I recently read an article about race in video games. Rather lack of race in games. The well written article got me thinking. Is race really a big deal? I mean after all its just a video game. Well not really. I think it speaks more to the psyche of a generation. I mean thanks to President Obama little African Americans as young as grade school know it’s not only possible but doable to become Commander & Chief of the United States.
When you play Madden stereotypes are very evident in the game. Is it fair that most NBA players are black. Or 90% of movies have an all white cast plus the one token black cast member? No but that’s the way it is. Something’s can’t be helped without compromising story. Games on the other hand can. I think we read way more into this than there needs to be when it comes to games. Games would surely benefit from more diversity but before it can make it to the finish product the makers need to be diverse.
There has to be more producers, developers, designers, publishers and for that matter diverse game companies in general before change can take place. The reason is people like to see their likeness in all that the produce. Be honest, the first thing you do in a game with character customization is make the character as close a representation to you as possible.
Mass Effect 3 senior designer Manveer Heir who is a great proponent of more diversity in games recently shared his thoughts. He feels that games can embrace more racial diversity and in doing so, tell better stories. “It’s not about fairness, it’s not video game affirmative action. It’s about actually pushing our medium to make better games, to tell better stories in our games.” I could not agree more with him.