In a not so surprising survey published by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the video gaming industry was revealed to suffer from a lack of diversity. According to the survey, “when it comes to diversity, 74% of workers are cis males, 61% are white/caucasian/European, and 81% are heterosexual, despite the majority of respondents claiming diversity in game development to be “very important” or “somewhat important” to them.” The report surveyed 963 people working or looking for employment in the video game industry
While the lack of diversity is easy to see, a large majority (84%) stated that diversity is important to the future of gaming. Despite this number, just over half “(58%) felt that the industry did not grow any more diverse over the last two years.” Video games have become a multi billion dollar industry that has seen a huge investments. As a new entertainment source, there are plenty of opportunities to sell to a growing diverse audience. (A Pew Research Center study from 2015 shows that 19% of Hispanic people and 11% of black people in the U.S. would say the term “gamer” describes them well. Only 7% of white people would say the same.) Similar to Black Panther and Wonder Woman movies within the Superhero genre, video games could help their bottom line with hiring and promoting big budget releases for larger audiences.
Only time will tell exactly what happens within the industry but an expansion of opportunities for women and men like Smash Sisters, Girls Who Code, and Culture Shock Games are step in the right direction.
Of the 963 respondents:
- only 1% of survey respondents identified as Black, African American, or African
- 4% identified as Hispanic or Latinx.
- 23% identified as female (with 75% of respondents identifying as male)
- 5% identified as transgender or “other”
- 19% identified as non-heterosexual