Excerpt from article by Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Gaming is shaping the culture of tomorrow - but right now it reflects a white-dominated worldview
Growing up in a low-income Hispanic family in the United States, in deep Utah, I had limited opportunities available to me. Video games provided escapism and entertainment – but little in terms of representation.
As I got increasingly involved in the industry, I noticed there weren’t many other Latinx people in games. I wondered if the videogame industry was going to be a welcoming place for me - but persisted in pursuing my passion.
Older people might not realize that gaming is for teens what movies and TV shows are for the baby boomers - the lens through which they view the world. Gaming is shaping the culture of tomorrow, more than any other industry.
The coronavirus pandemic has also proved a boon to gaming as more people seek solace in online worlds. More gaming communities are born everyday. This is much more than teenagers going through an adolescent phase.
But in contrast to steps forward to diversify in film and other media, the games industry in the US and UK is still largely a white male club.
In 2017, the International Game Developers Association survey of 963 developers found 61% were white and only 4% identified as Hispanic or Latinx. And a 2009 study that studied 150 American titles showed that only 2.7% of the lead characters were Latinx, relative to their 12.5% representation in society.
Lack of diversity in game-making influences the games we play: Latinx characters in gaming, for example, are almost non-existent. But conversely, games also have the power to challenge harmful stereotypes.
That’s why we need representation in this industry right now - to make games better, reflect the world as it is, and create social-economic mobility for marginalized communities through one of our biggest industries.
Read the full article at Thomson Reuters Foundation News