We considered a few Diversity and Inclusion consultants in the game industry who are located in the USA, which would provide us with focused expertise with one of our largest playerbases. However, Lynn Roseberry is unique in that she can draw from her experiences as both an American and as a Dane, which is important to SYBO, a Copenhagen-based game studio of 100 employees representing 25 nationalities. Her expertise is vast – D&I expert, professor, lawyer, author, game designer! Yes, a serious board game that teaches empathy, which allows for active participation in the educational process.
Lynn Roseberry is efficient, sensitive, mind-opening, professional, and understanding. While our interactions were brief, they were all memorable. It was a joy to connect with her, and I left every meeting inspired.
I recommend her wholeheartedly. She can provide the global heart that you need in your content.
If you need a Diversity and Inclusion expert to evaluate your content/product so that it remains relevant for and respectful to a global audience, contact Lynn Roseberry.
Assessing Diversity, SYBO
Sector: Technology, Mobile Games
Contacts: Roman Graebsch, Game Director, and Jennifer Estaris, Game director, SYBO
Date: 27-29 November 2019
Assignment: SYBO’s flagship product, the mobile F2P game Subway Surfers, has a massive global audience. Given SYBO’s audience and the theme of the game, SYBO wants to ensure proper and sensitive representation of Subway Surfers environments and characters to maintain and uplift the integrity and authenticity of the brand. With this goal in mind, SYBO requested On the Agenda’s assistance with making a preliminary assessment of how the game reflects the diversity of its audience.
The product: Subway Surfers has a world tour theme – the game visits a different city around the world every month and features a character representing that location. As of November 2019, the game had “visited” over 60 cities. The game has a massive global audience – 2.7 billion downloads, 100 million monthly active users, and players in almost every country around the world.
How did it work?
SYBO selected 15 characters and 5 cities from the game for On the Agenda’s assessment. SYBO provided On the Agenda’s Lynn Roseberry with the game and PDF-files containing drawings of each character and their different outfits and a link to a wiki site that included the characters’ backstories.
Lynn Roseberry then tried the game to get a feel for its tone and atmosphere and reviewed the materials relating to:
- each character, focusing on dress and description and
- each city, focusing on potential geopolitical issues.
The review also drew on research on modern ethnic and gender stereotypes as well as current news coverage of relevant geopolitical issues.
The purpose of this part of the review was to flag female or ethnic minority stereotypes that have been shown to have negative impacts on beliefs and attitudes about females and ethnic minorities.
The review of geopolitical issues provided the basis for determining how the audience might perceive the characters and game as a whole.
The final report included recommendations for improving the look and feel of the game from a diversity and inclusion perspective.
Lynn Roseberry’s recommendations informed SYBO’s thought process for creating new content for the game, and we noticed that having such a diverse range of characters without relying on too many stereotypes allowed the content to connect with players and stay relevant. Our most popular selling characters have unique culture and subculture characteristics.
She provided a concise report evaluating Subway Surfers, considering current diversity topics and geopolitical issues. The report had both low-hanging fruit as well as larger food for thought, and all were valuable in informing how we update the game.
I would recommend Lynn Roseberry wholeheartedly. She can provide the global heart that you need in your content.