Report: Minorities Underserved, Underrepresented By Games

A report from the USC Annenberg School for Communication finds that the video game racial landscape has a long way to go to match that of American society, faring about as well or worse than that of television.

The study surveyed the "top 150 games in a year across nine platforms and all rating levels" with each title weighted by popularity, finding that less than 3% of game characters were "recognizably Hispanic." Of those Hispanics, the study claims that all were "non-playable, background characters." Dom from Gears excepted of course. (And I always thought Tyson Rios from Army of Two was Hispanic, but maybe not recognisably enough.)

The study claims that more Hispanic children play games than white children.

"For identity formation, that's a problem. And for generating interest in technology, it may place underrepresented groups behind the curve," points out study leader Dmitri Williams, a social psychologist and assistant professor at USC. "Ironically, they may even be less likely to become game makers themselves, helping to perpetuate the cycle."

Video Game Minority Report: Lots Of Players, Few Characters [Science Daily]


Comments

    Ironically, Dmitri Williams, a social psychologist and assistant professor at USC, doesn't understand the word 'irony'.

    So games should just include Hispanics (and other minorities) in lead/playable roles just because alot of Mexican kids are gamers?

    Link should wear a sombrero in the next Zelda game? I don't get it, games have unique, identifiable worlds, most often fantastical in nature. Perhaps there's no equivalent of Hispanic peoples present in this world? Is that also considered offensive?

    What if devs just shoehorned Hispanic characters into their games, wouldn't that also be looked upon negatively? Even though these people are getting their 'screen time'?

    Game worlds *aren't* the real world. They don't *have* to have every single thing in the real world represented by an analogue. Deal with it.

    I can't believe society is still going on about racial issues etc...

    Pretty sure all humans no matter what colour or sex, all share the same rights. Well in countries like Australia & America anyway.

    Just because there are less black or 'hispanic' people in a video game, doesn't make it racist or unsociable. I'm pretty sure the percentage of white people WORLDWIDE is greater than any other coloured skin human.

    I think people need to grow up. I can't believe people work in places like "School for Communication". What a sad place to work at.

      @Jay
      "I’m pretty sure the percentage of white people WORLDWIDE is greater than any other coloured skin human."

      Haha, no way, not even close.

        I Never Knew Anyone could be so stupid.. but there you go, its like one of those americans the chasers always rip into.

    People make products that feature people that are like them. We know this. Maybe when all those Latino kids grow up, they'll make games with more Latino characters. Problem solved!

    What about Dora the Explorer? Vamanos!!

    Really, who cares? What difference does it make? Why can't black / hispanic / asian / whatever people enjoy a game featuring a white character? Why should the player have to be able to identify with the lead character of a game?

    I'm not russian, but I still enjoyed GTAIV. I'm not Japanese, but I still enjoyed Ninja Gaiden and Yakuza. I'm not female but I still enjoyed Mirror's Edge. I'm not homosexual but I still enjoyed Gears of War and Killzone 2. I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

    Just let the devs make their game. If you don't like it, don't play it. Or, even better, make your own game where you can include token representatives of any number of minorities you choose, and nobody will notice or care anyway.

    What percentage of game developers are recognizably Hispanic?
    If it is under 3% then the people making these reports can STFU! If its over 3% then how about the recognizable minority represent themselves and make games with which ever stereotype they choose to represent.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now