Actress and gamer Aisha Tyler hosted game developer Ubisoft's press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The company was recently criticized for not animating female assassins in one of its new games. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
NPR's Laura Sydell has a report today on the dismal state of character diversity in video games: not enough non-sex-object women, not enough non-white-guys as protagonists.
There's a myth that only nerdy white guys play and make video games. At this week's video game extravaganza in Los Angeles called Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft didn't do much to change that image. At the company's E3 press conference, there was an unseen female announcer, but there was only one female who stood on stage and spoke. Bonnie Ross, who heads the Microsoft studio that produces its blockbuster game Halo, spoke for less than two minutes.
"When we think about the Halo universe, we think of it as a real place inhabited by real characters," Ross said during her brief appearance on the stage.
Leigh Alexander, who writes about the culture and business of games for the website Gamasutra, is a diehard gamer but says Microsoft has turned her off of its Xbox console.
"That branding has never really appealed to me and when I watched the Microsoft press conference, it felt very more of the same to me," Alexander says. "I didn't experience any diversity."
"Critics Renew Calls For More Diverse Video Game Characters" [npr.org]
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