June 2, 2023
Kat Wong has had a lifelong love of video games. So much so, that she decided in elementary school she was going to work in the gaming industry. Kat hails from Hawaii – a state that hasn’t typically been known as a hotbed for video game development companies. Thankfully, from a young age, that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream.
She began her career more than 15 years ago as a QA tester after a chance encounter with the founder of The Tetris Company at a networking event. Now a member of Riot’s localization team, Kat and her co-workers translate game content into 20 different languages, while also testing to ensure that it’s culturally relevant and sensitive.
In addition to her role on the Localization team, Kat is also a member of all seven Rioter Inclusion Groups (RIGs), including the Rainbow Rioters. RIGs are one of the many examples of how it works to diversify its workforce and games. The groups bring together individuals who have typically not been well-represented within the video game industry to share experiences, host events, build community and weigh in on elements of character or game design that reflect specific communities.
As a Native Hawaiian and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Kat hasn’t always seen a lot of people who look like her in her professional life, but she’s committed to being an active part of the effort for companies to learn, diversify and accept employees as their authentic selves.
Along with the Rainbow Rioters, the RIGs include:
- API@Riot, representing individuals with Asian and Pacific Islander identities
- Filipinos at Riot
- Riot Alliance of Diverse Genders (RAD Genders)
- Riot Noir, amplifying Black voices and experiences
- Riot Unidos, for Latinx Rioters and their allies
- Veterans at Riot.
“Bringing in localization experts earlier on in the process and making sure all regions have a seat at the table when making decisions is crucial to being a global company,” Kat said. “And also including the RIGs (Rioter Inclusion Groups) and making sure diverse perspectives are always sought out and elevated when making decisions.”