Lack of Diversity in Video Game Characters


By: Lina Zia, Guest Contributor

A recent Nielsen study finds that Hispanics, African-Americans and non-Hispanic whites ‘are much more positive about race representation’ in video games than their counterparts in the Asian and LGBT communities.

It is important for gamers to have ‘the option to play or build characters who reflect who they are IRL (in real life).’ ‘But 65% of LGBT gamers don’t feel all sexual orientations have ample representation among video game characters.’  And more than half of Asian-Americans gamers don’t think that ‘video game characters are not inclusive’ and ‘all races aren’t well represented.’

These beliefs are problematic for the video game industry since ‘these groups as whole are engaged gamers. In fact, 65% of all LGBT consumers play games of any type, slightly edging out heterosexual players (63%). Asian-Americans are even more likely to game (81%), leading all other races and ethnicities: African-Americans are the next most likely (71%), followed by non-Hispanic whites (61%) and Hispanics (55%).’

By providing diverse characters and reflecting the different demographics in their marketing efforts, video game companies can better appeal to and retain these valuable pockets of their consumer base.  Just another example that diversity is more than politically correct, it’s sound business.