Uploaded on August 19th, updated on August 22nd.
Equality has become an increasingly hot topic in gaming in recent years, as more and more studios and publishers are becoming increasingly concerned with reflecting the world’s diversity. As a result, we’re seeing not just greater diversity in characters and stories, but within the industry itself.
Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in terms of creating an equitable industry. The backlash from fans has resulted in harassment campaigns, such as Gamergate, while companies such as Activision Blizzard have been taken to court due to sexual harassment allegations.
In an effort to promote a more inclusive gaming industry, community industry company Women in Games has published Building a Fair Playing Field – a free guide that “highlights good practise in the field of gender equality by providing discussion and first-hand accounts of professional practice, supported by practical recommendations that all games sector stakeholders can adapt and apply to any context.”
This is the second such guide published by the group. The first, published in 2018, came prior to events and movements such as the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit, #MeToo, and #BlackLivesMatter. However, the guide states that “despite these dramatic shifts, women remain underrepresented in the games industries, and equality of opportunity has still to be achieved.”
The guide highlights findings from research conducted by the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, which shows that despite women making up 48 per cent of the workforce worldwide, only 30 per cent of the games industry is made up of women.
The guide offers advice on how game companies can promote equity and a sense of belonging for female employees in the industry.
Building a Fair Playing Field can be downloaded here.
Patty Toledo, ambassador for Women in Games, stated: "Although I was not involved directly in writing the document, as we are constantly talking about equality in the workplace, it is clear that we need better definitions and guidance on what it entitles. It is a path: we will not get to proper gender equality without walking this road and facing the challenges it will bring. I personally see it as a 'live document' -- it will be necessary to constantly improve it and alter it to mirror all cultural and daily aspects of equality. It needs to be clear but fluid. |We have a real challenge ahead, but I see this as a step in the right direction"
Earlier this year, Toledo was appointed marketing director at 4Players.