Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Lack Of Diversity In The Gaming Industry

Here is a link to an interesting article about the lack of diversity in the Gaming Industry. It's no surprise that the majority of game developers are white males. It's kind of a surprise to see how exactly they view diversity. There is a pretty negative view based on the assumption that diversity means hiring underqualified people just because they are "diverse."

I've always viewed diversity as something that should be fostered rather than forced. I have never felt that someone who is underqualified should be hired just because of their race or gender. However, I think companies would do good to create diversity by recruiting outside traditional areas and encouraging promising prospects to consider their industry as an option. Companies can also do more long-term projects to encourage different groups to get the skills necessary for their industry.

I think that companies in general benefit from multiple points of view. The gaming industry could certainly benefit from that. There still seems to be relatively untapped markets for games. I'm kind of surprised that while the number of female gamers is growing, there aren't more of them. Between my sister and myself, she's the better gamer. There are more games catering towards hip-hop fans/African-Americans. It will be interesting to see more games targeted at other groups. I also have to wonder what will happen when generations of gamers reach middle age. Will companies abandon them and assume that they will stop playing games? I mean, if you're playing games at 32, what's to say you won't be playing at 42 or 52?

I think the gaming industry will get more diverse, but it'll just take time. I think the majority of developers will remain white and male for a long time, but even subtle changes (with qualified people) will make a big difference.

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