Should We be Excited About Increased Diversity in Video Game Ads?

Many people discuss the lack of women represented in video games outside of stereotypes. Sometimes the lack of diversity in race and ethnicity is overlooked too. There is a lack of representation from African, Asian, and South American descent in the games we play. Seriously, think of 10 game characters from these descents that you can actually play with that don’t fit the stereotype of athlete, gangster, or soldiers.Recently, my husband and I were discussing how cool it was to see Idris Elba in the commercial for Rainbow Six Siege and Michael Bae Jordan – I mean Michael B. Jordan – and Marshawn Lynch in the Call of Duty commercial. It makes me wonder, are we witnessing a shift to include more people of color in video games for the sake of progress, or is this all a cheap marketing move? Could it be a combination of progress and marketing tactics?

It’s possible that Idris Elba and Michael B. Jordan have helped open the doors of diversity for other people of color in the future. In 2011, Jordan and Elba were voice actors in Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 respectively. Could it be the fact that Idris Elba and Michael B. Jordan have been ranked for being two of the sexiest men alive? Or that they have ties to geek culture?

More recently, Elba plays Heimdall in Marvel’s Thor films and Jordan played Human Torch in the recent Fantastic Four adaptation. Both of these casting choices received backlash from racists and sentimentalists alike who believed these roles are reserved for white actors only. Cisgender white males tend to dominate most of the entertainment and media that people consume on a regular basis. They are the primary actors on our screens, the top ranked musicians, and even the main characters in our games. White males as primary characters are so common that if a video game does something different they are thoroughly questioned or threatened with being boycotted.

Idris Elba as Heimdall.

In 2015, we are still witnessing video games where there are no people of color in a main role. Even in games where customization is allowed, you will typically start out with a white male that you have to change to look like you. This lack of diversity for people of color is dehumanizing us in the digital space. It is telling the world that white males are what normal is. Each time the argument is brought up to video game companies and players alike, there are always excuses made as to why the game must be ‘historically accurate’. As a woman of color with a love for all things related to comics, video games, science fiction and fantasy, it is disheartening to know that I may never see someone who looks like me as a main character in a AAA video game unless I create her myself.

michael b jordan fantastic4

With the industry acknowledging the pull that actors such as Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, and Anna Kendrick have will attract us to games, I am hoping that they will also see what diversifying their characters’ appearances can do for a game’s relatability. Characters like Christie Montiero in Tekken, Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, and Aveline de Grandpre in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation prove someone is working to diversify games for us.

We are making progress and I hope that we can continue to cultivate a level of diversity that would contribute to a welcoming gaming community for all.

Share this article:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Recent Posts

H3Pro Hybrid Gaming News

EPOS H3 Pro Hybrid – New Colors and New Features

An amazing headset just got better

Gaming News

Infinite Album Adds Customization to Your Background Music

As more and more people get into streaming, problems with finding the right music for every mood grows. Add on top of that, finding decent music that can be streamed …

Gaming News

A Different Take on Tower Defense – Hostile Mars | PAX East 2022

While browsing the PAX East show floor, Hostile Mars caught our eye right away. At first glance, it reminded us of No Man Sky but with a lot more combat. …

AmazeVR Gaming News

AmazeVR and Meg Thee Stallion Enter The Hottieverse | SXSW

VR is finally getting to the point where it makes sense for more users to have it in their homes. There are a ton of uses for the various headsets … Gaming News

Hro X DC Create Hybrid NFTs | SXSW

During SXSW 2022 Warner Media had a few activations spread around the city. You could just hang out at some, create unique wearables at others and experience the world of …

Halo SXSW Panel Gaming News

Paramount Plus’ Halo Series Takes Viewers on a Wild Ride | SXSW

One of the screenings that were on the top of our list for SXSW 2022 was the screening of the first episode of the Paramount Halo Series. I will hold …