I am a huge fan of artistic expression, and a huge fan of gaming. I think interactive entertainment presents an incredible opportunity to teach everything from basic math to teamwork, reaction time, problem solving and even empathy.
But there is a movement to tear down gaming and promote censorship of expression. In the 1990s this movement was launched from the far right- moral police that tried to convince us digital violence and nudity would destroy our young people. Today the threat of censorship comes from a new hate movement on the far left. These fact-free idealogues make their careers out of trying to convince anyone who will listen that gender relations and our basic humanity is under threat from gaming culture.
Now I am all for gaming being more inclusive, but inclusive means there is content for EVERYONE to enjoy depending on their game of choice- and things like sexy female characters or pointless violence are an enjoyable escape for millions of gamers- these things are here to stay. So raising awareness of tropes in specific games is really only useful if you are a designer bent on innovation that you believe will have wide appeal while at the same time bring something new to the table.
Claiming the majority of games are blood thirsty, sexual, or perpetuate racism/classism/sexism only happens because admitting their findings are carefully cherry-picked wouldn’t turn any heads.
Fortunately the facts are in, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with gaming or gaming culture. In fact with the advent of interactive entertainment we have been able to broaden minds, tastes, and experiences, and now that we are on the cusp of Augmented and Virtual Reality we can expect that to increase 1000 fold in the coming years. So let’s hope the future is developers that continue to take risks and bring us ALL types of games for all types of gamers.
Video games more effective than medicine for treating depression:
Disproving the link between gaming and sexism:
Disproving the link between gaming and violence:
Video games have exploded in the last 30 years, and ALL types of violent crime have plummeted in that same time frame: