It’s pretty undeniable that, not unlike other fan genres, there is a glaring lack of characters in color in video games. The state of the characters of color that actually do make it into a video game is the same as it is in sci-fi and comics (though comics are doing decidedly better on this) – stereotyped, marginal, or token.
But this is sadly old news. And this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) had little to add in the way of diversity. We need to do better. And not just the indies. We need the major publishers to get on board.
The argument’s been made before that gamers are a diverse crowd and therefore games should reflect the people playing them. Though legitimate, this is not that argument.
Gamers of color aren’t gonna pass up the new Assassin’s Creed just because the main character’s a white guy. Just like gamers of all shades didn’t balk at Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation for it’s Black female lead. In fact, busting the myth that games with female leads don’t sell, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation sold incredibly well.
But then again Assassin’s Creed has a well established fanbase. For newer games, daring to break the white male mold can actually unleash the ire of the fanlosers among our nerdy ranks, those who can’t imagine a female-led game that isn’t about cooking and cleaning (no seriously, people said that). Even when developers are ballsy enough to lead a game with a character of color or a woman…