BioWare's Manveer Heir took the opportunity of the recent Game Developers Conference to present a panel entitled Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia: Where Do Video Games Stand? Heir made it pretty clear that the gaming industry is standing on vastly improvable land. What's more (get ready for the delicious chills), his "call to arms" was met with a standing ovation. Sal Mattos, of GayGaymer.net, spoke with Heir at length. Heir had buckets of praise for indie games, which he considered to be leading the way with diverse representation that is not only front-and-center, but also tied to game mechanics. Obviously not an indie game, Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation was also highlighted in Heir's talk. A sample from Mattos' amazing article:
Main character Aveline de Grandpre is a mixed race character of French and African ancestry. In Liberation players can take on the guise of a high society lady or a working slave to blend in with her surroundings and accomplish her mission. By doing this developer Ubisoft not only explores race, gender, and status in narrative terms (featuring a mixed race Black woman as a main character) but also through mechanics (making her race and gender important aspects of how she, and therefore the player, interacts with the world).
It is beyond giddying to witness the emergence of multi-faceted viewpoints from an industry, beloved by a great number of different kinds of people, that has historically (myopically) catered to a white, straight, cismale demographic. Makes you want to scream, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" Don't it?