Mass Effect gameplay designer Manveer Heir told his GDC audience to challenge social injustice in the games industry.
It follows Brenna’s impassioned opinion piece on the lack of female player-characters in Capcom’s Deep Down.
In an address that received a standing ovation, Heir said, “Wherever we may stand today as an industry,” he continued, “I am confident that we will stand somewhere far better tomorrow as long as you, right here, are willing to be an agent of change. I sincerely hope that you are ready for that challenge, because I sure as hell am!”
He added that characters – notably minorities, females and LGBT cast members – are being portrayed in a stereotypical light, and continued, “These negative stereotypes effect the identity of individuals in these groups. They affect the way people think and treat others in the real world, and [they] perpetuate the social injustices that occur in these different groups.”
BioWare series Mass Effect and Dragon Age have gone some way to open the floor to such issues through their portrayal of same-sex romance options and a string of realistic gay characters that do not bend to stereotypes.
What’s your view on the above?