of the convention with which Playcrafting commissions game developers to create an exclusive game to showcase their talent. Previous installations have featured the talent and stories of first-generation immigrant developers and celebrated the voices, talent, and impact of the LGBTQ+ community

This year’s Graffiti Games will honor the voices of Black game developers and the importance of creating a safe space for all to be their authentic selves. Five Black game developers will be selected for this year’s initiative, each receiving a $5,000 grant to create a game of which they will retain ownership. Decoy Games, an independent game studio based in Boston, has joined the initiative as curators, with members of the Rockstar Games team providing assistance and feedback during the creation process. The games and their developers will also be featured live on Play NYC live-streams for thousands to play and see. The list of selected Graffiti Games developers can be found at the bottom of this release.

“We started the Graffiti Games initiative at the first Play NYC in 2017 as a way to amplify the voices of game creators through commissioned games that transform the space of the live convention like graffiti on a wall. Since then, we’ve spotlighted immigrant and LGBTQ+ developers through this program. We’re honored to amplify the important voices of Black game creators through this year’s Graffiti Games,” said Dan Butchko, Founder and CEO of Playcrafting, the organizer of Play NYC. “It’s more important than ever for Play NYC to represent the vital contributions that the Black community makes to the art and culture of games, in New York and beyond. We’re here to support this year’s incredible lineup of selected developers with the resources and platform to express themselves through games that will debut virtually at Play NYC 2020.”

While this year’s event has moved online, Play NYC will still feature an eclectic mix of powerful talks, demos, and panels, and will continue to harness, elevate, and celebrate the essence and impact of New York City on the international gaming community.

“We’re proud to join Play NYC to showcase the world-class gaming talent of New York City, the world capital of creativity,” said the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. “This year, at this pivotal moment, I especially want to congratulate the organizers of Graffiti Games for continuing their impressive record of lifting up underrepresented groups by focusing on Black developers.”

More details on this year’s speakers, live-streams, panels, and demos will be released in the coming weeks. Play NYC runs Monday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 16.

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