Media doesn’t always represent a diverse range of people, including minorities.
In recent years, however, game developers are genuinely making strides towards addressing this.
My friend, Alayna Cole, managing director of Queerly Represent Me, has compiled a short list of games below (which I’ll add to in another post) that you and/or your kids may enjoy.
Gone Home (representation of sexuality)
Florence (representation of diverse cultural backgrounds)
Never Alone (representation of diverse cultural backgrounds)
The Sims (representation of broad diversity)
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (representation of diverse gender presentation)
Tacoma (representation of diverse sexuality and cultural backgrounds)
Ticket to Earth (representation of diverse sexuality and cultural backgrounds)
Ninja Pizza Girl (representation of diverse backgrounds and gender)
Who are you and what do you do?
I am the managing director of Queerly Represent Me (http://queerlyrepresent.me), a website dedicated to the representation of marginalised groups in the games industry. We particularly focus on diverse genders and sexualities, but do consultancy work in a range of areas. I have completed a doctoral thesis on representation of plurisexual women in texts, and have experience as an educator, journalist, and game developer.
Do videogames thoughtfully represent a diverse range of people in 2018?
Some individual games thoughtfully represent diverse voices, but the games industry overall is still struggling to celebrate diversity. Independently developed games are paving the way to a more diverse industry, so indies are definitely the ones to watch!
Why is it important for young people to see characters who are like themselves in media?
Children and young adults are at a particularly important time in their lives for identity formation. Diverse characters in games allow young people to see what is possible, whether that be for themselves or for their peers. Interacting with media that represents them allows young people to feel included, accepted, and noticed.
Where can people access more information about diverse representation in games?
Diverse sexuality and gender: http://queerlyrepresent.me
Diverse cultural backgrounds: https://ineeddiversegames.net
Games for mental health and wellbeing: https://checkpoint.org.au/ and http://www.prescriptionpixel.com/