GameTrack, a “tracking survey” put in place by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (IFSE), released a study from the fourth quarter of 2018 that questions the “public perception” of diversity in games content within European countries. The consumer survey questioned a group of participants between 11 and 64 years of age within the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and Germany.
According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, 43% of respondents said yes to the statement “games nowadays include a diverse range of characters,” a higher positive response rate than any other inquiry the publication submitted. Only 10% disagreed, also the lowest negative response rate in the group of queries. These results stand somewhat against the belief that diverse groups are underrepresented in gaming. One should note, however, that 30% of respondents chose “neither agree nor disagree,” while 16% said they had no idea.
The majority of respondents in every other question failed to take a firm stance on a subject. 53% answered unsure to the claim that “games should have more diversity in their characters,” against a 33% positive vote and a 14% negative one. 30% of respondents believed there should be more female characters in games, with 14% against this. Also, only 24% believe there should be more “black and ethnic minority characters,” with 20% disagreeing.
20% of respondents wanted more LGBTQ characters against 22% who didn’t. Alongside this, 22% claimed that more diverse characters would make them more likely to buy a game, while 26% didn’t agree. That said, all other statements were a majority in favor of diversity. For example, 30% of gamers said more diverse characters would result in a better playing experience, with 18% claiming otherwise. Groups agreed that more diversity in games would lead in a more diverse crowd playing them. 27% believe this to be true, against 21% unfavorable.
Once again, it’s hard to take these stats at face value since so many respondents failed to make a firm stance. Gamers are often quite vocal about their progressive ideals, and it’s odd these numbers aren’t more in favor of that. A majority of them are positive, of course, but not glowingly so.