When I think about diversity in last year’s crop of big-budget games I can see the bright spots. Some of PlayStation’s marquee games, for example, featured some of the most diverse casts I’ve seen with men of color and queer women front and center as main characters. But there’s still work to be done in the games themselves and in the studios where they’re made.
It’s hard to quantify a year in diversity in video games. It’s not about awarding the most “woke points” to games starring not-white, not-straight, not-dudes but assessing how thoughtfully the creative teams behind these games implement their diversity. Important things to think about are if these characters in these games are ticking boxes or are their identities integral to their character.
It’s also important to note that I don’t have all the answers. I am a Black, queer, woman, but I’m also cis and able bodied. What doesn’t work for me may be fine for somebody else, and what does work for me may not necessarily work for someone at axes of marginalization different from mine. What I want is to have a discussion about 2020’s games from a diversity perspective: what they’ve done right, what they missed, and what I’d like to see them do in 2021.