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The games industry: doing diversity & inclusion right

A still from the video game, Hades, featuring the main character Zagreus and one of the game's enemies, Alecto. The game was a big winner at the BAFTA video games awards, and, featuring a bisexual main character, a great sign for diversity in the games industry.

Out there

We wrote last year about the challenges the +$138 billion games industry has had in establishing its diversity and inclusion credentials – but watching this year’s BAFTA Games Awards, I wonder if there is a lot more to celebrate than we previously noted. The increasing evidence is that large parts of the games industry and its players are some of the most inclusive and accepting communities out there. Certainly there is already a lot that other businesses could learn from the industry. Presented by

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The Gamification of Life and Commerce

Switching to new horizons

Like many facing the prospect of several weeks (so we thought) stuck at home, the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons seemed like the best-timed launch in the history of gaming. As James reported recently, gaming has fared exceptionally well these recent months. But Animal Crossing has distinguished itself as a cultural force. As lockdown went on and Zoom pub quizzes grew wearisome, Animal Crossing continued to be a place to reconnect with friends, but without the pressure of trying to find something new to talk about. Instead, visiting friends on their islands was a chance to do something fun with people again.

Since then, other games have grown in popularity. In particular, Among Us has become the rival for cultural dominance as the game that not only is everyone playing, but also talking about. I found the game through internet chatter and played just to understand what made it so worth talking about. While Animal Crossing

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The games industry: diversity challenges, and solutions

Image of diversity and inclusion in games industry gamertag

Game Pride

It has been a turbulent few weeks of diversity and inclusion challenges in the video games industry: Laura Bailey received death threats for playing Abby in The Last of Us Part 2the game streaming site Twitch started banning users following protests about abuseand Ubisoft – one of the worlds biggest and most successful games studios – saw a number of key staff and executives step down over sexual misconduct allegations. 

But should we be surprised? Whilst parts of the industry are leading real, positive change around diversityinclusion and positive culture, there is still enormous room for improvement in the culture of many parts of the games industry.  

Earlier this year, interactive entertainment association Ukie published the results of its diversity census. 3,200+ games industry workers took part (which equates to roughly 20% of the overall workforce). Of those: 

  • Only 10% of people working in video games are black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME).  
  • 21% of people working in video games are LGBTQ+, while 79% are heterosexual. 
  • 70% of people working in the video games industry are male, compared to 28% female and 2% non-binary workers.  
  • Female representation in the video games workforce is significantly under the national average of those in work. 

Late last year, Currys PC World also released the results of their report into diversity within the games industry. Amongst other things the report revealed “a distinct bias in favour of the young, white, straight male.” Is it any wonder, when such a high percentage of its workforce is made up of them? 

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