Some people think that gamers, streamers, modders etc. get a totally illegitimate success and see gaming communities as futile.
I used to be kinda this person too. I’ve always loved video games, but I used to play alone in my little hermit grotto/office, drowning my sadness of seeing always the same type of characters in cups of coffee, and just hoping that the future games releases would bring more types of characters.
At the same time I was taking consciousness of the White Male privilege and faced sexism and exclusion (I had a non gendered education, so it was quite a shock for me…). But I still didn’t make the link. And still thought that gamers, modders, streamers with thousands and thousands followers were just lazy carpetbaggers disconnected from real life.
Fortunately, there is a time in life where the brain wake up and put its neurons together. And my brain told me that we just reproduce in virtual worlds all our society issues, but all our better hopes too.
That’s why all we do in the virtual sphere is so important and meaningful. And why gathering people into strong communities does matter.
You can’t take a crowbar and strike all people with hurting “insert your discrimination type here” behaviors down in real life (even if sometimes you really, really want to!), but you can use all your creative and thinking skills in the virtual sphere to spread ideas, opinions, representations. It’s free, it’s easy, you can connect to people with the same goals and see you’re not alone being uncomfortable with actual representations (thinking of you MelaninGamers 😉 ).
Sometimes, we need to take the problem upside down. Just hoping that society will change and evolve by itself to be inclusive is a beautiful dream, but remains just a dream. But it’s possible to shake it up in the virtual sphere, and particularily in video games. First, because it’s a more open and flexible media than others, and tend to be more and more open. And then because it’s just images and programming, that you can modify and make evolve at your will.
Further, video games are a foundation of the Pop Culture. Changing video games will affect all the Pop Culture. And when the whole Pop Culture will claim for inclusive representations, will claim that humanity isn’t a color, a gender, a sexual orientation… the mass medias won’t have any other choice than follow the lead.
As a gamer, take consciousness of the power between your hands/keyboard/controller, and of the impact of your actions. I mean for example, ban of the gaming sphere mods like Heterosexual Dorian in Dragon Age Inquisition (even if the creator surely didn’t want to hurt anybody, I’m sorry, it shocked me!), or mods whitening characters.