Things That Matter

The Gaming Industry Isn’t Known For Diversity, The Latinx Games Festival Is Working Hard To Change That

For the past few years the gaming industry has gotten a bad, very bad reputation when it comes to gender, sexual and ethnic diversity. Even though video game fans are as diverse as society itself, women, LGBTQIA and people of color are underrepresented. This extends to how games are marketed, to diversity in professionals in the industry and to networking opportunities.

Even though gaming is as widespread as say, watching television, and we play more than ever before, some online communities formed mostly of white men believe it is their right to claim the entirety of the gaming world for themselves. Yes, really. 

So Jason Vega created the Latinx Games Festival, which just had its first and very successful run.

Credit: Instagram. @LatinxGamesFestival

Jason Vega is a famous Latino gamer who saw an opportunity in bringing together gamers and developers from both sides of the border. So professionals from the United States and Latin America, a region that has a nascent and in crescendo independent games scene, got together at the Museum of Latin Art (MOLA) in Long Beach, California. September 14, 2019, will be remembered as a watershed moment for collaboration among Latino gamers.

Networking is king!  

Credit: Instagram. @LatinxGamesFestival

The idea behind the festival was to bring people of color together to identify and fight against political, social and economic obstacles that impede their inclusion in the digital games industry. Vega hopes that this event will plant the seeds for future networks of professionals. He also advocates for a DIY culture: we got the tools and we got the creativity, so a trabajar, mijos!

And the attendees heard some pretty inspiring words!

Credit: Twitter. @latinxgamesfestival

Vega said in the inaugural address, as reported by Latino Rebels: “This story is not about me. It’s about everyone in this room, community organizers, all you here. [It’s] also about using my own money, the sleepless nights, the pain you feel in your skin when you’ve been working too hard and your eyes don’t feel the same. You don’t wake up the same. You have nightmares about things going wrong”. Preach, hermano! If something can distinguish the Latino gamer community in the future is that sense of solidarity that makes us who we are.

And there were some great speakers such as Trinidad Hermida!

Credit: Instagram. @LatinxGamesFestival

This Latina is the head of diversity and inclusion at Niantic, one of the industry’s giants (just to give you an idea, the company developed Pokemon Go!, perhaps the most successful Augmented Reality game of all time). Hermida is an amazing woman who has broken many glass ceilings in the  digital technology industry, working for companies like Dell. She has a great philosophy, “setting a standard of incorporating everyone’s genius, we can change the game.” We are right there with you! 

And Fernando Reyes Medina, a wonderboy of the industry.

Credit: Instagram. @LatinxGamesFestival

There is some great, young Latino talent in the industry. That is why Vega included Fernando Reyes Medina in the speaker program. He was born and raised in Mexico City (eso, un chilango, carajo!). He has worked in such big projects as incorporating the Microsoft Cortana personal assistant into the Xbox platform. He is changing the industry from within: he is part of Latinx in Gaming, an initiative born within Microsoft. The future is shiny for him and we are sure he inspired more than one gamer in the room. 

The event was a success and fans were quick to thank the organizers.

Credit: Twitter. @_Ben_Wu

Yes! This is what Vega was aiming for, the establishment of networks of professional collaboration and emotional support. We gotta stick together! Ben Wu, who identifies as Asian-Latino, is literally over the moon after the event

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People Are Talking About What They Would Look Up On Their Phone 5 Years In The Future

Things That Matter

People Are Talking About What They Would Look Up On Their Phone 5 Years In The Future

Hasn’t everyone had a desire to see the future at some point in their life? During so much uncertainty at the moment, it’s no wonder that people are wishing they had a chance to type in a question to the future and see what it holds. Recently, a user on Reddit posted a prompt about the future that instantly went viral.

Writing to fellow Redditers the users asked “You can’t time travel, but your phone has the internet from 5 years in the future. What do you search for first?”

Check out the pretty wise and honest answers below!

“I’d try to be like Bill Murrays character by the end of Ground Hog day. Find out if there’s any needless deaths from preventable accidents that I may be able to change. Obviously I’d have won the lotto too, this would give me plenty of resources and free time to become a local superhero.”- Meglamore

“I would start a blog on my pc and then switch to my phone to check if it now has updates from the future. If so, my future self could talk to my present self. I could read about my mistakes and try to avoid them. If a post disappears, that would mean that I did it right.”- thezubek

“My son to make sure he’s still alive. He’s chronically suicidal and should be on his own by then. I worry about it.”- Gadgetownsme

“Queen elizabeth (if there were more searches available). Then probably see which countries still exist as they are now, See how covid-19 played out. Memes so I can make an accurate “this is a meme from the future” Then see what are the biggest breakthroughs of science in the last 5 years, probably at least medicine and energy. Also obviously lottery numbers or something.”- uhrilahja

“I would check my mails and message Apps to find out how I’m doing in the future. If the phone continuously updates, so that it always show the internet of in five years. Then I would probably look for scientific breakthroughs like fusion and also for catastrophes. Then I would start writing messages to myself like a diary so I can see them in the present. And also in 2025 I would start copying the messages from then in 5 years and send them to myself so I can see the messages of the next ~100 years assuming I live that long. Edit: I probably would write a script that copies the messages for me.” – Barti666

“Check if im still single.” –Beans_In_The_Dark

“My family member’s names, i Want to know who to call and go see every chance i get if they don’t have that much time left.” – EothainVSorcs

“Wars or terrorist attacks that have happened so that we can avoid them or prepare for stuff like pandemic and natural disasters early.”- themattv140

“Whether or not Donald Trump (or one of his allies) is President.”- Pepperspray24

“Besides the obvious (lottery, election, myself, etc) I would want to see if opera made a comeback after the pandemic or if the virus was the final nail in the coffin of this art form, which has been slowly headed towards its demise for decades now.

Edit: I should have said here that I’m a huge opera fan and I hope I’m wrong!

And I’m not talking about the web browser.” –IoSonCalaf

“Using this logic, I’d want to try to fight climate change. We’re approaching the point of no return, and unless we figure out how to change things quickly, we’re fucked. I’d use the first five years to learn the issue. Then, I’d right a big note to self online on what I studied, what was important, what wasn’t. I’d include things to avoid, things to try going for, a point of no return that scientists concluded, and that they should constantly update in case I get involved in an accident. This would lead to a long chain of studying, trying to find solutions, and ways to get involved into politics in order to actually have a chance of making anything change. The saddest part is, it might not even be possible, and so there would be an unlimited amount of me’s trying to prevent imminent doom, only to fail over and over and over again.”- Chicken_0n_Fire

“Trump conviction.”- micialicia

“I’d look up how my own writing has gone, because five years from now I would definitely have gotten past some of the things I was stuck on. I would save myself some time by just copying my finished story and posting it now. I could get a different perspective on my finished work, see all my new ideas. This could go many ways because I could be hella confused on how I got a certain headcanon about a character and just general confusion on a lot of stuff, and some of the journey of writing is the journey of figuring it all out, and I might not fully understand it all just reading my finished story and not having gone through the process of writing it, like not being able to get into my future self’s head to really understand it the way my future self does, but it could be really nice to save myself five years of time.

I’d look up reviews for future games, movies, and show to see if they are as good as the trailers suggest, and prevent myself from wasting time on unenjoyable content.

Basically after looking up all the general world-altering stuff, I’d surf the internet like I normally do, but this time I won’t have to wait for all the new content.

I would also see which celebrities have been accused and/or convicted of crimes; see who I should really support and who’s going to stay a good person and who’s going to be revealed as corrupted.

I’d see how the elections turn out and if things are better or worse with the new president, try to prepare for said problems, and depending on if I can convince other people to believe that I really have a future phone, maybe I could try and change who gets voted for if it turns out to be worse.

I’d look up recent science discoveries, see what has been revealed as myth and new health concerns. I’d see how bad global warming has got and if we’ve finally managed to start really doing something about it.

See all this stuff with Black Lives Matter and corporate greed and all the political stuff and how it all turned out and how we got there, and see if I was wrong and if I need to change my opinions on things and try to lead us down a different path if it ends badly.

Basically see how things turn out and if I should change my opinions on things.”- Ice_the_Irken

“Interesting to see how many people pick COVID as what they would search. I would search global warming-linked disasters to make sure I wasn’t living anywhere where they’d happen. And 2020 election results to see whether or not I need to move forward with moving to Canada.” –jabberingginger

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11 Free Classes To Help You Walkout Of Quarantine As A Better Version Of Yourself

Things That Matter

11 Free Classes To Help You Walkout Of Quarantine As A Better Version Of Yourself

asisebaila/ Instagram

OK…so most of us have now been under stay-at-home quarantine orders for a few weeks now. And although I’ve alternated mostly between getting some work done and then eating (not well, I might add) and sleeping – I’ve been interested in trying to do something different during all of this.

Sure I could binge watch all the new series on Netflix or endlessly scroll through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, but I’m already bored with that. So what’s one to do?

Here is a roundup of some of the top free, fun, and cool classes that you can take online right now to help keep yourself busy:

Brush Up On Your Latin American History With A University Professor

Credit: JenneBella / Instagram

We all know that we’re taught very little – if anything at all – about Latinx culture in the United States. Thankfully, we have access to great online resources, our families, and Latino literature to help keep us informed. Well now you can also sign up for the University of Houston’s Latin American History Through the Novel course.

Channel That Inner Creativity Into Art

Brit + Co is offering all of their classes for free during the pandemic. All you have to do to take advantage of their top-selling courses is use the code SELFCARE at checkout and you’ll quickly be learning how to decorate cakes, take wedding photos, improve your Instagram skills, and so much more.

Become A Tech Genius And Learn How To Code

Credit: Pixabay

If HTML, JavaScript and JPEG are foreign concepts, then a coding class is the way to get computer literate. This free coding class can teach you coding basics and so much more with over 120 hours of training. It’s a great starting point for anyone, from those looking for web development basics all the way to pros looking to brush up their skills.

Get Yourself Dance Floor Ready For Once We Can Finally Go Out Again

Credit: asisebaila/ Instagram

Everyone can dance, all it takes is some music — and tunes aren’t even needed for some forms of dance. Whether looking to learn ballet or just how to groove at a party, there’s a dance lesson for you. 305 Fitness has a plethora of free classes on YouTube.

Get Yourself An Ivy League Education

Credit: @classcentral / Twitter

The eight Ivy League schools are offering hundreds of online courses to the public for free.

Dhawal Shah, founder of the online course aggregator Class Central, compiled a list of more than 400 classes that are available in subjects as varied as Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics from Columbia University; HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism from Princeton University; The Science of Well-Being from Yale; and Gamification from the University of Pennsylvania.

Work On Your Fitness

Credit: Aly Song / Flickr

Not interested in stimulating your brain? How about your body? Many gym chains across the country have shuttered but are offering online classes for free.

Peloton is offering new users a 90-day trial on its app. This news comes as the company announced the closing of its showrooms until at least March 29. It added that this week it began producing content from its new studios in New York, “but it will be entirely closed to the public until further notice.”

Golds Gym is offering free access to its app, Goldsamp, until the end of May, where more than 600 audio and video workouts along with DJ mixes get you ready to work up a sweat. Planet Fitness is offering “Home Work-Ins” streamed live at 7 p.m. ET daily on its Facebook page.

Get Into Those Yoga Poses

Credit: Yoga With Adriene

When it comes to online yoga classes, over 6 million people trust Adriene. I’ve personally ditched the couch and went through a few videos. And they are great. In the playlists, you’ll find 30-day challenges for regular yoga practice, which work equally well for complete beginners and people who love sweating at gyms. Plus, Adriene and her doggie are super cute — so you’ll definitely enjoy their company. 

Take Ana Lilia’s 5-Minute Breathwork Meditation

Credit: _ana_lilia / Instagram

Right now we are being constantly bombarded with distressing newscasts and never-ending social media updates, so it’s especially important that we know how to de stress and unplug. This super helpful guided mediation class will help you start your day off on the right foot.

Take That Brilliant Idea And Become The Entrepreneur You Always Wanted To Be

Credit: Pixabay

Perhaps because we all have so little to do right now, we’re full of extra ideas. Feel like one of those ideas could be worth launching into your own business? Then Coursera’s course titled Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea To Marketplace is the online course for you – and it’s free.

Gain Some New Professional Insight Into Your Career

Recently launched School16 is offering live, remote classes every week for free, starting April 1st, for anyone who wants to learn about careers in tech like product management, sales, operations and more.

Every session is taught by leaders in companies ranging from fast growing startups to large tech firms like Slack and Google, where students hear directly from people hiring and managing these teams about what skills candidates need to have to be attractive hires, and what jobs will be available in the months and years to come. 

Get Some Cooking Tips From Michelin-Starred Chefs

Credit: MassimoBottura / Instagram

Even if you hate cooking, when else will you have the chance to learn from a Michelin chef? Massimo Bottura, whose name is associated with one of Italy’s finest restaurants, Osteria Francescana, recently announced the launch of his Instagram cooking course. It’s called Kitchen Quarantine and it’s a fun video guide to cooking basic stuff at home.

Or maybe you don’t want to do anything at all…and that’s OK too.

All of these are great options to keep yourself active and motivated during these certain times. But keep this in mind: it’s OK to not be superhuman during this crisis. One-hundred percent totally OK. It’s OK to somehow feel both productive and lazy, both stir-crazy and introverted. It’s OK to feel this crazy need to make the most of these days while nothing is regular and no rhythms are intact.

You can take this unprecedented pause in normality to learn nothing new, do nothing new, acquire nothing new — not a new skill, not a six pack, not even a new outlook on life.

It’s important to remember that there is no shame in being unproductive and uncreative, especially during a global outbreak. If you’re only resolution at present is to emerge at the end of this, with your family, alive and well, that’s OK.

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