Representation Matters: Screaming Into The Void
By Charlotte “Charlie” Humphries
It is the year 2014 and the gaming industry is booming in all forms, not just AAA titles but also crowd-funded titles and one-person studio titles. Games from all around the world are easily accessible and forums are abuzz with debate and opinions, ranging from the articulate to the not so much.
However, in the year 2014, in the gaming industry, there is a problem. A big problem. An elephant in the room sort of problem that, while people are writing about it, nothing is happening or at least the progress is super slow. It’s fine if you want to play as a white, middle-aged, heterosexual man as this is the default character build in most titles.
However, for those of us who were born different, it isn’t so easy to find a character to relate to, somebody who goes through the same issues as we do on a day-to-day basis. There are very few options open to those of us who are tired of playing the same men over and over again.
Let’s set the record straight: representation matters.
Crowdfunded videogames should be the way forward because of the creative freedom they have. No big publishers breathing down their necks, pushing for the safe route, the safer option to ensure that the game sells, sells, sells. So why is it still difficult to find a game where the protagonist is disabled? Or an asexual running a brothel? Where are the games that look at more than just man pain?
The push for civil rights for minorities has always been at the forefront of the public’s mind, whether they choose to accept it or not. What better medium to represent these arguments and stories than video games?
So this is my rallying speech, my cry into the dark: please, bring me games that will look at more than just white men. Yes, white, heterosexual men exist, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. However, we must recognize that the world is populated with more than just men to start with.
In the year 2014 and beyond, we need some hope. Some feel good stories that people can look up to, take inspiration from. I’m not saying that all games from now on need to look at people who aren’t white men, but we need some more diversity in the cast of characters. We need a clean-up of stereotypes and tropes, new voices to come through with their own stories.
Watch this space. I’m on a mission to undercover the crowd-funded games that embrace the diversity of the human race in all its forms, be that through race, gender, sexuality or disability. This space will be filled with hope and some hard truths.
[Google][pinterest][follow id=”Cliqist” size=”large” count=”true” ]
[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/charlotte.jpg”] Some say that Charlotte can smell incorrect spelling from three miles away. It is actually four and a half, but let’s not split hairs. When she isn’t proof-reading or playing games, Charlotte spends her days at community events cosplaying as Deadpool, or cat herding. Her favourite video game character is Patricia Tannis. If you want to read more of her ramblings, head over to http://www.humphriesck.wordpress.com.[/author]