Steven Taarland

Queerly Represent Me begins Season 2 of our interview series with Steven, co-organiser and founder of Rainbow Game Jam.

QRM: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the games industry?

Steven: Hi, I'm Steven, I'm a games producer and have been in the industry just under 5 years. In that time I've worked across various mobile, PC, and console projects. Alongside this I co-organise Rainbow Game Jam, an award-winning, international game jam centred around LGBTQ themes and creators.

QRM: What about the games industry excites and inspires you?

Steven: People sharing their stories. The games and experiences I admire the most come from creators who explore what it means to be people, to share their experiences, both good and bad, through games.

Working with teams I know can do incredible things always excites me, and I work hard to ensure they are able to do so.

QRM: What about the games industry frustrates or disappoints you? What are the challenges you’re currently facing in the industry?

Steven: The lack of representation of diverse creators in the industry. Events and talks and panels are still very centred on cis, hetero, white men in this industry, and not to discredit any of their contributions, but the industry is changing to be more inclusive and diverse, and the intersectionaly diverse people in studios should be lifted and celebrated for their work.

QRM: If you could make one roadblock magically disappear from the games industry, what would you choose and why?

Steven: Unsustainable crunch, high costs of education, and high cost of living in "Games Hub" cities burning out and pushing out marginalised talent that would bring so much more to projects.

QRM: What message would you give to marginalised people who are working in games or would like to work in games?

Steven: You may feel like your voice is being ignored. Like your work is going unrecognised. I promise you this says nothing about your talent and your work, but more about the people around you that are supposed to support you and your career. Take care of yourself, put your own self above your career and others negative perceptions of you and continue to do amazing thing. Someone will see your hard work for what it is and celebrate it with you.

QRM: If people want to find and support you and your work, how can they do that?

Steven: Check out @RainbowGameJam on twitter or Come say Hi to me on twitter @StevenTaarland.