Happy Wednesday, gaming lovelies! Nothing like a little snow up here in the Northeast to make it feel like Christmas. Plus I learned that Asmodee Digital is bringing the tabletop game Potion Explosion to mobile this month, so if you don’t hear from me, send cookies. On to the news!

Female game devs as the every day norm

Speaking of, it’s time to be inundated with the” Best of” lists. I don’t usually get giddy about them but I love this Guardian article about the best games of 2016. Why? The answer is simple. The list compiled from 50 game devs treats male and female devs as equals.  The description poises the devs as experts in their fields; “we asked 50 of our favourite developers, including 30-year veterans, Bafta award winners and rising indie stars” and outside of listing the developer names the article doesn’t point out gender in any special way. Yes, there’s still a lot of work to do to make gaming more diverse and inclusive, but treating it as “normal” to have men and women as experts is one important step.

“Gay Propaganda” and Fifa 17

fifa-17-rainbowRussian MPs have taken aim at EA Games for allowing players of the Fifa 17 video game to get rainbow colored uniforms in the game’s ultimate team mode. The rainbow uniforms was part of the Rainbow Laces campaign to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football (that’s soccer for those in the US).

Since Fifa 17 is list as an all ages game, the complaint sent to state consumer protection agencies referencing the 2013 Russian federal law which bans “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relationships” under the guise of protecting minors.

A better Twitch chat?

It’s no secret that partaking in a Twitch chat room can sometimes feel like a haunted house “Enter at your own risk” exercise.

I was lucky enough to attend a panel at PAX East with a fabulous discussion on inclusion in esports. Panelist Anna Prosser, Programming Manager at Twitch, discussed challenges of chat moderation during highly watched games. I was impressed by her and Twitch’s dedication to the issue, so I’m not surprised that their releasing a new automated moderation tool to make a more “positive and inclusive chat experience.” The feature called AutoMod has already been tested in real world applications, but gamers can be a very dedicated bunch when it comes to finding loop holes. Fingers crossed that AutoMod will cut down on the trolls.

Other news you can use

For the bargain price of $3 a minute you too can talk to a game developer

Gen Con staying in Indy for another year

Card games with a little “digital spice”