Do video games do a good job portraying women and minorities?

YouGov
January 28, 2021, 11:12 PM UTC

A new international YouGov study conducted in several key global markets revealed just 15% of consumers feel as though video games do a good job portraying minorities. 

2020 was an inflection point for race relations in the United States, and protests in several US cities sparked similar demonstrations around the world. In the aftermath, several companies and brands voiced support for the cause and made vows to change practices and policies. 

Our recent study zeroes in on video games and suggests consumers in India, Indonesia, and Poland are more likely than those in other markets to agree that video games do a good job portraying minorities, while respondents in Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom are least likely to agree. 

Overall, most consumers aren’t sure, or are on the fence about the subject. 

In recent years, there have been several academic and journalistic studies into how minorities are portrayed in video games, and many have cited a lack of diversity in the development process as one key factor to help publishers and developers better portray people of color. 

Continuously collected data from YouGov Profiles in the US shows Black (49%) and Hispanic (51%) Americans are nearly as likely as white Americans (52%) to play video games, and Asian Americans are more likely (65%). 

YouGov’s international study also asked about how women are portrayed in video games, and similar figures emerge. Consumers in India, Poland and the UAE are most likely to agree that women are portrayed properly in video games, while those in Singapore, Spain and the UK appear at the bottom of our list. 

Just 13% of women worldwide think video games do a good job portraying women; roughly a quarter of men (24%) say the same. 

The gaming consumer base is largely male dominated. In the US, for example, men are nearly twice as likely as women to say video games are one of their top interests. But 45% of women do game, whether on console or PC and addressing how women are portrayed in games could be a way to expand that consumer base. 

Methodology: Research was conducted in January 2021 across multiple markets. Sample sizes were between 505 and 2,029.

Image Getty