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Why diversity in video games can sometimes be smooth and other times be jarring

Gamingtodaynews1e - Why diversity in video games can sometimes be smooth and other times be jarring

Please read the whole post and take it with the context provided within. I know I'm going to get blanket hate comments, but at least recognise that there is an argument highlighting a spectrum of contexts rather than just "waah women and minorities bad".

With a lot of triple A games (primarily (online-optional) shooters ) like Battlefield, Call of Duty and Counter Strike, there has isolated pockets of backlash towards diversity which often get instantly maligned and shut down as women hating or minority hating. Whilst I have no issue with women or minorities being in and taking any role in any game, I think the reasoning behind the backlash gets unfairly maligned and/or ignored.

The thing is people don't take issue with women being present or taking a leading or specific role in games like Fallout, Fortnite, Overwatch, most Zombie games, 3D puzzle/raider games like Tomb Raider/Uncharted, or basically any game outside of very specific examples where there is a legitimate and logical reason for a faction to not have them.

I believe that is because the presence of minorities and women in the context of particular real life organisations or units that they would not belong to in real life comes across as very forced and feels like pandering, not to mention it's just…inconsistent with the organisation. At the extreme end you have things like a historical setting where they genuinely wouldn't be tolerated on principle, (Certain minorities being integrated with, and fighting for, the Nazis), or historically wouldn't be allowed (Women in US airborne combat units).

On the more arguable side you have the more "unlikely" examples which are less jarring such as women in elite military units which they are technically allowed in now (until very recently they weren't – and that loops back to the historical context issue), but either just aren't in at all, or not in reasonably proportional numbers.


TL;DR – People don't mind, and in many cases actively like diversity, as long as they aren't in a historical or real current organisation that explicitly would refuse them on principle (like Nazis hating minorities), for practical reasons (Combat military units in the West not accepting women until recently), or just likelihood where they are technically allowed but not common (That SEAL/SAS combat team packed with women).

Right, I've added this in as people are broadly making the same response, to which I think my post doesn't articulate very clearly:

I agree that games don't have to be realistic, usually aren't, and that the lack of realism sometimes enhances the experience…

However game developers make a conscious choice to include a real life group or faction to provoke a feeling or reaction. That's very different in my opinion to creating a totally fictional world or a totally fictional setting. Nazis are often villains in games because people know from real life context that they are bad, and are bad for specific reasons.

Yes there's nothing stopping you using real organisations and altering their demographic significantly, but it feels rather cheap and dare I say sly to rely on such an organisation's real life context if you are deliberately changing their entire reason why we're supposed to have a certain reaction towards them.

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