Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Games Fail To Portray Gender and Ethnic Diversity

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the overrepresented-demon-alien-demographic dept.

Games 590

eldavojohn writes "A new study has found that game characters tend not to reflect cultural diversity. According to the paper from researchers across four universities (PDF): 'A large-scale content analysis of characters in video games was employed to answer questions about their representations of gender, race and age in comparison to the US population. The sample included 150 games from a year across nine platforms, with the results weighted according to game sales. ... The results show a systematic over-representation of males, white and adults and a systematic under-representation of females, Hispanics, Native Americans, children and the elderly.' The researchers also note that games 'function as crucial gatekeepers for interest in science, technology, engineering and math,' and that without these groups represented properly, 'it may place underrepresented groups behind the curve.'"

cancel ×

590 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Pyro is a female! (5, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28904987)

Mmmrhmhmhmrhrmhmrmhm!

Re:Pyro is a female! (4, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905303)

So that means we should develop a game where Cherokee kids shoot old Chinese women?

Re:Pyro is a female! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905309)

Master Chief is gay!

Re:Pyro is a female! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905431)

of coarse they dont.

Intelligent players dont like playing the ignorant thuggish type.
ignorant thuggish club whores dont like playing snobby intelligent people.

You cant make a character thats intelligent and thuggish. You could.. but it doesnt happen in real life.
so its best to just avoid the question in the first place and make a generic avatar.

as far as "race" diversity.
Asians make games with asians in them quite often.
White guys make white guy games.
as soon as intelligent black guys start to program games (to a higher degree, because im sure some already do), then they will be more popular.

It has nothing to do with dislike. Its not that I dislike certian races, I just have a preference for "self style".
You tend to "like" things that are "similar" to yourself.

Ahh the social sciences. (5, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28904989)

The only "science" that starts with the answer and works backwards from there.

You misphrased it. (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905037)

The only "sciences" that start with the propaganda point and work backwards to the "answer" from there.

As always, you can't take any of these "papers" seriously. They're never even close to mathematically rigorous, and always designed merely to attack someone.

Re:You misphrased it. (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905127)

As always, you can't take any of these "papers" seriously. They're never even close to mathematically rigorous, and always designed merely to attract media attention.

there. fixed that for you.

That'll Be an Interesting Chart (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905105)

I bet it shows an unusually high percentage of Dark Elves and Orcs, as well as Caucasians. What should we be inferring from that?

Re:Ahh the social sciences. (0, Troll)

Hacker_PingWu (1561135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905137)

Yeah... "studies" such as this are why Psychology is NOT a science, and not quickly advancing to become one.

Psychology isn't a science, it isn't debatable. It doesn't meet the formal definition of a science on several grounds,
falsifiability, honoring of the null hypothesis, and lack of rigor in experiments all being among them.

Re:Ahh the social sciences. (4, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905281)

That would be precisely why it's so popular as a basis for public policy.

-jcr

Re:Ahh the social sciences. (-1, Troll)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905295)

Never heard of climate science?

Why does this matter? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905005)

Honestly, I'm tired of this bullshit. Someone needs to tell the PC brigade to go fuck themselves. Game developers aren't obliged to fill quotas; all they have to do is make good games. Does anyone really care about what video game characters look like? These folks need to examine their priorities.

Re:Why does this matter? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905031)

Exactly. Not every game needs the ability to choose the race, gender, age, height, weight, etc, of the hero(ine!). It's a damn story in most cases, let the writers tell it their way.

Re:Why does this matter? (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905071)

I do think it would be hilarious to have a 90 year old woman as the main character in GTA though.

Re:Why does this matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905145)

I do think it would be hilarious to have a 90 year old woman as the main character in GTA though.

"It's the little old lady from San Andreas (go granny, go granny, go granny go)."

Re:Why does this matter? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905125)

Does anyone really care about what video game characters look like? These folks need to examine their priorities.

Apparently some people do. And yes they do.

Because: "There aren't enough people of color in videogames."

Then: "You can't make a game set in Africa where you kill black zombies. That's racist!"

and: "You can't make a game set in New Orleans where some of the zombies are black. That's racist!"

Re:Why does this matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905157)

cue the "THATS RACIST" gif

Re:Why does this matter? (5, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905241)

In many ways I agree. But the bulk of opinions expressed here are by people who only have know oppression as a literary motive or cinematographic plot device. I doubt many of us have been denied access to a restaurant because of we 'looked disruptive', been pulled over because we 'looked suspicious', patted down at the airport as a 'random search', or asked for our papers because we 'looked like illegals'. but that aside, I think diversity in games will happen in time. Just like black representation in movies slowly evolved from laughably stereotypical to whatever less than that is called.

Re:Why does this matter? (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905263)

Game developers aren't obliged to fill quotas; all they have to do is make good games.

And these days, they can't even get that right. I have to turn to independent development stuff like Touhou project for my "good game" fix. Touhou is awesome. And occasionally, gems like Portal and Left 4 Dead come around, but I've gotta say...wait, I think I'm just trying to invoke Sturgeon's Law here. Disregard this post. It provides nothing insightful, informative, interesting, or funny.

Re:Why does this matter? (1, Insightful)

stu9000 (861253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905337)

This comment gets rated 'Insightful'? To me it shows a complete lack of understanding of how media constructed 'norms' over time influence societies norms. The discussion of race and gender representation in computer games is long overdue and is just as valid as such discussions about film and television, perhaps more so seeing how games are played proportionally more by younger people. If you don't think this discussion is valid then IMHO you don't understand the influence of media in creating role-models.

No surprise (1)

newsat11 (1609743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905013)

Ethnically homogeneous developers rely on stereotypes. In other news, the sky is blue, water is wet.

I have my doubts. (5, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905015)

I'm guessing this is based on locality. From my admittedly limited experience, there are a lot of Japanese games which feature people who are pretty clearly Asian. Many of them don't even get exported out of Japan.

Re:I have my doubts. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905085)

Sorry, but... where have all the fat people gone, in american games ?

Re:I have my doubts. (1)

phaggood (690955) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905275)

True that - always figured it was the name rather than Falwell that turned Americans off to "Tele-*tubbies*" : way too close to home. Still, tho, I do wonder what we did to force Disney into its current "Black-out". Did we do something wrong? Are we not as entertaining as we were in the late 90's? (Tho personally I think "Cory In The House" doomed us all)

Re:I have my doubts. (4, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905381)

Uh... they are busy PLAYING the games?

Re:I have my doubts. (1)

Ash.D.Giles (1278606) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905183)

Yeah... Why are the Native Americans and Hispanic singled out? I mean, if you're going to complain about ethnic groups who aren't represented much in games, then what about Persians, Portuguese, Maori, Aboriginal... This smells of a very US-centric perspective taken in the study...

Re:I have my doubts. (1)

ipoverscsi (523760) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905287)

I wish I had mod points. I would mod that funny plus a million.

Hey that's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905029)

The next time i'll be developing game where you use machine gun down children and elderly by thousands, if the press came down on me, i can claim i'm helping ethnical diversity!

Well yeah (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905035)

Normal humans without special powers and skills are so underrepresented in those games. As a normal human whose only special power is the random temporary ability to cast ./ mod spells, I feel left out.

When the mages and sorcerers get into MIT and I don't, I guess I can blame the games.

Re:Well yeah (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905277)

As a normal human whose only special power is the random temporary ability to cast ./ mod spells, I feel left out.

What is this current working directory of which you speak?

Re:Well yeah (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905353)

As a normal human whose only special power is the random temporary ability to cast ./ mod spells, I feel left out.

What is this current working directory of which you speak?

No, no, that's a quarter note. It's just got a very small head!

Look at the bulk of game designers/programmers... (3, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905039)

A bunch of white dorky male geeks with no lives.

I being one of them.

I have two words for you: (2, Funny)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905049)

Sergeant Johnson.

Re:I have two words for you: (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905233)

Sergeant Johnson.

Bonus diversity: he's gay for Elites. [youtube.com]

o'rly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905053)

surprise surprise

Color me unsurprised... (5, Insightful)

kevinatilusa (620125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905055)

Given a choice between creating an representative cross-section of America and an representative cross-section of their customer base, game makers are likely going to go with the people who are paying them money.

Someone please think of the boobies (5, Funny)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905057)

Good thing they did not try to compare breast size and hip to waist ratios as compared to real world...

Re:Someone please think of the boobies (1)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905075)

They tried too, but Samus Aran wrecked the curve (tee-hee).

Re:Someone please think of the boobies (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905201)

Holy crap, I laughed pretty hard when I read that!

Re:Someone please think of the boobies (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905291)

Which curves - the ones in her armor, or the ones in her body?

Re:Someone please think of the boobies (2, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905437)

The one that's now curved in my pants.

So.. (5, Interesting)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905061)

.. if someone develops a FPS where you shoot Hispanic 8-year-old females everyone will be happy? I kinda doubt it..

Re:So.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905341)

Well... I would.

Elderly Representation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905063)

Somehow I don't think that the average person wants a game where they play a senior.

No one wants to bend down to get the Amulet of Yendor and not be able to stand up again.

Re:Elderly Representation (4, Funny)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905159)

This is especially true when you are being chased by an incubus.

Great new adventure game (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905407)

Altzheimer Quest - Search for the pants

Not diverse? (4, Funny)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905067)

The game I'm currently playing has four main characters. A Half-orc, a Tiefling, a Yuan-Ti, and a Dwarf. How much more diverse do you want?

Re:Not diverse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905191)

I'll bet that none of them are black. :)

It's true!! (5, Insightful)

anotheregomaniac (1439993) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905083)

They also over represent people with big muscles, excellent combat skills and multiple lives. What tripe will be next?

Console rpgs? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905091)

Lack of representation of children? 12 year olds save the world all the time.

minorities... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905093)

what, you wanted Gordon Freeman to be a black, 6 year old girl? i'm not sure how many people would enjoy battling mutants and enemy soldiers with a little girl as their character...

Re:minorities... (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905175)

They were the ones who bought American McGee's Alice.

Re:minorities... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905209)

freakiest. game. ever.
loved it.

Re:minorities... (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905199)

what, you wanted Gordon Freeman to be a black, 6 year old girl? i'm not sure how many people would enjoy battling mutants and enemy soldiers with a little girl as their character...

This sounds more like a B-title game our Japanese friends would produce.

Re:minorities... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905231)

i'm not sure how many people would enjoy battling mutants and enemy soldiers with a little girl as their character...

Balloon Kid for Game Boy. Or plenty of Japanese RPGs.

Who's the target audience? (1)

mortram (761154) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905095)

Anecdotally, it would be my guess that these minorities are probably over-represented in terms of those who actually consume these games.

Which leaves open a very large, untapped market to be targeted by game producers who could potentially profit from targeting titles to these under-served groups. I don't expect that market to be ignored for long as gaming becomes a more ubiquitous form of entertainment.

The question is do women and minorities consume fewer games because they are underrepresented or are they underrepresented because they're generally less interested in that form of entertainment?

Re:Who's the target audience? (4, Funny)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905189)

Are you seriously suggesting that if more video games were produced in which the protagonist was (f.e.) black, that more black people would purchase the game?

I don't remember starting up GTA: SA for the first time and being like, "oh man, I'm black - this feels totally unrealistic!"

That's preposterous.

Re:Who's the target audience? (2, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905253)

No, but I'm quite used to that not being true.

When I fired up ARMA2 for the first time, I was like "wait, is something wrong with my gamma?" - but nope, you are a not a Standard-Issue-Caucasian.

Re:Who's the target audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905269)

I have no proof that women, in general, want to play PC games, but I think they do. The Wii is proof of that I think.

But women and men don't have, in general, the same brain composition. Men and women derive pleasure/contentment from (some) different activities and interactions. Men are adversarial, driven to the establishment of different hierarchies in different groups. Men have a (much) more acute 3D vision/sound mental model.

It's likely one of the factors that women, in general, are not avid consumers of games targeted at and marketed to men. (3D shootem'ups with integrated online ranking? Definitely not targeting the female demographic)

("Men" and "Women" in this post was defined as 80% of Men and 90% of Women)

Gahh... (3, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905117)

They should make Duke Nukem (in DNF) a black, homosexual, vegetarian, female eskimo, right?

I sure wish that people writing these papers would pay from their pockets - in form of investments - for such the games.

Re:Gahh... (2, Informative)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905193)

They should make Duke Nukem (in DNF) a black, homosexual, vegetarian, female eskimo, right?

They tried....which is why the project was shut down.

Mature Titles? (2, Insightful)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905121)

One reason I believe that children are underrepresented is, at least, partly the nature of mature games. Depiction of violence to children is frowned upon if not flat-out illegal in most countries. For the sake of consistency (why can't I rip off the child's head? It should be easier than the adults!), they're just excluded, I.E. Prototype.

Re:Mature Titles? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905339)

And people freaked out over the 'Shaken baby' app on the iPhone. Is there any wonder why you can snipe babies in Gears of War?

Re:Mature Titles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905377)

Didn't stop Prey, Bioshock and Deus Ex.

They forgot single (1)

wkurzius (1014229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905123)

White, male, adult, and single.

Re:They forgot single (2, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905409)

Ah, so then Duke Nuke'em should have been a black, homosexual, vegetarian, married female eskimo.

I concur. Make it so, Number One.

Zog's Nightmare and Resident Evil 5 (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905129)

Two games that represent the best of the best in racial diversity.

researchers, beh! (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905147)

The researchers also note that games 'function as crucial gatekeepers for interest in science, technology, engineering and math,' and that without these groups represented properly, 'it may place underrepresented groups behind the curve.'

Kind of a stretch there Mr. Social Scientist. If it involves a kid using a computer then that kid will grow up to be an engineer. Sure.

More likely that kid will end up stoned in a dark basement somewhere playing WoW.

There otta be a law! (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905149)

Help! I'm being oppressed!

Reflects entertainment media in general (1)

6350' (936630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905161)

I recently was struck by a broader instance of this, in relation to popular media in general. Outside of targeted forms of media (television shows or movies that focus on a specific demographic), I think this trend is as present in TV and film as well. Its as if we've gotten used to a mode of depiction, despite what we see daily at work, on the street, and in our neighborhoods. American is well on the path to be, by around 2040, a "minority majority" country, where the majority of citizens are not white. Despite this, I agree that entertainment media do not currently reflect this.

I work in the video game industry, and to be honest, the games I have worked on don't even reflect the ethnic or lifestyle-minority makeup of my office, let alone the country at large (the presence of females in my offics vs. the games we have produced, on the other hand, is a different story).

Speaking for myself and where I work, this isn't any conscious method of producing entertainment - its just a weird (and, I feel, unfortunate) habit of depicting people in games. It reflects work yet to be done, I think, that popular media often has to make a conscious effort to more accurately depict the world around us, and its unfortunate that it takes a conscious effort to do so.

Diversity? And Slashdot cares why? (2, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905165)

News for NERDS remember? Just do a Google image search on 'nerd' and you will see how diverse the /. demographic is. I count (on the first page of 21 results) only two females and the only non-anglos I see are are three duplicate images presenting them as thugs.

Random question (2, Interesting)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905177)

I've always wondered this but never had the opportunity to post it remotely on-topic.

Can someone explain to a non-anime person (myself) why all the characters in Japanese cartoons appear caucasian?

Re:Random question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905259)

It basically boils down to the fact that Japan is one of the most racist cultures in the world. As a culture, in depictions, everyone except caucasians are evil. Generally if you see someone clearly asian in an anime or japanese game, they'll usually be the villain. Or for example, Gantz, when one of the characters put on a wig and blackface and murdered a few hundred people and no one recognized him as the killer without the blackface. So basicly, big breast round eyed woman or overly masculine white guy = good guy. Or even a whiny white guy. He'll still be a good guy. But distincly asian? Run for the hills hes going to try to kill you.

Re:Random question (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905311)

Osamu Tezuka (among others, I'm sure) was inspired by/copied from the American/Disney style back in the late 1940s. See Betty Boop for an example of an American cartoon with a similar look. The Japanese style developed independently from there.

Cartoon eyes (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905323)

Can someone explain to a non-anime person (myself) why all the characters in Japanese cartoons appear caucasian?

In live action, you can tell by their eyes. But not so in manga and anime: cartoon eyes differ more based on the art style [2draw.net] than the character's race. For instance, the upper eyelids in Sam Butcher's super-deformed character designs [google.com] form a characteristic teardrop-shaped eye.

Why should subjugated people want corporate games? (1, Troll)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905179)

[video] games 'function as crucial gatekeepers for interest in science, technology, engineering and math,' and that without these groups represented properly, 'it may place underrepresented groups behind the curve.'"

Bullshit on that one. I know a lot of boys think they are "good with computers" because they spend a lot of time gaming, but reality rarely lives up to their self perception. The more the white male middle class and upper class potential professionals and potential elites spend their childhoods addicted to games the better. They'll give up their places in the socioeconomic order and unconsciously undermine their own privilege. Let the spoiled pale brat boys squander their minds. Let the female, transgender, people of color, etc feel alienated by corporate developed video games. Maybe they'll pick up a book, join a discussion group, or code their own self-empowering games.

Re:Why should subjugated people want corporate gam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905313)

More likely they'll just major in bullshit like Women's Studies and produce more worthless studies.

Brown People (1)

fuzzylollipop (851039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905203)

as long as the brown people are the bad guys I think they got it pretty right. :-)

demographics of gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905207)

My gut hunch feeling is that the demographic makeup of game characters reflects the demographic makeup of gamers, which seems OK to me. Hopefully noone is trying to socialize themselves completely through computer games.

There may be some profound chicken-and-egg thing going on, but I doubt it. If there really were market among females for video games was equal to the market among males, it would be served.

Oblig. Chasing Amy (5, Funny)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905219)

Hooper: "Always some white boy gotta invoke the holy trilogy. Bust this: Those movies are about how the white man keeps the brother man down, even in a galaxy far, far away. Check this shit: You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!"

Banky: "What's a Nubian?"

Hooper: "Shut the fuck up! Now... Vader, he's a spiritual brother, y'know, down with the force and all that good shit. Then this cracker, Skywalker, gets his hands on a light saber and the boy decides he's gonna run the fuckin' universe - gets a whole klan of whites together. And they go and bust up Vader's hood, the Death Star. Now what the fuck do you call that?"

Banky: "Intergalactic civil war?"

Hooper: "Gentrification! They gonna drive out the black element to make the galaxy quote-unquote, 'safe' for white folks. And Jedi's the most insulting installment! Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin' to tell us that deep inside, we all wants to be white!"

Banky: "...but isn't that true??"

These people don't know what they want (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28905221)

When RE5 had black people as zombies in a game set in Africa, that was racist. When Schwarzenegger plowed the female terminator into a toilet head first it was sexist. What the fuck do these people want, do they even know? DO they want kids, women and black people get gored the same as white men or NOT.

Marathon series (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905249)

For a long time while I was playing the Marathon series, I thought I was playing a black guy (because you could see the character's hands, which were dark brown). Then someone pointed out to me that the character had gloves on. Somehow, as a non-black person, I didn't feel any less oppressed as a result.

Slow news day, eh? (0, Offtopic)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905265)

Sorry, this isn't "news for nerds', and it's definitely not "stuff that matters'.

-jcr

I Would Expect... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905271)

I would expect game characters to reflect the characters that players want to play. That doesn't require diversity.

And when some games don't provide the characters that gamers want to play while other games do, I expect the games that provide the right characters to succeed and the ones who don't provide those characters to fail.

It's called the free market, folks, and maybe you should worry about it a little bit less.

Next up... (2, Funny)

dbet (1607261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905283)

The demons in Doom don't represent the full list of demons in the various religions in the world.

Yeahbut ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905289)

and a systematic under-representation of females

...but each one portrayed is stacked enough to count for two or three average women. So it breaks even.

Working to Correct This (4, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905293)

In order to correct this clearly unfair distribution, I'll keep posing as a female 18 years old cheerleader in games, chats and everywhere.

I only hope my efforts will be recognized by future generations...

More interesting question (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905299)

Do they reflect the players?

Distressing (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905301)

In this comment thread, I see the following distressing coping strategies: 1) Let's pretend the problem doesn't exist. 2) The problem exists, but let's deny it (Dittoheads and other wingnuts well-represented here). 3) Would you be happy if we shot black people in games? (Let's try it and see what kind of teachable moments come out of it, what do you say?) 4) Tell the PC brigade to go fuck themselves (no dittohead, we will NOT fuck ourselves, and the sooner that you realize that you have a problem with lack of diversity, the sooner you can work on getting it fixed.)

Re:Distressing (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905393)

Your choices only run from 1 to 4. You don't offer the most accurate choice.

5. Yeah, there's a problem of sorts, but it isn't our problem. Let the underrepresented minorities sort it out for themselves.

Now, scroll down and look for my more verbose answer.

Re:Distressing (1)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905429)

How about 'the social studies (Sciences? Spare us!) are bunk and have to stop making a political point out of every situation that lends itself to statistical analysis' ?

Brown Hindu atheist here, telling all white people to stop blaming yourselves for the sins of (some of) your forefathers. The rest of the world doesn't hate you for being white. That's just racist.

Re:Distressing (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905439)

the sooner that you realize that you have a problem with lack of diversity, the sooner you can work on getting it fixed.

You're assuming that "we" have a problem. It is YOU, the self-designated representative of the PC brigade, who has a problem.

Yes, and? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905317)

The gaming industry is a multiBILLION dollar industry. If the studies they've done indicate that more people will buy the white male thing, then that's what they sell.

Is it PC? No. Does that matter when making money? No.

and yet everytime hispanics are put in games (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905319)

they complain about it.

More hispanic gangster bad guys and GTA games, that should address this awful imbalance.

put some females in the game that you can pay for sex and then rob and they complain about that too.

Developers just can't win!

BFD (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905327)

Big fuckin' deal. Who writes games? Mostly adult white males. Does anyone suppose that an adult white male is going to sit and ponder how a juvenile latin female might thing and act in some given situation? Nope. He don't GIVE A SHIT. Now, if that juvenile latin female wants to go into the game writer's world, and contribute something, then he'll give a shit. If she understands the game engine, and how the graphics work, if she can actually contribute to the (mostly mindless) plot of the story, then he WILL give a shit.

You want this adult white female to attempt to create a juvenile latin female character? Great - he's feeling both magnanimous and sensitive, he's going to sit right down and create this character, and give her a leading part in the story. The character is going to be one of two things (maybe both at the same time, even). An over endowed little slut who wants nothing more than to bang the hero, OR an over endowed AND over muscled bull dyke who is as mindless and shallow as any female character has ever been.

Which is the better choice? The bit of fluff, or the hunk of meat?

Give everyone a break. If you want your group represented in games, or stories, or movies, or whatever the fuck, GET OFF YOUR DEAD ASS AND REPRESENT!!! Stop sniveling, stop whining. (Lest anyone think that I'm picking on the young Sotomayors of the world, no, this goes for blacks, male and female, Asians, Arabs, and even fucking ESKIMOS! Oh, cool, a great game idea, "Mighty Quinn wreaks havoc in New York!"

While we wait for everyone to go do something useful, I'm intriqued by the idea of an adult male who appears to be white writing a novel from the perspective of a young Mexican girl. I just KNOW that everyone on slashdot will want to read it when I'm finished!! Quick, how do you say "pretty ponies" en Espanol?

villains (4, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905349)

A big part of the problem is, obviously, because game manufacturers are reluctant to use a female or minority character as a villain. "It's discrimination!" the protesters cry! (Yes, I'm serious, look what happened when a Tom Clancy game [gamespot.com] set in El Paso had Hispanic villains.) That right there cuts minority representation in half, or worse.

Who cares? (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905357)

Except for pseudo-political-correct pathetic people who can't look beyond it.

If I make a game in some post-apocalyptic Texas-like desert, of course you will see massively more Rob Zombies than Mahatma Gandhis. And actually intelligent people know that this has nothing to to with genders or ethnics.

When I hire the best 20 people I can get for the job, I do not care if all 20 of them are white conservative males in their mid-50s, or half-Bantu half-grizzly half-swine-flu-victim-zombie girlie midgets in pink snake skin dresses. That's what it being irrelevant means. :)

Race or gender quotas are really disguised racism. It's just the "other extreme" of the full circle. ;) (Yeah, that really describes it very well.)

But one way to make you and even the hypocrites happy, is to use only two kinds of persons in your games: 100% average gray mixes of neutrality, and total freaking extremes. What are they going to say? That group chainsaw-vomiting pinky-toe made from knitted sea grass belts was not ethnically diverse enough when they fought that horde of grayish indistinct blobs of dust?

Underrepresentation of females? (0, Troll)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905383)

That's odd. There's usually about four-five chicks in every game that fall in love with the hero. They must not be looking hard enough.

Always the hispanics... (0)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905399)

Why the hispanics ? It's always about them. I, for one, am alarmed at the distinct lack of Canadian NPCs in video games. Everyone has an american accent, they never wear tuques and the only things you meet in a snowstorm are giant alien worms and japanese scientists.

The reason why these "groups" are underrepresented is simple: there aren't as many of us Canadians (nor you loud hispanics) making the damned games. Do you complain at the distinct lack of hispanic actors in Korean indie films too ? Do you want some benevolent soul to splice random out-of-place content into every production you're not alerady a part of ?

Of all the things in the world that need rigorous scientific attention, this ain't one of them.

New Game idea (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28905405)

A war game, where the teams you can choose from

1) Maori, in full dress and tattoo
2) One of several American and Mexican Indian tribes, also in full regalia
3) The legendary Amazon tribe.
4) Gurkhas!
5) Santa Ana's army
6) Custer's Army
7) Bowie et al.

Now, clearly I've stacked the deck against the "white" teams. But if such a game would be made, who do you think would scream the loudest? (besides Jack Thompson)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>