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#1 Posted by metalsnakezero (2884 posts) -

So Kinda funny just posted a video on diversity

In the comments there many negativity about the topic and many of them very positive about being not wanting diversity. Whys is that? Why do people see not having diversity a good things? Am I missing something? Is by pushing out other genders and races the only way to make game? I'm just a little confuse and just need some opinions.

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#2 Edited by rethla (3725 posts) -

Well the big argument probably is that when somethings forced its not good and in this case the games would suffer. The games are a reflection of our society and when we try to force them into being what some people think as a better/ideal society we kinda take away the artistic freedom at the same time. Its great if you make an diverse game but dont force it on people.

Then ofc. theres also people who thinks the diversity or lack of it is good as it is.

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#3 Posted by xanadu (2040 posts) -

No, it's not.

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#4 Posted by BigSocrates (1966 posts) -

Why do people complain about it?

1) It's the Internet. People complain about EVERYTHING on the internet.

2) A lot of gamers, and especially games media fans, are young boys who think girls are icky or resent girls or whatever. There's a ton of misogyny in the gaming space. Racism too.

3) There's currently a backlash against social progress going on.

@rethla:

I have no idea what you mean "forcing" diversity on people. I also don't know what you mean by "taking away artistic freedom." If you're saying that the corporate suits shouldn't force game creators to change their characters for demographic reasons, I agree, but generally they are forcing them to change TO a white male to appeal to the large demographic, not forcing 'diversity' on them.

If you're saying that people shouldn't complain when they see yet another white male protagonist...people have a right to complain if they don't like the product being offered. Assassin's Creed not offering female assassins in multiplayer was stupid and shortsighted.

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#5 Edited by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

If a developer is making a big deal out of having a diverse cast then that shit is tacky and I don't like it.

Diversity for the sake of diversity is not interesting, it feels fake and comes across as pandering.

I could be wrong of course but I think it's a vocal minority pushing for diversity and that most gamers couldn't really care less what colour/race/sex a character is.

How many people are going to not play Call of Duty if it has a black leading character? None. How many will not play Overwatch heroes because of their skin colour or sex? I'll go with none...

People only seem to get annoyed about diversity when it's put in there just because it might score points with a certain group of people, or get them a positive Polygon article.

I'm really growing tired of articles about how 'X is So White' (Polygon just did this about Star Wars). Websites that get so bent out of shape about skin colour seem more racist to me than anyone else, when I see a movie poster I don't count the number of whites vs. others...

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#6 Posted by BigSocrates (1966 posts) -

If a developer is making a big deal out of using female characters then that shit is tacky and I don't like it.

People only seem to get annoyed about diversity when it's put in there just because it might score points with a certain group of people, or get them a positive Polygon article.

When has this ACTUALLY happened?

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#7 Posted by rethla (3725 posts) -

@bigsocrates: Complain all you want on white protagonists, other people are gonna complain on black protagonists aswell. I wont stop any of you.

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#8 Posted by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

@wynnduffy said:

If a developer is making a big deal out of using female characters then that shit is tacky and I don't like it.

People only seem to get annoyed about diversity when it's put in there just because it might score points with a certain group of people, or get them a positive Polygon article.

When has this ACTUALLY happened?

I've seen it but it's almost always restricted to smaller projects. I'm not accusing Horizon of it or anything.

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#9 Edited by MezZa (3048 posts) -

No. The only argument I ever see is that making the devs feel forced to include options or characters they wouldn't have included otherwise is bad. However, proving that happened is stupidly hard unless the dev straight up admits it, and it mainly comes across as ignorance to the game's development process.

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#10 Edited by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

I don't really care. I don't think diversity in games is, by default, bad. But I also don't think it is by default good. If tackling the issue of diversity in any way you want helps you tell the story that you want to be told, go for it.

Personally, I think video game audiences still have a long way to go when it comes to the maturity of their desires. I think we should first and foremost care about how accurately a game portrays the human condition; usually this translates to the quality of writing, the genuineness of the struggles of the characters, the way their interact, etc. (EDIT: that is, in character-driven games. Don't really need that in Pacman.)

I hold video games to the standard of being art and if you (the general you) think that stressing what real-life groups the made up characters we explore in fiction belong to is necessary to the process of conveying emotion and exploring the human condition then frankly I think your taste in art hasn't quite developed yet.

There's genuine criticism of art, and then there's complaining that you can't relate to the character of Lady Macbeth because she has a vagina instead of a penis.

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#11 Edited by GiantLennonx_x (388 posts) -

I would love it if there was more incorporation of different genders and the expression of them (speaking as a queer trans lady) ^_^ these kind of growing pains in media takes time (broke back mountain was only 13 years ago) and it'll get there :D

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#12 Posted by BetaBand (398 posts) -

Diversity for the sake of diversity is not interesting, it feels fake and comes across as pandering.

What?

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#13 Edited by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

@betaband: pretty obvious no? Devs shouldn't be bullied or fear controversy for not being diverse enough.

I have no problems with diversity, so let's make that clear. I'm just not interested in it if a motivation is to score brownie points or reduce the chance of backlash.

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#14 Edited by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

I think diversity in gaming is good. That said, I rarely play games where I'm not a white male. That's because I'm a white male, and I like RPing the games I play. I have brown hair, and it's borderline a deal breaker if the main character is blonde. Yeah, I'm weird.

That being said though, I absolutely hate when reading the Metacritic user reviews for Moonlight for instance. People claiming it's only getting good reviews because it's about a black gay man, and that you would be called racist or homophobic for saying it's bad. I mean, like, what planet do these people live on? Never heard anyone get called any of those things for not liking Moonlight. The people claiming reverse racism is a thing is just sooo... Dumb. Think I saw on Real Time that like half of republicans think racism against whites is a bigger problem than racism against black folks. It's just... Wow. Republicans.

And a little more on topic: Developers should make the games they want and the characters they want. And that's cool.

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#15 Posted by OurSin_360 (6161 posts) -

Well in america we have a president who is on tape bragging about sexual assault and half a nation that feels this is ok so its not surprising. I used to think it was the vocal minority but now i believe the opposite.

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#16 Edited by MezZa (3048 posts) -

@wynnduffy: How is diversity fake when we live in a diverse world? A fictional world where every character is white is far more fake feeling than one where different ethnicities are represented. And as I pointed out in an above post, prove that devs are bullied into having a diverse cast in their games and that this same diversity negatively impacts games. Hypotheticals are great, but unless it actually happens there's no real point in saying it as a counter argument.

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#17 Posted by fatalbanana (1106 posts) -

I have found the viewpoint of the very outspoken majority your mentioning is mainly "Hey! stop putting your politics in my games!"

These are the same people that leave negative comments and reviews in mass for any game or article or whatever having any mention of LGBTQ subjects or characters and call those that defend them SJW's (social justice warriors) like anyone actually takes that as an insult.

What they are missing is how important it is for games to comment on these things. If we care about games and want to see them grow they need to have voices. Not every game needs or should be a political statement obviously but I think it's important to see games as more than a form of passive escapist entertainment. Being diverse, inclusive and sometimes outspoken is a great way to do that and I would love to see more of it. Especially with everything going on in the world right now man we need more voices, more inspiration for those that feel weak and for kids that love games and have a passion for them, that are able to find role models in the thing they enjoy can be such a positive force for them.

I don't want to boil things down too much into a right versus wrong kind of a thing because there are valid points on the other side too. There are no doubt bad ways to handle these kinds of subjects and I don't think we've found a surefire way to approach sensitive subjects in our games but I think we can get there if we keep trying.

@rethla From what I've seen "forcing it on them" means having it exist no matter what. It's like starting a sentence with "I'm not racist but... (proceed to say something racist)" or "I don't have anything against gay people I just don't what to see it and I'm tired of hearing about it"

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#18 Posted by IVDAMKE (1823 posts) -

Although this is poking a hornets nest, I watched that video and fall in line with Colin even though he poorly explains it.

I don't project myself onto game characters, nor do I expect them to reflect me in anyway. I simply enjoy the stories being told and the characters that are crafted for me to experience vicariously.

Diversity provides new stories, viewpoints and characters for people to experience, enriching a product and medium as a whole. When it's naturally present in a game, book, film, play etc. it's nothing but a positive. It only becomes an issue when it's used as a marketing exploit to attract groups of people to champion your product or when it's an afterthought that's being implemented purely to appease certain groups of people rather than fitting your fiction naturally.

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#19 Posted by Retris (424 posts) -

How many people are going to not play Call of Duty if it has a black leading character? None. How many will not play Overwatch heroes because of their skin colour or sex? I'll go with none...

I've seen plenty of people complain about Halo 5 having a black main character, and some of those people definitely said they were not going to buy the game because of that. Then there's that can of worms I'm not going to even mention right now, which proves that gamers in general are not as tolerant as you paint them to be.

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#20 Edited by BigSocrates (1966 posts) -

@mezza said:

@wynnduffy: How is diversity fake when we live in a diverse world? A fictional world where every character is white is far more fake feeling than one where different ethnicities are represented. And as I pointed out in an above post, prove that devs are bullied into having a diverse cast in their games and that this same diversity negatively impacts games. Hypotheticals are great, but unless it actually happens there's no real point in saying it as a counter argument.

I love when people are like "Ok, I want to play this game where I'm running around in a post-apocalyptic world using technomagic to fight robot dinosaurs. What do you mean I play as a girl! That's so unrealistic! Forced diversity."

Female warriors actually exist. They are a lot more realistic than autonomous robot dinosaurs!

A lot of the objections come down to immaturity.

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#21 Posted by planetfunksquad (1543 posts) -

How thin skinned do you have to be to think that pointing out the lack of certain races/genders in a game as a negative is equivalent to bullying?

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#22 Posted by BoOzak (2573 posts) -


If you're saying that people shouldn't complain when they see yet another white male protagonist...people have a right to complain if they don't like the product being offered. Assassin's Creed not offering female assassins in multiplayer was stupid and shortsighted.

I dont think people should complain about a characters skin colour, whether it's white, black or whatever, it's the developers choice. Obviously people are going to complain about everything and boycott whatever because a game or piece of media isnt being tailored directly to them. I'm just sick of hearing it.

I only have a problem with it when it doesnt make sense, I remember the controversy behind RE5, where someone complained that a trailer portrayed black people as being evil so in response Africa is now filled with just as many asians and white people. Which just seems odd. (especially since RE4 did the exact same thing with spanish people)

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#23 Edited by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

@mezza: I never said diversity is fake and I didn't allude that the world isn't diverse though.

Making a fuss about being diverse has happened, it was for projects I wasn't interested in so I don't really remember them. Like I said, usually small indie stuff. I just want devs to never feel bullied or fear fallout.

I can't think of any games where I've thought "wow everyone is white". Do people really do that? Well I know they do thanks to Polygon. I don't think I'm ignorant, I just don't care about skin colour.

I didn't want to poke a hornet's nest with this so I'll shut up.

Closing words are I'm fine with diversity. Not fine with overzealous pushers of it.

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#24 Posted by WynnDuffy (1289 posts) -

@retris: Sounds like a vocal minority to me. Doubt a black character would ever impact sales.

Maybe you're right maybe I'm wrong. assholes will be assholes after all.

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#25 Posted by imhungry (1115 posts) -

I could be wrong of course but I think it's a vocal minority pushing for diversity and that most gamers couldn't really care less what colour/race/sex a character is.

How many people are going to not play Call of Duty if it has a black leading character? None. How many will not play Overwatch heroes because of their skin colour or sex? I'll go with none...

I'm really growing tired of articles about how 'X is So White' (Polygon just did this about Star Wars). Websites that get so bent out of shape about skin colour seem more racist to me than anyone else, when I see a movie poster I don't count the number of whites vs. others...

This right here is why it's such a big issue. I'll note now that I don't mean this as an attack on you @wynnduffy since I don't actually know anything about you so I can't assign any personal attributes/thoughts/feelings to you, just quoting because I think the ideas in your post are pretty illustrative. Now onto the point.

The idea that nobody cares about race/sex seems very indicative of privilege. White males not understanding why people get so bent out of shape (again not assuming that @wynnduffy is a white male) about skin colour of characters is precisely because they don't and never have felt under-represented in media and don't need any extra empowerment. So in some ways, it's totally true that it's a vocal minority, because that's what we're talking about with this idea of diversity in games is representing the under-represented minorities.

If you're right that people aren't going to not play CoD if it has a black leading character, then all the more reason game devs should make efforts to have black leading characters so that the people who don't care can go about their business but the people who would be happy to play a character they more easily identify with or feel represented by would get, well, representation!

Same goes for gender diversity, since that's what the thread is originally on. This is especially so since women aren't actually a minority in the real world, so it doesn't make sense why they should be so underrepresented in games.

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#26 Posted by Retris (424 posts) -

@wynnduffy: Definitely a vocal minority, but I've found that minority a much more vocal one than the one you say is pushing for diversity. Because of that I don't really see why game developers should pander to the minority that wants minority representation in games. It also brings up the question whether or not the games that lack any diversity should be considered pandering.

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#27 Edited by maginnovision (819 posts) -

@oursin_360: When did the president do that? Sexual assault is illegal. Unless you're talking about the recording from 2005 where he went on to do nothing at all to the lady in question. Talking shit is different. I heard more vulgar comments in my middle school locker room.

As for diversity I think it's fine, unless you try to make a yakuza game ethnically diverse, then it's just weird.

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#28 Edited by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

@imhungry said:

The idea that nobody cares about race/sex seems very indicative of privilege. White males not understanding why people get so bent out of shape (again not assuming that @wynnduffy is a white male) about skin colour of characters is precisely because they don't and never have felt under-represented in media and don't need any extra empowerment.

Why do you think a person's desire for feeling represented should be satiated because they can shoot other players as a character who shares their race and gender?

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#29 Posted by APDLS (81 posts) -

Of course there's nothing wrong with it. I think the complaints primarily come from the false assumption of diversity being "forced" as if that will take away from the artist's original vision, and the other false assumption that it's inherently political, which it definitely is not. The resistance to any kind of politicisation in games is itself frustrating, since all art is inherently political in some way. Not that the races, genders, or sexualities of the characters should even be seen as political issues in the slightest. Then there is unfortunately the very vocal minority of extremists who are barely worth acknowledging, and best ignored.

@wynnduffy: I feel games actually do not have this problem as much as movies if only because in most games you either make your own character or are an unseen avatar, and therefore representation is less of an issue.

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#30 Posted by takayamasama (1546 posts) -

I don't even think about Diversity when it comes to gaming. I just play what looks cool to me. If the character is written well and the game's story is good I'll enjoy it. Just this month I've greatly enjoyed a game starring a Japanese young male in Japan, a White middle aged man in Japan, A plant lady, and today I get to play a cool looking game with a bad-ass looking lady with a bow fighting Zoids.

I don't enjoy when games get marched around as political messages, either for or against diversity or whatever, but I'm old enough to just ignore and and go back to enjoying all these awesome games.

Devs can make whatever game they wanna make however they wanna make it.

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#31 Edited by fatalbanana (1106 posts) -

@wynnduffy said:

@mezza: I never said diversity is fake and I didn't allude that the world isn't diverse though.

Making a fuss about being diverse has happened, it was for projects I wasn't interested in so I don't really remember them. Like I said, usually small indie stuff. I just want devs to never feel bullied or fear fallout.

I can't think of any games where I've thought "wow everyone is white". Do people really do that? Well I know they do thanks to Polygon. I don't think I'm ignorant, I just don't care about skin colour.

I didn't want to poke a hornet's nest with this so I'll shut up.

Closing words are I'm fine with diversity. Not fine with overzealous pushers of it.

You seem to care a lot about how devs are treated but when it comes to the people that play their games you admittedly don't care about how they are represented.

To answer your question yes they do do that because not everyone is white or a man. So when the vast majority of the media you consume is that those people are gonna take notice.

Oh and the "overzealous pushers" your talking about. How does this actually effect you negatively if you don't care about skin color? I just don't understand your logic.

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#32 Posted by rethla (3725 posts) -

Oh and the "overzealous pushers" your talking about. How does this actually effect you negatively if you don't care about skin color? I just don't understand your logic.

By making gamecreation a political battlefield instead of a joyfactory.

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#33 Posted by liquiddragon (3331 posts) -

In games, I think the protagonists should always be men, Asian men. But I guess I'm fine with pretty redheaded ladies too. That's it though, that's where I draw the line.

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#34 Posted by dafdiego777 (299 posts) -

I think that diversity in the people that make games (i.e. the developers, artists, writers, producers) is a much more inspirational cause to strive for. As someone who thinks 99% of game stories are trash, I'm all for trying new stuff out, which requires people with diverse experiences making the game.

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#35 Posted by physicalscience (307 posts) -

I think it is nice to watch my 2 1/2 year old daughter play at the park with other kids. They don't Give a fuck about skin color, social/economic class, or even at this point gender, they just like to swing and play on the slides and shit. It is sad to see that seeing and judging people on their differences is clearly a learned thing and I think until people can just see other people as just yet another equal human being regardless of skin color/gender/etc then we are never going to make any improvement. But like someone mentioned above, Trump getting elected sort of makes me feel like racists/sexists/xenophobic people are a lot less of a minority of people than I thought.

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#36 Posted by TobbRobb (6582 posts) -

Diversity is generally a good thing, as long as it comes from the right place. I don't think anyone wins with lame token characters or slapdash implementations because developers feel pressured into adding something for everyone.

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#37 Edited by fatalbanana (1106 posts) -

@rethla said:
@fatalbanana said:

Oh and the "overzealous pushers" your talking about. How does this actually effect you negatively if you don't care about skin color? I just don't understand your logic.

By making gamecreation a political battlefield instead of a joyfactory.

So games should just be passive, escapist entertainment? I care about games and I think they can be much more.

It's only politics if you make it politics. When a trans character is in a game is that politics? if a character is alluded to being gay is that politics?

No.

It becomes politics when people bring their own bias and project that onto everyone involved.

There are things that exist that were created to start a conversation. Ok, you can call that politics. You don't have to agree with those politics but can come to an understanding of why the conversation is important. Not every game should be this but if your arguing that it shouldn't exist at all I think your feelings go deeper than "I just want to have fun with my games"

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#38 Posted by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

@oursin_360: When did the president do that? Sexual assault is illegal. Unless you're talking about the recording from 2005 where he went on to do nothing at all to the lady in question. Talking shit is different. I heard more vulgar comments in my middle school locker room.

The new standard for the president of the United States.

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#39 Edited by ocelotfox (101 posts) -

@rethla: I guess it's just too bad then that a significant portion of people feel marginalized by or cannot take part in that "joyfactory" because the only skin color they see represented in the vast majority of video games they play is white/caucasian, because the only gender represented is heterosexual male, and because the only national origins on display are Western/American. Ignoring the fact that entertainment media reflect the prejudices, biases, hopes, desires, and preferences of society in favor of a child-like naivety that all games should simply be a "joyfactory" is a dangerous slope to tread. Such a viewpoint denigrates the value of video games as a First Amendment-protected expression of ideas, not just simple amusements.

I understand that some people may tire of discussions about video games they love, respect, or adore as "problematic," but the world is not so simple as to reflect only those people's monolithic appreciation of a work. These are commercial products and works of art, and are subject to criticism from all perspectives, including those you would rather not hear from. Diversity is healthy, and ensures a vibrant future for the medium because it avoids over-saturation and over-representation of concepts and mechanics of which we tire (FPS, Ubi open world, MMOs), as well as over-saturation and over-representation of traditional narratives and characters that have predominantly controlled the industry for almost 40 years.

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#40 Edited by blackichigo (435 posts) -

I'm not sure how relevant this is to the topic but as a black male, I have no problem playing a female character or white dude when that person is a default character. (Link or Lara Croft) But when a game has choice and character creator, I'm making a black dude everytime. I just find it easier to more immersed in the game when the main character looks somewhat like me.

Having said that, I totally get why most video game characters are brown haired white dudes. It's just nice when game devs throw me a bone every once in awhile.

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#41 Posted by mellotronrules (2591 posts) -

i mean, anyone who gets their blood up when the word 'diversity' is dropped (whether it's being applauded or a work is being derided for having a lack thereof) probably suffers from a lack of imagination (and perhaps more importantly) needs to grow the fuck up.

the world is large, and filled with all kinds of cultures and peoples. when i commute on the nyc subway every morning it isn't a sea lilywhite wonderbread- you get every shape, size and hue. it's high time games -especially those that seek to mimic reality- reflect that.

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#42 Edited by planetfunksquad (1543 posts) -

I mean, theres a Yakuza 3 "review" here where actual Yakuza are playing and giving their thoughts on the game. One thing they mention is the amount of gaijin currently in Japan, and specificly mention Nigerians, who apparently make good touts.

Heres the quote if anyone can't be arsed reading it (you should tho, it's good):

Internationalization. The world's a smaller place. The Nigerians? They marry Japanese chicks. They get a permanent visa. They stay. The cops can't get rid of them and they're good at steering customers into shady places. The young Japanese punks we hire, they give up, they don't browbeat drunks into bringing business to our establishments. They got no backbone. The Nigerians are aggressive. They can make good touts. By the way, Adelstein, usually when we say gaijin we mean non-Asian foreigners like you and the Nigerians.

So it would actually make perfect sense, and would even be really interesting, to have a black playable character in a Yakuza game. Finding out what a low level foreigner involved in the yakuza goes through on a daily basis, even if it's heightened to typical Yakuza nonsense, would be cool as fuck. Even if the character is only one of multiple playable characters.

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#43 Posted by DanielJW (4933 posts) -
@imsh_pl said:
@imhungry said:

The idea that nobody cares about race/sex seems very indicative of privilege. White males not understanding why people get so bent out of shape (again not assuming that @wynnduffy is a white male) about skin colour of characters is precisely because they don't and never have felt under-represented in media and don't need any extra empowerment.

Why do you think a person's desire for feeling represented should be satiated because they can shoot other players as a character who shares their race and gender?

Why do you get to decide whether or not people can enjoy being represented in games? Is there some fault in being a person of colour or a woman and wanting to play games or hear stories about people like yourself?

It's easy to say representation is trivial because there has literally never been a point in the life of a white male where they couldn't walk in to a game store or movie store and pull several hundred titles off the shelf about people that look and talk like they do. If I lived in a society where I very rarely and infrequently saw stories being told about people like me then I'd be pretty happy to participate in or consume one when it comes along.

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#44 Posted by Dixavd (2895 posts) -

You can make a good argument against poorly written characters, and how forced diversity (similar to the token-minority of old - implementing diversity without giving reasonable care or interest in the inclusion) along with poor writing can push previous players away while also insulting new audiences... but ultimately that's an argument solely against poor writing merely taken from the viewpoint of someone biased against diversity.

Even the argument "nobody cares or will buy a game based on who's represented - so why change things?" is flawed. This is statistically untrue:

Using a sample of 399 box art cases from games with ESRB ratings of Teen or Mature released in the US during the period of 2005 through 2010, this study shows that sales were positively related to sexualization of non-central female characters among cases with women present. In contrast, sales were negatively related to the presence of any central female characters (sexualized or non-sexualized) or the presence of female characters without male characters present.

Which is why games developers were for a long time economically incentivised to feature male leads: why? Because the predominant video game audience was men, and the data shows most male gamers like playing as men. If you think this means that "gamers prefer playing as men" or "male protagonists lead to better games/stories" that's your prerogative. Honestly, though, which is more likely: men are a special gender that all gamers prefer, or in general, most gamers want to play their favourite types of games featuring characters that mirror their own identity (and in the 2000's male gamers were the driving force in sales).

One of my biggest problems with the modern world is how often I see viewpoints which could be broken down to the elementary belief "it doesn't matter to me, so it shouldn't matter to anyone else". It's quite tragic.

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#45 Posted by Darth_Navster (884 posts) -

I just saw Get Out yesterday and I feel that it's an fantastic example of how diversity can enrich a medium. It's one of the most thoughtful, tense, and horrifying films I have watched in recent years, and that would not have been possible without the film's distinctly black perspective. Similarly, a game like Mafia 3 or Gone Home becomes all the more compelling due to non-white or non-heterosexual characters driving the plot. Conversely, I've never seen so-called "forced diversity" ever detract from a game. To all those who decry "forced diversity", can you point to a time where a game suffered from it?

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#46 Edited by dercomrade (30 posts) -

I think diversity of people is good for games and society, whether that is from a place of "we want to tell a story/portray the experience of different types of people" or even just "hit the character generator button for a bunch of random diverse people." It's just simple positive reinforcement for players of all colours and genders to see characters of all colours and genders. It normalizes diversity, especially in the minds of young people. It's similar to the point of racially integrating schools, where racial hate and fear are reduced by simply existing around each other and seeing that everyone is human.

Obviously, you can't force this. Some games (ie witcher 3 being based on scandanavian legend) might have a reason for lacking diversity. And free expression means do what you want, of course. But in my view, if the races or genders of the characters in a game have no story related reasons for being what they are, then it's in the devs interest and society's interest to mix it up.

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#47 Posted by rethla (3725 posts) -

@rethla: I guess it's just too bad then that a significant portion of people feel marginalized by or cannot take part in that "joyfactory" because the only skin color they see represented in the vast majority of video games they play is white/caucasian, because the only gender represented is heterosexual male, and because the only national origins on display are Western/American. Ignoring the fact that entertainment media reflect the prejudices, biases, hopes, desires, and preferences of society in favor of a child-like naivety that all games should simply be a "joyfactory" is a dangerous slope to tread. Such a viewpoint denigrates the value of video games as a First Amendment-protected expression of ideas, not just simple amusements.

I understand that some people may tire of discussions about video games they love, respect, or adore as "problematic," but the world is not so simple as to reflect only those people's monolithic appreciation of a work. These are commercial products and works of art, and are subject to criticism from all perspectives, including those you would rather not hear from. Diversity is healthy, and ensures a vibrant future for the medium because it avoids over-saturation and over-representation of concepts and mechanics of which we tire (FPS, Ubi open world, MMOs), as well as over-saturation and over-representation of traditional narratives and characters that have predominantly controlled the industry for almost 40 years.

Its also to bad when good gamecreators cant make games because they have to take into account all sorts of political statements before they do anything else or they will get lynched in massmedia.

"Yet another white male protagonist", well maybe the gamecreator didnt wanna make a statement with the gender and color of his protagonist and just didnt think about that part, to bad his game is not diverse!

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#48 Posted by iAmJohn (6293 posts) -

Not going to lie, guys, I'm a little disappointed that the universal consensus in this thread isn't "of course there is nothing wrong with diversity in games; I don't understand the question."

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#49 Posted by rethla (3725 posts) -

@iamjohn said:

Not going to lie, guys, I'm a little disappointed that the universal consensus in this thread isn't "of course there is nothing wrong with diversity in games; I don't understand the question."

Try to understand it instead of being dissapointed. Empathy is the key!

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#50 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

@danieljw:

"Why do you get to decide whether or not people can enjoy being represented in games?"
What? My position was the exact opposite, that we shouldn't decide for others what makes them feel represented, which I said as a response to someone who actually said that specific people can't feel under-represented:

"White males [...] don't and never have felt under-represented in media and don't need any extra empowerment."

"Is there some fault in being a person of colour or a woman and wanting to play games or hear stories about people like yourself?"
No...

"It's easy to say representation is trivial"
I've never said that.

"because there has literally never been a point in the life of a white male where they couldn't walk in to a game store or movie store and pull several hundred titles off the shelf about people that look and talk like they do. If I lived in a society where I very rarely and infrequently saw stories being told about people like me then I'd be pretty happy to participate in or consume one when it comes along."
Why do you think that people's desire for representation of them as human beings should be limited to playing as someone who 'looks and talks like they do'?