Stereotypes in Gaming

Posted on January 14, 2009, 4:53 pm, by Jason, under PEOPLE, representation, Uncategorized.

I’m posting out of turn here, but it’s a blog so that’s OK, right?

One of my main interests in the AbTeC project is working on ways of articulating arguments–beyond the moral ones– for broadening the producer base to include people from a wider range of backgrounds than is presently the case. In other words, why is it important that we get more native kids involved in game design, or more generally, in media production? What is the benefit to them, to their communities, and to the majority culture in which we all must operate?

In that vein, I want to link to an article I found after reading Beth’s interview in the Escapist (see my last post.) It’s called “Black Professionals In Games: N’Gai Croal Talks Stereotypes, Finding Video Games’ Spike Lee“. Croal is a writer for Newseek with a focus on games, and he has a great approach to talking about racial/ethnic stereotyping in games. He is talking about the African-American (non)-presence on-screen and behind the camera, but much of what he says is relevant to our own conversations about Natives:

Is diversity important in the video games industry? [pauses] I’m pausing because I guess I’ll answer like this: I think we don’t yet know how important diversity is in the games industry because the industry is not as diverse as it could be. [link]

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