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Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: PR, Games for Change

Gaming's annual festival about using games for social good is putting extra focus this year on "advancing and digging deeper into international issues" for people of color.

Why it matters: Games for Change president Susanna Pollack told Axios that events like the murder of George Floyd and rising violence against Asian Americans "absolutely did" impact how they approached its 18th festival.

  • "We've always thought intentionally about our Games for Change Festival and making sure that it's a platform for diverse voices," Pollack said. "But this year in particular, we felt that we wanted to really double down on that effort."
  • "Prior to Black Lives Matter and the attention [from 2020], this very real issue has existed."

The big picture: The game industry has long struggled with diversity, but its record on treatment and inclusion of BIPOC is especially poor.

  • "I think it's a systemic issue," Pollack said. "That means it's going to take a while to change, and we as an industry need to encourage young students and young kids at younger ages to realize that this is a career that could be for them."
  • Pollack pointed to Niantic's Black Developers Initiative as one example of "literally putting money into the hands of independent developers," which she says "will nurture an independent, creative community."

Several events at this year's festival are intended to shine a light on these issues:

This year's free festival begins today and runs through July 14.

Go deeper

Big Tech's donation dollars

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Tech's leading companies — like the rest of corporate America — responded to the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020 in part by pledging to give big to racial justice groups.

  • Our analysis of these companies found that, by and large, Big Tech paid up.

Survey finds trust gap between Black tech workers and employers

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Only 52% of Black tech employees say they trust that their employers value inclusion and diversity, according to a new survey by /dev/color, a non-profit focused on Black technologists.

  • 85% say they'd switch to another employer "that valued me as a Black employee more authentically."
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.