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Inclusive gaming

Some recent innovations in the gaming sector are pushing to make the community more inclusive than ever before


Gaming has unfortunately historically been associated with some exclusionary practices. You might have heard of a huge controversy around the exclusion of women in particular called 'Gamergate' back in 2014.


It has been found that only 5% of protagonists in games are female and a 2020 study found that 84% of executives at the top 14 global gaming companies are held by men. But women aren't the only people being excluded in gaming; like in most other sectors there is also inclusionary issues around racism, people living with a disability and the gender diverse community.


But as many industries look to address these inequalities through innovation, gaming does too. Here are just a few great examples in recent times:




PAIDIA

Paidia calls itself an "inclusive online gaming community that empowers women and allies of all genders to safely connect, learn and play". The intitiative addresses an issue that 77% of women experience harrassment while playing online. Xbox Canada and Razer have joined as founding partners as well as the platform boasting an impressive list of financial backers and heavy-hitting gaming ambassadors. Subscription to the platform costs $9.99 USD a month.



XBOX ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES

Having made many advances over the past few years in the disability space including the Xbox One Adaptive Controller the gaming giant has recently announced a raft of other innovations. These include the use of metadata tags on games on the Microsoft Store so players can ascertain at a glance whether a game has the accessibility features they need to play. The Ease of Access section of the Xbox’s menu has been renamed Accessibility and already includes a number of features, with more incoming. Night Mode filters out blue light, reduces brightness on both the display and controller, and can be customized to personal preference. There are also adjustable color filters to assist players with different types of color weakness, like deuteranopia or tritanopia, making games easier to view for everybody.




CAN I PLAY THAT?

A platform where reviews, news stories and features are shared that aim to inform players on the latest accessibility features and developments in the industry. In turn the site hopes to generate more attention and pressure for inclusionary design within video gaming. The platform has also developed professional workshops that tackle topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, and accessible community management. These workshops are available for studios to book, with the likes of Xbox, Ubisoft, Splash Damage, Square Enix, Creative Assembly and more already taking up the offer.






Zara Cooper

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