Capitalism tells us only financial returns – the bigger, the better! – are important. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Broadening our understanding of what value means can create more sustainable ways of working (and funding that work.)
Capitalistic returns almost always come at a great human and social cost. Extracting as much value as possible necessitates poor pay and working conditions; it keeps value from flowing to workers and really anyone who isn’t at the top.
We don’t just make games and print money. We work with humans who have needs and desires. We make cultural products that live on in players’ imaginations and alter their perspectives; our ideas and work affect individuals and communities in ways we both intend and can’t anticipate.
So how can we account for and value positive social impact in our studio operations?
In our blog post A Brief Intro to Making Your Indie Game Studio Impactful, we explored how you can start thinking about what makes an impactful game studio. (If you haven’t read it, take a moment now to get a grasp on the concept of social impact strategy for indies – it’s not common in our industry!)
We also talked about imagining your dream world, and how to begin thinking about the social impact of what you do:
To start your impact journey, you need to describe your dream-world. What does the planet look like if you are successful in achieving the change you want?
Once you’ve defined your dream world, you need a strategy for making it a reality. Your strategy will align your actions and intended impact within the constraints of the resources you actually have.