Diversity in Games: What We’re NOT Seeing at E3

Remember Me developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Capcom

With E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in full force as of yesterday, everyone’s talking about what they hope to see from the major studios – more games, new sequels, lower prices. And more than once hopes have been dashed and the disappointments decried on Twitter.

Here at Geek Outsider, we had hopes of our own…

Diversity has never been a strong suit of video games, neither in the games themselves nor in the studios behind them. But it’s 2013 and progress has been made in independent studios and games, and even at some major studios. For example, Crystal Dynamics had a strong female creative team behind it’s more feminist reboot of the female-led game Tomb Raider this year, and Capcom and Dontnod Entertainment just recently put out Remember Me which features a mixed-ethnicity female as the game’s protagonist.

So one might see why we have reason to hope for at least a little diversity on the stage or at least on screen at this year’s E3.

Those high hopes have not been totally completely dashed…

While the game presenters and protagonists have been mostly the standard white male face that we associate with the industry, there has been at least one gem in the mix… DICE Studio‘s Mirror’s Edge 2, with its ass-kicking ethnic woman lead:

And then Bioware went and got our hopes up by showing Dragon Age 1‘s Morrigan at the end of their Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer, making us wonder if we might get a chance to play the new game as the goddess herself!

Happily, one thing we haven’t seen a lot of at this year, even in the male-dominated games, is half-naked weepy women needing saving or being trophies. Huzzah! Progress-ish!

This smidgen of gender & ethnic diversity is great… but a pretty poor showing. One look at the diversity of the E3 feeds that have taken over Twitter will show just how diverse the gaming audience is today. And the argument that female-led or minority-led games don’t sell has been proven wrong a couple times this year alone. It’s high time the world of gaming got more diverse in every way. That means behind the scenes too…

So, though we’ll likely find ourselves disappointed, here’s hoping the next three days of geeky gamer news out of E3 will be more inclusive/representative/diverse/awesome…

And more importantly here’s to all the indie developers and orgs out there working to bring a little color and equality to the gaming industry!

Update!

Nintendo bust out (the ever-controversial)  Bayonetta 2! And she got a hair cut…

Update!

We got two more ladies and one of them is a soldier/spy!

French developer Quantic Dream will be coming out with BEYOND: Two Souls featuring a female lead in Jodie Holmes.  The character is voiced and designed after actress Ellen Page

And Supergiant Games debuted the trailer for the sci-fi action RPG Transistor, featuring lady lead Red who come upon a talking sword that she uses to defend herself against The Process…

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4 thoughts on “Diversity in Games: What We’re NOT Seeing at E3”

  1. Great read! I’d love to see more diversity in the future of gaming. I love seeing strong female leads like Lara Croft and Nilin of Remember Me, but I love that you bring up the point of ethnicity too. It seems like it’s rare to find ethnic leads these days which is sad since the world is so multicultural in general and it’s not highlighted in the media, especially not in video games. Hopefully game developers take the hint that we’d like to see more of these things in the future!

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