An open letter to the Game Awards

Game Awards 2023 Featured Shared Screen

The Game Awards is an awards ceremony dedicated to video games. Every year, around December, the games industry celebrates the games released throughout the year, and and takes this opportunity to show a lot of video games and sponsors commercials.

Nevertheless, it is an event and entertainment watched by the entire industry.

Next event is going to happen on December 7th, 2023 at 7:30 pm on all streaming platforms.

So it could be a good opportunity to raise awareness about the genocide going on in Palestine.

This is where the idea of an open letter from Younès , @pyrofoux on X / Twitter intervenes:

“Dear Emily Bouchoc, Geoff Keighley and the whole The Game Awards team,

We are writing you this letter as members of the Game Awards Future Class, supported by our peers in the industry. In the past years, you’ve selected us to represent the future of the game industry. You didn’t choose us as symbols of what the game industry currently is, but of what it could be: a diverse, inclusive and caring workplace. A positive force in the world that can influence billions of people. We want to sincerely thank you for the trust you extended when nominating us.

Today, we’d like to honor that trust. You gave us the role of ambassadors of a better future – as such, our duty towards you and all the players world-wide compels us to speak up.

The genocide that is being acted on the Palestinian people is abhorrent. It isn’t a new situation, but the developments that are currently unfolding have reached a new high in their horror. On November 6th 2023, the United Nations Secretary-General Antònio Guterres reported:

Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day.  More journalists have reportedly been killed over a four-week period than in any conflict in at least three decades. More United Nations aid workers have been killed than in any comparable period in the history of our organization.

We invite you to please read the full statement on the United Nation’s website.

Like many of our peers, we are appalled by the war crimes the Palestinian people are victims of, and we grieve the loss of so many civilian lives. Adding to that pain, is the knowledge that our industry is playing a role in this.

Indeed, the Genocide Watch outlines that a crucial step to enable a genocide is the widespread dehumanization of its victims. Several game developers and journalists including Alex A.K, Fouad Dakwar, Meghna Jayanth, Osama Dorias, Rami Ismail, Saniya Ahmed, Nadia Shammas and many others have called out how a hugely influential game industry systematically produces works that dehumanize and vilify Muslims, Arabs, and the many brown and black people living in the regions of South-West Asia and Northern Africa (SWANA).

Yet, when Meghna Jayanth wanted to address that in her speech at the Golden Joysticks Awards this year, she was urged to keep silent.

With the current state of the game industry, silence is a message.

Silence is tacit support.

Silence is dehumanization of Palestinian lives. 

As members of the Game Awards Future Class and members of the industry, we are urging The Game Awards to break that silence. We are asking for a statement to be read out in our name during The Game Awards Ceremony on December 7th, which calls for
1. The games industry to invest resources and work against its systematic dehumanization of people from South-West Asia and North Africa;
2. To express support for the protection of Palestinian human rights;
3.  Call for a long term ceasefire before any more civilian lives are unjustly taken.

When you trusted us to be champions of a better future, you gave us the duty to tell you when and how you could do better. Now that we did, we dearly hope that you can commit to that better future.
Thank you so much for reading us.

To sign this letter, please go on this form.

About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

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