The social climate has been changing in recent years, inclusion is the hot topic and it is being seen absolutely everywhere as all forms of media are starting to show this – from popular culture in movies and TV to music, one area that has been a little slow to respond however is within gaming as little change had been seen – until now, as upcoming and existing titles are starting to be much more inclusive for different audiences.
The most recognizable has certainly been from the newest project set to release from studio CD Projekt Red in Cyberpunk 2077 – the title set to release later this year has been very open around how players are able to identify their character and how these choices will impact the story throughout.
Upon creation, the usual gender selection option won’t be available as players will leave that up to their own choice and will be able to style their character or avatar however they choose without gender restrictions being present, the developers had also mentioned that the romance system within the game would also be up to player interpretation as the promise of LGBTQ romance options has widespread – the huge number of romancible characters will be available to any player and that the approach toward gender for the games protagonist, V, is a huge reason behind the flexibility here.
Other more established names have started to enter this space too – one of the biggest games in the world in World of Warcraft has been a long established title, capturing millions of players since its initial launch in 2004 and something that is very influential for many – and yet once again another title that is looking to reach out and include others with the growing support by introducing a character in the story that supports the LGBTQ movement as provides those within the game a sense of representation – whilst it may be a small first step, it could lead to something bigger within a game that already has so much reach.
It won’t be long before many others get on board too with increasing calls for representation wherever possible – mobile gaming may be the next big target as it has started to capture a growing audience and is the biggest gaming market in the world, particularly across certain genres where character representations can make up a big part of the game without directly influencing the gameplay itself – online casinos have been one of these as character representation is often a big part of the sell and have been one of the fastest growing genres despite changes to regulation, those found at Maximum Casinos have started to cater to the wider audience and may amongst the next in line to start offering a more diverse approach.
It’s certainly changing times, and with so many titles being so influential to the growing audience, it’s an opportunity that can’t be missed in the goal for equality and diversity, and with the ability to change so quickly, gaming could certainly be a leading player.