Do games cater to diverse ethnicities? To pull our data, we’ve scrutinised every game nominated for a Game Award from 2003 until 2018. Games with no human characters (as in the case of a driving sim like Burnout 3) have been excluded.
A tiny proportion of Game of the Year nominees and winners place you in the shoes of a person of colour (POC).
In Mass Effect, you can’t escape the fact that the “default” character Shepherd is white and male (look no further than the cover art!).
Elsewhere, games like Fallout 4 don’t fix an identity to their cover, but the player creator screen serves a generic white male/female face as the first thing you see.
Monster Hunter: World, by contrast, does something a little different. The default male option is white, but the default female option is a person of colour (“more than 1 default”).
On average, across 10 genres, you're likely to get a white-only protagonist 67% of the time, versus 23% in RPGs.
Canada is by far the best at getting representation right. Edmonton’s Bioware has put an emphasis on player freedom, and Ubisoft Montreal is another developer that consistently tells diverse stories (Assassin’s Creed).
The range applied to white characters is often missing when you see how other races are depicted in games.”Adam Campbell Co-founder of POC in Play
University of Georgia professor Lee Everett (The Walking Dead) is cut from a different cloth than the majority of POC characters in games. He’s not afraid to show his vulnerability and in playing him, you get the sense he’s a real person, foibles and all. Lee is wonderfully voiced by Dave Fennoy.
The Walking Dead: The Game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin’s Creed III
We looked at 20 years of E3, analysing three key categories: Best PC Game, Best Console Game, Best of Show.© Nintendo
We’ve rounded up a list of all the disabled characters in games, extending the net well beyond Game of the Year nominees/winners and E3 standouts.© Rockstar Games