About the campaign

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Methodology

You’ll notice that our E3 and Game of the Year pages have a system whereby we rank games based on how diverse we think they are.

What were points awarded for?
A playable female character in a leading role1 4 points
A female supporting cast member (non-playable but prominent) 3 points
A playable person of colour2 4 points
LGBTQ+ inclusion3 4 points
The ability to be in an LGBTQ+ relationship 2 points
The inclusion of a disabled character4 3 points

*Note, in select cases, points could be deducted for unhelpful/negative/overly stereotypical representation.

What do the final scores mean?
Very diverse 10+ points
Good diversity 8-10 points
Somewhat diverse 5-7 points
No/low diversity 0-4 points
What are the characteristics of a “Very diverse” game?
  • Playable female or prominent female supporting cast member
  • Playable person of colour or prominent cast member
  • Likely to feature LGBTQ+ subplots, or LGBTQ+ characters you can romance
  • Avoids overt sexualisation or rampant stereotyping
What are the characteristics of a “No/low diversity” game?
  • All male principal cast; if women are featured, may well be to fulfil a “damsel in distress” role
  • Non-existent LGBTQ+ representation or rampant stereotyping in play
  • No people of colour; or in cases where they are, likely to be male and relegated to a supporting role
Miscellaneous
  • Select games were not looked at, either because they don’t feature playable human characters, or because they are a sports title, and representation is based on real-life conditions.
  • Where possible, we have analysed single-player campaigns first and foremost, as this is a curated slice of content, and in many cases the best representation of what the game “stands for”. In the rare cases games are multiplayer-only, e.g. Overwatch, we’ve analysed the multiplayer component top to bottom.
  • Finally, a word on our process. Objectivity is a lofty goal, but when no one game is the same, a certain amount of subjectivity is inevitable. Some instances of that include Metal Gear Solid V, which ticks many of the diversity boxes, but loses points for the way it portrays supporting cast member Quiet. Her almost permanent nakedness, which amounts to nothing more than titillation, is explained by a throwaway plot point which feels laughable under scrutiny. On the flipside, a game like Half-Life 2 doesn’t tick all that many boxes but does deserve credit for introducing very visible characters of colour. Though not playable, Alyx and her father Eli are prominent players in the story and points were awarded accordingly. The same goes for 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, which won additional points for its ability to break ground with a new, more serious Lara Croft.

1 Fewer points were awarded to games with female characters in multiplayer modes only; likewise, a game like The Last of Us didn’t get a full 4 points because Ellie is only playable for a few hours of the game.

2 Games that feature people of colour in supporting - or partially playable roles - received between 1 and 3 points

3 Fewer points were awarded to games that reference LGBTQ+ themes but lack fully-fledged LGBTQ+ characters; minus scores were handed out to games that portray anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment

4 Fewer points were awarded to games that reference disability without expressly introducing a disabled character