Inclusion in games a pressing concern for players, according to survey

"These findings should validate and encourage game developers to incorporate inclusive content in their games."

EA's community insights manager Jenny Shi recently led a research study that aimed to understand what players think about representation, diversity, and inclusion in video games -- and the results make for interesting reading.

Detailing her methodology and findings in a comprehensive Medium post, Shi explained she sent out a survey to U.S. players back in May 2018. Precisely 2,525 individuals aged between 13-52 responded, all of whom own and play games on console or PC, and are the "decision makers" when it comes to entertainment purchases. 

Based on those responses, Shi found that inclusion is a pressing concern for many players, and that the backlash against it generally comes from a minority. It's also interesting to note that while most players believe representation is improving throughout the games industry, they also feel it needs to be authentic.

Digging into those takeaways, Shi revealed that 56 percent of respondents believe inclusivity in games is "important." As the graph below shows, only 13 percent of players actually deemed inclusivity "not important," with the other 31 percent suggesting they had no feelings either way. 

As for how that might impact purchasing decisions, 45 percent of respondents said they'd be more likely to play a game that contained inclusive features and content (as shown in the graph below). Only 7 percent said they'd actually be less likely to play a title with inclusive features, with the remaining 45 percent again claiming to be neutral.

"These findings should validate and encourage game developers to incorporate inclusive content in their games," wrote Shi. "This could be in the form of customization features that represent all genders, ethnicities, and identities, storytelling from different points of views, or more granular control settings to accommodate players with special needs."

You can learn more about Shi's research by checking out the full story over on Medium.

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