Diversity in Gaming, or not being the yardstick of the universe.
|Bradley, by Timm Henson|
So, diversity means a lot of things. Basically it means "have a bit of everything involved, more or less equally spread around." That's harder than it sounds like when you're used to everything looking one way and you start changing it up. It can be difficult to think outside the box, and so most games and game companies historically haven't worried about it. There are some stand-out exceptions, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't so long ago we were having talks about passive cheesecake and chainmail bikinis being a righteous standard for portrayals of women in games (and in some places on the internet, people still do).
|Thomas Simpson, by Timm Henson|
|Maria, by Timm Henson|
And even with all that, I wasn't "of color." I came from an impoverished background, but my teenage years were solidly middle class. I was the first of my family to graduate from college, but my parents both went. I am a US citizen. I am autistic, but all my limbs work. I have anxiety, but I can manage it and it's nothing more debilitating or unpredictable than that. I do not register to the outside world as having a disability, which has its own challenges and benefits. No one wants to deport me. No one sees me as a threat to national security because of my background or skin color.
It could be a lot harder, and I work to remember that every day. I am not the yardstick of the universe.
|Rory, by Jenna Fowler|
By making the effort to have a voice and enable others to have voices as well, to reach out and help people share in the gains that you've made, you actively make the world a better place, even if just by working in a small corner of it. By passing the microphone around, we create a full-bodied chorus. This is one of the missions Matt and I have with our company. We do not always get it right (no one ever always gets it right), but we make an effort and we learn from our mistakes, and I think that's the best anyone can ever do. If we all do at least that much, we can change the world we live in.