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Kahlief Adams: What Plays While Gaming For Change


Adams says gamers playing for charity should remember the audience, do things to engage them, and maybe also acknowledge flubs. "It's like when you go to the supermarket and try to remember the last thing on your list. Except there's a hundred people watching you."

Adams says gamers playing for charity should remember the audience, do things to engage them, and maybe also acknowledge flubs. “It’s like when you go to the supermarket and try to remember the last thing on your list. Except there’s a hundred people watching you.”

April Baer/OPB

Tech takes over Portland in early October with Resolution Fest 2016: a week-long rash of events aimed at celebrating the people and communities using tech powers for good in education, environmental stewardship, or other spheres.

Embedded at the center of ResFest is a first-ever two-day forum on how technology works for social change: Affect Conf.

We met this week with one of the headliners. And when we say, met, we mean slouched on the couch and played video games.

Kahlief Adams is one-third of the gaming podcast “Spawn On Me,” a free-wheeling conversation about games, gaming, and people of color making games.

Resogun is a favorite during #Spawn4Good, for its playability and luscious color scheme.

Resogun is a favorite during #Spawn4Good, for its playability and luscious color scheme.

April Baer/OPB

The triumvirate has spent the last two Januaries raising money via Twitch for a number of equity-related causes. In his Affect Conf talk, Adams will talk about what worked and some of the challenges in getting the gaming community on board for discussions of equity.

“It’s touchy,” Adams said. “Gamers don’t always want to talk about real-life issues, because this is their escape. We hear all the time: ’Get your politics out of my games’. I look at that and I laugh. There is no place where that happens! We’re trying to figure out the middle ground.”

There were also considerations to be made in choice of games, avoiding first-person shooters.

“You have to be mindful of your audience,” Adams says.

Take a listen for a quick explainer of how #Spawn4Good works. The podcast’s latest episodes feature conversations with Scott O’Gallagher, producer of NBA 2K and Danny O’Dwyer. Check them out here, or wherever you pick up your downloads.

Adams can be found on the schedule at Affect Conf Friday Oct. 7.

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