Media Advisory — Tanya DePass Presents Keynote About Diversity in the Gaming Community 

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Free, public talk titled “Barriers Are Meant To Be Destroyed, Not Just Broken” as part of two-day SAAM Arcade event

Saturday, Aug. 3
6 p.m.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Eighth and F streets N.W.

Tanya DePass, founder and director of I Need Diverse Games

Tanya DePass, founder and director of the non-profit organization I Need Diverse Games, presents a keynote talk that explores the theme of SAAM Arcade 2019, “breaking barriers.” SAAM Arcade is a free, family-friendly event featuring arcade cabinets, console games and a selection of indie games that will take place Saturday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The centerpiece of the program is the Indie Developer Showcase, presented in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard, which features games made by the LGBTQ+ community and people of color, and games that address mental health and disability issues and that use inventive play to break barriers.

DePass explains how video games fit into unconventional spaces such as art museums and expands upon how programs like SAAM Arcade serve as a critical aid to promote this idea. She also discusses how her organization seeks to highlight projects and research by marginalized groups within the gaming industry and talks about her past and current work that encourages a more diverse gaming environment.  
The talk will be webcast live. ASL interpreters will be available during the program. 

DePass is the editor of the anthology Game Devs & Others: Tales from the Margins, a collection of essays that tell true stories of life in the industry by people of color, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized identities. She founded the podcast Fresh Out of Tokens, serves as diversity and programming liaison for GaymerX and OrcaCon and often speaks about issues of feminism, race and diversity. 

Interested media may arrange interviews by contacting

SAAM Arcade is part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to the study and interpretation of video games as part of the national visual culture. Support for this talk has been provided by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. 

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the flagship museum of American art and craft. It is home to one of the most significant and inclusive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building, located at 8th and G Streets N.W., is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check online for current hours and admission information. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

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