A diverse group of people gaming together

Diversity and Inclusion: What do Players Actually Think?

A case for change in the Games industry

Most gamers would agree that games should be fun. Some genres offer rewarding challenges, while others transport players into a world of imagination. Even the most hardcore competitive games are meant to be enjoyable. 

Video games are universally loved for the escape they offer to players, but for some, the experience isn't so freeing. The privilege to do anything, be anyone, and share meaningful experiences with others is often impeded by gender, race, language, and notably, sexual orientation. 

There's been an effort in recent years to make video games and gaming spaces more inclusive. While some gamers praise the increasing focus on diversity, others dismiss the effort, suggesting that it’s unnecessary. Like many topics around diversity, some argue that studios are pandering to the will of a small minority whose desires don't reflect those of most players. 

But... what do players actually think? 

Games can be used to promote diversity and inclusivity. They are a great window into the lives of others and allow us to explore concepts we might bring back to the real world. Achieving an authentic representation of the human experience is paramount to a game’s success; diversity and inclusion are vital for capturing and retaining player attention.

We won’t beat around the bush. The battle for equity in gaming isn't over, and likely won't be for a while. DEI has been, and will remain, a controversial topic in the industry for quite some time. It’s a complex subject and one that’s been twisted and turned countless times. But while buzzwords like “woke” and “ESG” cloud the discussion, there's one key takeaway that cuts through the noise: 

It’s noble to want to create an experience that feels tailor-made for every player, but it’s necessary to create an experience that doesn't make any player feel specifically excluded. Make sure that your world, its characters, and the way they interact in context don’t make your players feel unvalued, offended, or outcast.” 

Identifying these challenges can be a struggle, but an outside voice can help. Lionbridge Games is a firm LGBTQIA+ ally. Whether helping design in-game experiences, hiring new Lions, or supporting existing ones, we practice culturalization, DEI, and allyship in everything we do. If our experience has taught us anything, it's the value of understanding — and respecting — your fellow player.

Learn More

Want to learn more about diversity and inclusion in video games? Check out our Culturalization Whitepaper to discover how our localization teams navigate gender, sexuality, religion, and politics when bringing titles to foreign markets. 

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Abigail Smathers