Representation in Games: Inclusivity
Representation in Games: Inclusivity. Representation in video games is vital in an ever growing inclusive international society. Gamers come in all shapes, sizes, cultures and languages.
Representation in Games Inclusivity.
It's important to understand each other as we game in a more and more socially integrated manner.
How can gaming connect us in an emphatic way?
A recent survey dealing with inclusivity in games suggests that a whopping 52% of surveyors considered it vital for video games to be more inclusive. Inclusivity can be readily inserted into a whole bunch of games, just through character customisation alone. A fantastic example of this is in its most recent expansion Blizzard released differences in facial attributes for changing skin tone in its games.
This way players can feel as though they are being represented not only by the different pigments in their skin but also the differences in their facial attributes or thickness of their hair. These details go a long way in celebrating the differences and is something that we make sure students value when creating levels of customisation in their games.
Another shining example of celebrating differences is Apex Legends, a game which has done wonders in representing underrepresented communities. This includes ambiguous details that might be hard to find or summarise but is still ever present. We know characters such as Bloodhound do not conform to any one gender, and Fuse the mercenary idenitifies as Pansexual.
They even go as far as to give them complex, and more importantly relatable backstories that give context to their identity and how it has shaped their lives. Gibraltar for instance has a rich backstory which is depicted with a short comic strip where the characters sexual orientation takes the forefront of their lives and relates to their role as the protagonists of Apex Legends. This allows players to put themselves in the role of a protagonist which may not have the same orientations as them but will lead a more emphatic and understanding relationship between the player and character.
Misrepresentation in Video Games
Can Misrepresentation of race or gender be harmful in video games? We are swarmed with so much media nowadays that gives us an unrealistic depiction of different cultures, that having it in games just seems like a byproduct of an intolerant society. However, games are designed and therefore designers have at least some freedom to depict a world that can be better than that. We want to stray away from misrepresenting communities as secondary or background characters. A study in 2011 found that minority males were underrepresented in 149 video games and even if they were, that they were depicted as dangerous and aggressive thug-like characters. This was even less considering that ethnic minority females from the games were virtually absent.
Ending on a positive note, games are changing for the better and we all hope to see it keep going that way!