Weekly roundup: Diversity and development in video games

[Mashable] Diversity report card: Video games passed in 2015, but barely

This is article is one of a cool five-part series that Mashable did, examining strides made in 2015 in movies, television, online video, gaming and sports.

Starting with the recently released Pew study that confirmed what we already suspected; 50% of adult men and 48% of adult women — a nearly even amount — play games. It’s great to see the industry taking note of this, with new titles like Horizon: Zero Dawn, ReCore, Mirror’s Edge 2 and Lara Croft GO! all featured female leads and more offering playable female characters.

This is great, we are getting somewhere, however real diversity in games still has a way to go. Most of these leads aren’t minorities and the gaming landscape is still predominantly white. Mashable links this issue of representation to the bleak levels of diversity within the mainstream games industry:

Even in 2015, 75% of the games industry is male, and 76% of its members are white, according a 2015 self-selected survey from the International Game Developers Association. Only 9% of the survey’s respondents were East Asian, 7% were Latino and 3% were black.

 >> Read the full report

Severed

[engadget] Developer diversity changes the way video games are made

Leading nicely onto this next piece, which examines in more details the roles of developers when pushing for diversity in games. The author also briefly explores the backlash from players who don’t feel diversity is necessary, speaking to Dr. Kishonna Gray, director of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University:

“Those who have always been reflected in any type of media suggest that diversity and accurate representations are unnecessary,” she says. “Those who make these comments have always been catered to. They have diverse stories. They have meaningful representations. They are not reduced to perpetual stereotypes.”

There’s tons more in this piece, including examples of cool games you should be playing, go read it!

>> Read full article

[Al Jazeera] In Pakistan, some gaming studios have made gender equity a priority

This article caught my eye as I was browsing through Twitter, mainly because Pakistan is not often celebrated for its’ gender diversity. Only about 13 percent of the non-agriculture workforce is female.

However some big studios in Pakistan’s rapidly growing gaming industry are challenging this. We R Play Studios have a 42 percent female workforce, 25 percent of Tintash Studios staff are women and CaramelTech Studios in Lahore are on 23 percent.

>> Read full article

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Level Up: A Geek Romance Rom Com

Lastly, not an article but a free (FREE!) book from author Cathy Yardley. The first in a geek romance rom com series, this book (according to a review) hits on everything that the modern nerdy woman could want. 

Go read it!

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