Nineworlds Geekfest 2016: liveblogging – #GamesSoWhite diversity in gaming


#Gamessowhite diversity in games
10% of industry is ethnic minority. why is it so stagnant at the moment? its an issue we should be addressing. We discuss the long term battle of equality in the gaming industry.

Hosted by Ranjani Natarajan, Chella Ramanan, Frank Voss and
Kish Hirani.

If people of colour are playing games, why are there so few in the industry?

Women in games issue is changing, having more main roles in games, should now address more diversity.

Kish been in games industry over 20years, started as games programmer, when he began he had his grandfather in india ask when he would get a new job. Stereotype – you have a degree in computer science, can you fix a pc?


Perhaps the ethnic minority crowd prefer other geek hobbies rather than games. You go korea they enjoy this event but it may be more comfortable go to exclusive events, close to home. Gaming is a passive experience.

Elitism exists in fandoms and can intimidate people. Nineworlds is very white even though very inclusive event.

World is so small, you can.find more cultural role models but when you look globally there are more but people would be ignorant to it. Lack of knowledge due to access.

E3 had white middle aged men talk about their mainstream games like EA, ubisoft etc. Niche industry that people find it hard to infiltrate.

Access and awareness is important; look at games like Monkey island – guybrush is white has to save his fiance and the villain is someone of colour. You dont question it, your are brought up with this notion.

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Uncharted always needs a mystic native to help you, assassins creed a random black guy trains you. Until media points it out you just carry on playing. Is it culturally appropriate? COD they based one in karachi , Pakistan but billboards had arabic not urdu. Big little planet, picking and choosing your favourite aspects and creating your own world like British colonialism. Big companies like Sony just come up with the ideas and assume by hiring some brown people that they can localise it better. And justify mistakes like cod as ‘it doesn’t matter its just a game’.

Deux ex with advert of ‘Aug lives matter’ mimicking ‘black lives matter’ using a live issue which has brought a lot of pain to market a game. Not racist but insensitive.


Witcher 3 was called out for white watching as you are not allowed to be black. You can be an orc, dragon but not chinese.

AC Unity a man can do anything in the magic sofa but not a woman or black man. People object against non white protagonists, perhaps people should object to stereotype ethnics. Organise an effort to make noise and supporting games who represent diversity better over mainstream white washing.

People have a voice in games more through kickstarter, you can control how the game is made; get your name in their, some offered characters made in your likeness. Ie characters with names not in mainstream popularity, ethnicities, disabilities etc in zombie run.

More diversity in outside towns of london voted In eu referendum. We need more diversity so people see it as the norm. Games would be a great vehicle for this message. People take these things fir granted. Gta tend to show black drug dealers, black prostitutes so you expect this troupe.

Character customisation, why is it so hard to animate curly hair? It is something that is added in the end ie. We have a few days left, add diversity, skin, hair at the end. Hair is an after thought.

Why can gamers do to support the industry?

Support the games that you feel represent you as a person. Give money to companies who do right about you. Some people get precious about games; gamers should be able to enjoy the game but question it, how else will it improve. Lack of critical thought in game industry- always about tech no emphasis on story, emotional invest…

Write reviews, tweet developers. To get into the industry; so many roles apart from being a programmer – games need to be funded, marketed.

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