Gaming in my opinion is a media that opens up a whole new way of telling stories that movies and books simply can not match. Despite the news media, government, and practically everyone who’s never played a game in their life constant assault on this media due to their lack of ignorance on the topic, many just see it as a past time. I mean, the latter part is true, it is a past time that many enjoy but it can also teach people new and foreign things they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. For a while now, I’ve come across videos and blogs of people attacking several games for not including a certain gender or race in a particular setting and I often wonder why people can’t seem to use their heads and logically think about why a game may lack a certain group of gender, race etc.
Games for example like The Witcher and Kingdom Come: Deliverance are just one of many examples that have been criticized for their lack of diversity. Essentially, these games tend to have a majority white cast and because of that, some people feel like these games should include a certain amount of gender/race to be diverse. It’s almost an obligation at this point. I mean I loved Assassin’s Creed Origins for the effort the developer went to depict an accurate and authentic ancient Egypt. I was very happy and amazed with how accurately the recreated Ancient Egypt and it’s people.
Sure, there’s mystics involved but they tried to ground the game to realism as possible using sources and it showed. I was so well done that they created a separate portion of the game for educational purpose for schools to use. So why do people find an issue with games that have come out and said, they’re focusing on historical accuracy?
I can understand that they mean well, as an African I too would like to see more people who look like me in games, however their arguments becomes mute when you start to look at the games they want diversity in.
Narratives and/or historical accuracy becomes the key defining component that determines how the game will be created. Let’s take Kingdom Come: Deliverance for example. The game is centered around a place called Bohemia – located in the heart of Europe. Naturally if you observe history, you’d expected to see nothing but a large amount medieval Bohemia white male and females in the game. The game has a narrative and a time period, in addition to their marketing tagline line being “meeting real historical characters and experience the genuine look and feel of medieval Bohemia.“
However, this information somehow slipped past the people who tried to make a case for why Kingdom Come: Deliverance lacked diversity. It makes not sense. Of course I’m sure there must have been at least a few foreign traders in reality but that’s far few in between. Story and context matter. And this guys had a story they wanted to tell. I value the true vision of a story-tellers vision more than wanted to be diverse for the sake of diversity. Characters with great stories are remembered much longer and years later than characters who are introduced for diversity sake.
Think about it, if a developer in the near future decided to finally create a game based solely on ancient historical events Africa that revolves around the native people of that continent for example, and the main casts ends up been just white people who feasibly shouldn’t be there in that time period, there would be some type of uproar for sure. I want games with people who look like me and I’m sure you guys want games that have people that look like yourself in many different roles, but I don’t want them to just be shoved in there to please a small group of loud minority that can’t seem to think logically when they find out a game doesn’t have XYZ. It paints a really bad picture to the rest of us who just pick up the games, play them, like the characters because attention of detail and appreciate the care that are given to them and want more.
In my opinion, if you want change, you gotta take matter into your own hands. I’ve seen people out here start business, dedicated to show the world their culture to the rest of the world through games, movies, books etc. To fight against stereotypes and to create characters the future generation can look up to growing up. If you can’t create, you can support these guys. I try to myself but I only support great quality stuff. Unfortunately, I don’t support for the sake of diversity. If I see a group of people make something that I think is great I will share it.
If all you do is complain and expect other to write your image for you, then you have a long time to wait. That’s just my take on it. Let me know what you guys think.