“Inclusive” Is Pretty Broad. What Exactly Does It Mean?
During May of 2018, EA put out a survey by their Global Consumer Insights team. They wanted to know what gamers thought about representation and inclusion in the gaming community. A report on the survey was put together by EA’s Jenny Shi on Medium.com called What Inclusion Means to Players. Shi starts off by recounting her early experiences as female gamer and the adversity she faced. Now, she is looking into the impact that inclusive games have on players. The survey covered over 2,200 participants aged 13-54. Let’s look at what she found.
Jenny lays out how the survey is defining inclusion. The definition covers:
- Being able to customize your character to have a wide range of skin colors and body sizes
- Stories or plots with culturally diverse characters
- Healthy and friendly in-game chat experiences
- Offering features that allow those with special needs to play
The results yield information suggesting that 56% of players believe that inclusion is “important”, 31% are “neutral”, and 13% say that it is “not important”. Another aspect of the survey asks if players are more or less likely to play a game whose developers add inclusive features. 46% of players say they are “likelier to play”, 48% are “neutral”, and 7% are “less likely to play”.
Shi’s report says the “takeaway” from this survey suggests:
- Inclusion is a pressing concern for many players, and backlash comes from a minority
- Representation is getting better in the industry, but needs to be authentic
- Fixing disruptive behavior and toxicity is more important than ever
- Despite having interest in playing games socially, female players face more barriers to playing online multiplayer. Managing disruptive player behavior can help knock down those barriers.
What are your thoughts on the findings? Let us know in the comments below.