Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, which is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers, attendance at the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is seeking partnership with organizations and initiatives. Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make the industry better and more inclusive for everyone. She’s part of the Rivals of Waterdeep live play stream on twitch.tv/rivalsofwaterdeep, a partnered Twitch variety broadcaster; and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at conventions.
She’s also contributed to publications at Green Ronin, Paizo and Monte Cook Games and is the co-developer for the Fifth Season RPG based on N.K. Jemisin’s three time Hugo award winning Broken Earth trilogy. She’s the creator and Creative Director of Into the Mother Lands, a Twitch supported RPG and Actual Play stream, airing weekly on her channel, twitch.tv/cypheroftyr. Additionally, she is a Senior Annenberg labs Civic Media Fellow at USC. She’s also the creator and Creative Director of Into the Mother Lands, a new sci fi afro-futurist RPG developed with a team of all POC and Black creators; live streamed on her twitch channel, /cypheroftyr.
She was also named part of The Game Awards Future Class 2020, a diverse group of builders, thinkers and dreamers whose voices elevate and diversify our artform. It recognizes individuals around the world who represent the bright, bold and inclusive future for video games. She was also named as one of Gamers of the Year 2020 by Kotaku along with three of her contemporaries. She was also invited to the Xbox MVP program in February 2021.
Tanya is the programming & diversity coordinator for OrcaCon and GaymerX. She also serves on the Board of Directors for OrcaCon and Take This. She often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at conventions. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games, Mic, and other publications. She’s the editor of Game Devs and Others: Tales from the Margins (2018, CRC Press) and contributed to The Advanced Game Narrative Toolbox. (2019, CRC Press)