Brandii Grace is a game designer, writer, producer, programmer, educator and general pioneer of the gaming industry. She was also the Chair of the LA chapter of the International Game Developers Association which, among its many endeavors, fights for change in the industry by identifying and speaking out on key issues.
She joined the hosts of NYFA Games on Twitch to discuss inclusivity in video games. The discussion began by discussing a core concept: what is inclusivity?
“Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance”– Verna Meyers
Brandii expertly navigated the distinctions between various forms of diversity and inclusion explaining:
- Exclusion: Diversity is neither valued nor accepted
- Tokenism: Diversity is valued but not accepted
- Assimilation: Diversity is accepted but not valued
- Inclusion: Diversity is valued and accepted
She went on to point out that when a video game features a diverse cast of characters it will tend to be more profitable. The reason is fairly simple: if a player feels represented, identifies with one of the characters they will tend to play and spend more, and recommend it to their friends – see Bioware’s “Dragon Age” and “Mass Effect” series, or Blizzard’s “Overwatch.”
This concept of inclusivity is applied to the workplace as well. A more diverse team of developers tend to generate games that are:
- “70% more likely to capture a new market
- 45% more likely to improve market share
- 70% more likely to implement a marketable idea”
If you’d like more information about inclusivity in the entertainment industry, be sure to check out our post on gender inequality in film.
You can see the entire episode on Inclusiveness in Video Games here: