Embracing Diversity Series: Ryan Shah
Our power-up of choice? Diversity.
At The Multiplayer Group, gaming unites us. But we’re all very different. Diversity makes us who we are and gives us the edge.
It’s well known that companies with broader representation within their team have increased levels of innovation, but we think it takes us a step further. Inclusion and support isn’t a tick-box exercise at MPG, it’s something we actively celebrate and consequently our team benefits from a great culture, the freedom to learn and pride in their job.
In our ‘Embracing Diversity’ series, we’ve met with some of our amazing team to discuss their experiences at MPG and what tips they’d give to others thinking of joining the industry!
Meet Ryan, one of our Technical Designers based in the UK. They've been with us for 3 Years, 7 Months, 8 Days, 9 Hours and 31 Minutes (to be exact), and have some tips for other neurodiverse people.
Hi Ryan! To get started, tell us how you got into the gaming industry?
I entered the industry through educating others; I’d learn how to do cool game development things and then teach other people via Youtube videos, blogs and books. From this work, I was hired for my first industry role and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
That sounds amazing! In that case we have to ask, what’s your favourite Multiplayer game?
TimeSplitters 2 was a staple of my childhood and a big reason why I ended up on this crazy adventure. The frantic excitement of the short-burst rounds with the wacky cast of characters AND diverse game modes? It can’t be beaten!
What brought you to MPG?
MPG offers an experience you won’t get anywhere else - the projects, the culture, the people - it’s all bubbles in a cauldron to create something truly special. Some would call it the “vibe” and MPG most certainly passed the “Vibe check”. I would have been crazy to not jump on the opportunity when it arose.
We’re very glad you took that opportunity!
You identify as neurodivergent which is something yourself and many other colleagues have been happy to chat about. How do you feel MPG supports you as neurodivergent individuals?
MPG supports neurodiversity in a number of ways; from Employee Benefits (to aid on the health side) to seminars and talks that help educate about neurodiversity and beyond. Every single person here at MPG that I’ve met goes out of their way to ensure everyone else is set up for absolute success.
Why is diversity so important for the gaming industry?
Representation at all levels matters. People from all walks of life play these video-games so surely it makes sense that people from all walks of life should be able to create them? We are in the business of creating fun, it makes no sense to gate-keep who can, or cannot, create fun. Everybody is unique! Celebrate it!
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
You’ve worked in the sector for a while now - do you think the industry has changed its attitude towards neurodiversity during your career?
I think the conversation about neurodiversity is no longer a taboo subject within the industry and you no longer have to fear being treated differently by your colleagues for just being you.
It’s really great to hear that the gaming industry is becoming more inclusive. Do you have any advice you’d give to other neurodivergent people thinking of starting a career in gaming?
We live in a completely different world to the world we were in yesterday. It is no longer “Can I do this? Is it possible?” and it is now “Do I want to do this?”. If your answer is yes, then start your adventure. Start learning and teach others what you learn along the way. Not only will you have something you can show to showcase your skills, but you’ll also be helping others who want to go on the journey too!
And what about those thinking of applying for a role at MPG?
What are you waiting for?!
Great answer! Finally - a very important one - if you could be any video game character, who would it be and why?
It’s a tough choice. At first, I was going to say Mira from Silent Hill 2 but I think my final choice would have to be Venom Snake from Metal Gear Solid V because - well, isn’t that the whole point of MGSV? And who would say no to being able to fulton away anyone who stands in your way and ROCKET PUNCH! Need I say more?
We expect to see your Slack DP changing any day now then… Thanks Ryan!
Conversations like this make us very proud to be MPG. And as for the secret behind our enviable culture? Maybe it’s the diversity within our team.
If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work with us, check out some of our previous Dev Stories!