Diversity is the state of being of a different kind, form, or character. Something that when one plays video games would expect to see right away and would expect to help them immerse themselves into a game. In fact, when one plays a game even though there is a diversity of fantasy and mythical characters, there is not a diversity of human characters. Just like in regular media (television, news, etc.), video games follow just about the same “rules”.
There’s a predominantly white male playing the lead role, women play the damsel in distress, and minorities play the trouble makers and hardly ever step outside the boundaries of their stereotypes.
I am currently conducting a study on video games and their diversity. I am sitting down and taking the time to watch full game walkthrough of current and popular games and collecting data on the games characters, their behavior, and their actions throughout the game’s storyline. I based my tally on the fact that a main character was someone that had an actual speaking line in the games cut scenes. After collecting all of this information and data I will analyzed it.
After sitting down and watching all thirty-five videos of the walkthrough, going through nearly nine hours of video I marked down that the video game had thirty-five characters that spoke throughout the game. Fifteen of those characters were predominantly white and the other twenty were all of some form of Hispanic origin. There was not a single person who was African American that had a speaking line. I did, however, finally manage to catch sight of at least one person who seemed to be of African American decent and that was not until episode twenty-two out of thirty-five of the game. Unfortunately, as soon as I saw him, however, he was killed by Max because he was an obstacle within game that he had to “overcome”.
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This leaves me with these results. Out of thirty-five characters, 42.86% were predominantly white and 57.14% were Hispanic. None were African American; there were no Asian characters either. This means that overall there was a higher percentage of Hispanic people within the game. A breakthrough one would think until you go back and look back at the death totals of the characters of the game. By the end there was only six characters left living by the end of the game. This means that 82.86% of the game’s characters were killed in some fashion throughout the game, the worst in my opinion being Marcello Branco when he was burned to death. 73.33% of the game’s predominantly white characters were killed in the game. These remaining four characters were, of course, Max Payne, a police officer that was helping Max, a bartender that made an appearance earlier in the game, and a second bartender who made an appearance at the end of the game. As for the Hispanic characters, the survivors were Raul Passos, Max’s partner, and his girlfriend Giovanna, who is the sister of the recently deceased Fabiana Branco. This leaves the Hispanic character death total at an even 90%.
I can tell you that I have no problem with playing a good game, no matter the race or gender of the main character. Do I feel developers should start looking out the normal spectrum when it comes to character development? Yes. No one wants to start a race war or anything like that. All a lot a gamers want to see is more diversity in the starring role. it's fantasy so it's not hard to create someone from a different cultural background. Of course such a new age game like this could be controversial, but if it has a good storyline that would go with it, and it would be fun to play it might not actually be too bad. If I can think of all of that from my perspective, so can developers too.
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