Why Diversity in Games Matters: Breaking Barriers and Empowering Players
By TOI Staff November 23, 2023 Update on : November 23, 2023
Gaming can often be seen as a frivolous activity, however, with how mainstream it has become it’s also important to address how much it can impact our society as a whole.
Diversity in Games
Gaming has been predominately seen as an activity that could exclude others, something that many platforms have confirmed including Wikipedia, which is why the industry heavily caters to them. Thankfully, such norms are changing little by little so that more people can enjoy diverse activities regardless of who they are. In fact, it’s becoming the new norm to find games that offer customisation beyond gender, including skin tone and hair texture.
Let’s even take a look at casino games, which do technically fall under the iGaming branch but are still part of the gaming industry. Nowadays, you’ll find diverse slots that many people can relate to. From Greek and Hellenic motifs like the ones found in Rise of Olympus to Egyptian themes like Eye of Horus Gambler. This is a great way to be more inclusive to a global user base without taking away from the entertainment value or lowering the quality of the game.
Of course, diversity covers so many different things that it is hard to encapsulate them all. From race to sexuality to gender, diversity is difficult, especially with such a strong narrative of what is considered the norm in gaming. But with more and more minorities and disadvantaged groups entering the gaming and tech workforce, the shift towards inclusivity is happening slowly but steadily.
The Impact of Diversity
Diversity is a word that gets thrown around a lot nowadays, and honestly, it’s good that we’re shedding so much light on this topic. Growing up without a role model, or a lack of representation of your culture, can be quite a harrowing experience when it’s considered the norm for so many people.
In 2023, this has quickly changed, to the chagrin of some players. Even major AAA games with customisable characters now offer options such as non-binary, rather than just being given a female or male option. Many players want to play as themselves, or at least a version of themselves, in games, even if it is in an epic fantasy world. It is always nice to feel included, which is something we think everyone can agree with.
In general, games should be accessible and people should be able to easily find one that they can relate to in one way or another. And there are plenty of ways that this can be achieved without being detrimental to the story or art of the game. If we have figured out how to create hyper-realism and add VR technology to gaming, this should be a much simpler feat.
We also have to add that there are practical benefits for gaming companies. More specifically, game sales benefit greatly from diversity. After all, it makes sense that the more approachable a game is for a variety of people, the higher the chances that more people will purchase it.
By this point in time, diversity and inclusion should become the industry standard. Especially when considering statistics like male-to-female gamers being an almost even split. More people of diverse backgrounds, sexualities, and genders are enjoying the world of gaming, which is a great thing as this can only further expand the reach of gaming and thus increase their development.