KerryMike’s Thoughts: Diversity in Games

As the years have passed we have seen remarkable advancements in technology, health, science, and much more. But an age old issue remains in this world, gender and racial equality. It’s a subject that can get very touchy but needs to be addressed. Thankfully games have come a long way over the years to address the issue.

There has always been the clich├ęd “spiked haired Caucasian make” to play the role in the Japanese Role Playing genre. Why is that? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone of color or ethnicity in this role every now and then. A lot of RPGs usually limit the diversity to an alien or elven race. But something that is to be noted is the Western RPG “uprising” seems to be much more diverse. We are usually given a choice of how we want our hero to look and behave. I am pleased to see more games coming onto the scene with a minority in the lead roles. The Walking Dead Season One, Remember Me and Resident Evil 5 had minorities in lead roles that were intelligent and not stereotyped. Not to harp on the African American race but over the years the characters have always been portrayed very poorly. They always resembled someone you would find in a rap video, not displaying personality like the others around them. But many exceptions to that have been introduced to us over the past few years.

The question still remains though, why aren’t other races, or the female gender being used more in our entertainment medium? Booker Dewitt, Joel, Marcus Fenix, Nathan Drake and, Aiden Pearce are all big names we have come to love in games. Their roles have left a great impression on us but why couldn’t they have been of another race or even females? Uncharted with a Latino lead, Gears of War with an Asian Marcus? Would it really be so difficult to add diversity with more lead characters going forward? Gaming is supposed to go beyond reality and oppose all the “rules” of modern society. But we still find ourselves battling the same issues. Especially in the way females are exploited in games. Far too few roles are given to non-stereotypical females. It’s time to stop the revealing tops and give us more strong, intelligent female leads.

As the technology grows stronger we all need to grow diverse and accept different races and respect the female gender. More work is needed in this area but the industry seems to be going in the right direction.