Philip Tan and Sarah Verrilli are instructors for the MITx course Introduction to Game Design, currently running on edX. They’ve also just published an eloquent piece in HuffPost Tech that launches from the “current firestorm of harrassment aimed at women who work in video games” into broader consideration of diversity and the vital role of playfulness in society.  They write:

More players bring with them more perspectives and more tastes, and addressing those preferences is easier for creators who understand their audience. Recent news has focused on the role of women in designing games but we could insert any under-represented group into the title of this op-ed. Diversity – gender, racial, religious, and economic – is critical for making games that speak to a diverse world.…

As we’ve proven in the first couple of weeks in the course, many people who don’t consider themselves “gamers” are nevertheless able to rattle off long lists of games they played in childhood and games that engage them today. Given the opportunity, all of humanity participates in play, especially if they have the freedom to choose their form of play. For some people it’s sports, for others, cards games or board games. And for some, play happens on a computer or a phone.

Read the full article here.