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Raven's Manveer Heir urges industry to address ethnic misrepresentation


If there's one thing that Commander Shepard, Nathan Drake, Agent 47, Marcus Fenix, and ... uhh ... Mega Man all have in common, it's not just that they're all video game characters -- they're also all white dudes. And Raven Software's Manveer Heir takes umbrage with that fact (and, more importantly, the fact that being caucasian is a rather pervasive theme across game characters), telling Develop in a recent interview that "There are a large number of hispanic and black children playing games, percentage-wise more so than white children, but these guys aren't getting into the industry because they are not seeing themselves in the games."

Moreover, Heir says it's not just a question of equality, but rather a question of missed market opportunity. "It's not about being fair. It's about bringing something new to the art." The Wolverine/Singularity dev also makes a point of sending out a rally call to the rest of the industry, saying, "I'm sure many people in the game industry are starting work on new IP. If we can ask people to think about it, then they are more apt to say 'hey let's try this.' You just need one game to succeed. The first developer or publisher to do this will enjoy a lot of success." For a much more thorough discussion on the subject, we've embedded a video after the break of a panel from DICE 2010, titled "Games of Color," in which Manveer speaks in far more detail on the subject.

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